This is one of my favorite recipes and is a frequent request of my fiance. I have used halibut filets in the past but this time I had some fresh halibut cheeks I picked up from a local fish vendor at the farmer's market. He described them as the "filet mignon" of Halibut and boy was he right! Very tender and meaty and the resulting pan sauce is a perfect compliment to the fish. You could easily substitute your favorite white fish or even scallops, shrimp, lobster...this list goes on.
adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground salt and pepper
1 lb halibut cheeks
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 slices pancetta, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus whole sprigs, for garnish
Put the flour on a deep plate and season well with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the flour. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and the butter and get the skillet hot. Add the cheeks and cook until browned on 1 side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the fish and continue to cook until desired doneness, about 2 minutes more. Remove the cheeks and set aside, keeping warm. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, to brown. Remove and drain pancetta on paper towels
Put the skillet back over medium heat. Add another tablespoon olive oil, the white wine, lemon juice, capers, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the parsley and bring to a boil; boil until reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Place a serving of the cheeks on a plate, our the sauce over the fish and top with the pancetta, and serve immediately.