The inspiration for this recipe — my wife, Rebecca — is a self-described corn addict. She adores it in almost any form: tamales, polenta, corn bread, tortillas, and roasted on the cob. I put together this recipe with her in mind, and added a few of her other loves, including onions, spicy jalapeños, and a super-ripe tomato. It was an instant hit, to say the least.
— Brian Preston-Campbell, food stylist
- 2 jalapeños
- 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon peeled and grated ginger
- 1/2 medium-sized Spanish onion, diced
- 1 ripe beefsteak tomato, diced
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ears sweet corn, husked, cleaned, kernels removed, cobs reserved (about 3 cups)
- 2 Cups fish stock, low-sodium chicken broth, or water, plus more as needed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Four 6- to 8-ounce fresh halibut fillets
To make the chutney, lightly oil the jalapeños with the vegetable oil and place them directly onto a gas stove burner (alternatively, place them onto a hot grill or under the broiler) and char on all sides, using long kitchen tongs to turn them. (The skin will blister and turn black in some spots — this is desirable.) Let cool slightly, then chop coarsely and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook until the ginger softens, but do not let it brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and sweat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the jalapeños, tomato, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook just until barely heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a 5-quart, straight-sided skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the garlic and sweat until lightly toasted, 1-2 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Add the corn kernels and cook until the corn is tender, 5 minutes. Add the corn cobs (if they don't fit in the pan, break them in half) and the stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the cobs from the pot and season the broth lightly with salt and pepper and the lemon juice. Pour half of this mixture into a blender. Purée until smooth and return to the pot. Adjust the thickness with a little more stock if necessary (it should be the consistency of thin soup). Leave the pot on low heat until ready to poach the fish.
To poach the halibut, bring the reserved corn broth to a simmer. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper, to taste, and carefully place the halibut into the liquid. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow the fish to poach until fork-tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Place each portion of halibut into a shallow bowl and cover with one-quarter of the poaching liquid. Spoon a few tablespoons of the chutney over the fish and serve with the remaining chutney on the side.