I love Michael Symon! (and his Slow Roasted Halibut with Fried Capers, Caramelized Lemons and Almonds)

I love Michael Symon.  There, I’ve said it.  What’s not to love? 

He’s absolutely adorable.  He loves his wife and isn’t afraid to say it and does repeatedly.  Did I mention he’s gorgeous?  He loves his dogs, even when they’re gassy.  He has an infectious laugh.  You can’t help but smile or laugh along with him when you hear it.  Well at least I can't and, oh yea, and he cooks! 

I almost threw out my citrus juicer when I saw he just uses a pair of tongs.   It works great!  I said almost.  Those of you who know me know I love my gadgets.  As a side note I just got an email that my $34 garlic press is on its way to me from Australia as I type!

I'm not typically a star struck kind of person.  Celebrities are just people.  People who  a lot of people "know" but they're just people.  A couple of years ago I met Tom Colicchio at a fundraiser Dave and I went to.  He's such a nice guy!  He talked to everyone and didn't turn away with other (not me) star-struck individuals at the event came running across the room just to talk to him.

Tom Colicchio and I at a Taste! Fundraiser - March 2010
Dave and I ended up standing next to him during the presentation ceremony.  He and Dave struck quite a conversation!  Yes, I was totally jealous. I'm the fan after all!  We even bought him a gin and tonic (a $20 gin and tonic... that's what they go for at the W!) at one point in the evening.  Really nice guy.  I can't say that enough.

That all being said, I think I would turn into a 13 year old girl meeting her favorite member of a boy-band if I ever met Michael Symon.  I can just see myself saying "OH MY GOD you're Michael Symon!!" over and over again with a grin I couldn't get off my face!

I posted a comment on his Facebook page a while back when I made this dish and he commented!!!  I was so excited I snagged it!

I have Michael Symon's Live to Cook cookbook and it’s one of my all-time favorites.  I’ve already blogged about the Pork Souvlaki, absolutely amazing!  And the Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup, yum!  Now on to the halibut!

I can’t believe I haven’t already blogged about this one.  I make it quite a bit.  It’s easy and delicious.  How could it not be with caper berries, garlic, shallots, lemon and almonds on top of halibut, one of my favorite fishies!

You start by caramelizing the lemon in frothy butter.  It was amazing to me the first time I made this how this totally infused the sauce with lemon flavor.

The caper berries, almonds, garlic, shallots and parsley are added with a little more butter.  You allow the butter to brown a little (YUM) and the "sauce" is done.  Here is where you wish these pictures were scratch and sniff!  This sauce smells divine!  I also had some carrot and cauliflower puree going and brussels sprouts roasting in the oven coated in my favorite Tuscan herb extra virgin olive oil.  You could taste the smells in the kitchen!

The halibut is simply slow-roasted in the oven.  Though slow is a pretty relative term as it only took about 15 minutes.  I was so excited to actually eat this yummy concoction I forgot to take picture of my perfectly cooked halibut!

As I mentioned I put the halibut over a bed of carrot and cauliflower puree with a side of roasted brussels sprouts.  I hear Mr. Symon makes some mean brussels sprouts too.  I was watching an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and one of the chefs said that Michael Symon's brussels sprouts were the best, well, I don't remember what... side maybe?  Anyway someday we'll make our way to Cleveland so I can try them!

The one thing I thought might make this dish better was a little white wine.  So I added some!

So here's my modification of the recipe:

Slow-Roasted Halibut with Fried Capers, Caramelized Lemon and Almonds
Serves 4, adapted from Symon's Live to Cook

4 (6-8 oz) halibut fillets
2 tbsp olive oil (I use a lemon infused olive oil)
Kosher salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 (1/4-inch thick) slices of lemon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 tbsp capers
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 1/2 tbsp thinly sliced garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 225.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet until it's almost smoking.

Season the halibut on both sides with salt.  Carefully place the fish in the pan and rub the top of the fillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes to get a sear on the fish.

Slide the pan into the oven and cook the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 to 140 degrees and flakes easily when prodded with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.  The oil may be spattering so you may want to cover the fish with an ovenproof spatter shield as well.

Once the fish is in the oven, heat 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over high heat.  When the butter is hot and foaming add in the lemon slices and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip them over and add in the almonds and capers. Cook for 30 seconds.  Add the shallots and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the garlic, parsley, and the remaining 2 tbsp butter.  Continue to cook until the lemons soften and the butter and almonds begin to brown, about 2 minutes.

Place the halibut fillets seared side up on warm plates and spoon the sauce over them.

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