Potato-Wrapped Halibut with Garlic Sautéed Spinach

There are a few tricks here, but it’s simpler than it looks. To keep the “package” from unraveling, you need to have paper-thin potato slices, and that requires a mandoline. It’s also good to wrap the fish package in Saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour before cooking to solidify the seal. The other risk is moisture, which will both splatter while cooking and prevent any crisping of the potatoes. You want to have the fish very dry (and salted) before wrapping, and don’t rinse the potato slices (but do also salt them) because the starches help seal too. That all said, I swear it’s not hard!

Ingredients

  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, washed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets
  • 2 lemons, cut into halves
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus tablespoon for spinach
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves, well rinsed
  • 6 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

Variation: You can substitute Sea Bass, Cod or other thick, white fillets. Too thin and the fish will overcook before the potatoes can. I’ve seen Russets used instead of Yukon, as well.

Tools

  • Mandoline
  • Saran Wrap
  • Non-Stick Saute or Frying Pan
  • Knife and Cutting Board

Variation: You can use parchment paper instead of Saran wrap, but I found the wrap kept better in the fridge which I think is a good step (though Martha Stewart doesn’t do this).

Directions

  1. Halve potatoes lengthwise. Using a very sharp knife or mandoline, slice potatoes lengthwise into paper-thin rounds.
  2. Lay a piece of Saran wrap on work surface; arrange potato slices, slightly overlapping, to form a 5-by-7-inch rectangle on Saran wrap; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper
  4. Place one fish fillet on potato rectangle. Using the Saran wrap, wrap one side of the potatoes around the fish, pressing to adhere. Wrap remaining side of potato rectangle around fish, pressing to adhere (don’t put the wrap between the potatoes, just use it to press the potatoes to the fish, and then wrap the whole thing). Repeat process with remaining potatoes and fish fillet, adding potato slices as necessary for the seal if you come up short.
  5. Refrigerate fish packets for 1 hour. Meanwhile, wash spinach, slice garlic cloves on the mandoline, and have a drink ;)
  6. When fish is ready, heat large nonstick skillet to medium-high and cook lemon halves first, flesh side down, until slightly charred (this adds flavor and loosens juices). Be mindful of smoke. Place lemons aside and reserve for service.
  7. Heat olive oil over same medium-high heat for fish. Pat potatoes dry with a clean towel and add fish, seam side down; cook, turning, until potatoes are golden and crisp on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You can gently use tongs or two spatulas to handle the fish. Remove from heat, place on paper towels to gather excess moisture and cover to keep warm.
  8. Wipe used oil out and add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet for the garlic and spinach. Add garlic first; stir 1 minute. Add 1/3 of spinach; toss with tongs until spinach begins to wilt. Add remaining spinach in 2 additions; stir just until beginning to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Divide spinach among plates with fish, garnish with the lemon half, and serve.

*Martha Stewart demonstrates the basic wrapping procedure in an unfortunately long video here. Or here is another instruction. Or here is my favorite, with lots of images, only using Cod and Russet.

*Serves 4


All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.