Alaskan Halibut Cheeks with Dungeness Crab in a Morel Mushroom Parmesan Cream Recipe

Serves 4

Kitchen Note: 
Halibut cheeks are a special treat, lovely nuggets of the firm fish that are often ideal bite-sized pieces. If halibut cheeks are not available, you can used halibut fillet instead, skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes.

1 1/4 pounds halibut cheeks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 ounces fresh morel mushrooms or other fresh mushrooms, brushed clean, trimmed, and halved
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup roasted red peppers or pimentos, diced
1/2 cup Lemon-Seafood stock, fish stock or vegetable broth
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Dungeness crab meat, picked over to remove any bits of shell
2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
1 pound fresh or dried linguine
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.

While the water is heating, season the halibut cheeks with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in the flour, patting to remove excess. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halibut cheeks and cook until nicely browned on both sides and no longer translucent in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side depending on their size. Transfer the halibut cheeks to a plate, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms until nearly tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the roasted red peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is tender and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and stir to lift up any cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cream, crab, and basil and simmer gently until reduced by about 1/3. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer for a few minutes longer until melted and the sauce is thickened a bit more. Keep warm over low heat.

When the water has reached a rolling boil, add the linguine and cook until al dente, tender but still with a bit of a bite, 2 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta or 8 to 10 minutes for dried. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet with the sauce, tossing gently to evenly coat.

Transfer the pasta to individual plates, twirling the center of each portion to form a haystack-like mound. Pour the sauce and vegetables over the pasta, arrange the halibut cheeks around, and sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Type: Authentic
Restaurant: Coho Cafe