Balsamic vinegar is essential in Italian cooking, and chefs love to use it. Authentic Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale comes in a small glass bottle with a 1-inch neck and a potbelly bottom, and it contains balsamic vinegar certified by the official balsamic-vinegar consortium. It is expensive, and best used by the teaspoonful to drizzle over cheese or roasts, and in risotto. In the grocery store, you will find many bottles of Aceto Balsamico Commerciale, not made and aged in the traditional style, but still good for cooking and dressing salad. You will have some extra balsamic reduction after creating this dish, but it keeps well and can be used for other dishes- grilled meats, in appetizers, and in other seafood preparations, even over ice cream. You can use some of it to decorate in plating the dish as well- just don’t overdo it! When I am cooking at home, I love recipes that give me something a little extra to store away. The leftovers become an extra little goody bag in my refrigerator.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Four 6-ounce halibut fillets, with skin, about 1 inch thick
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Combine the vinegar, honey, rosemary, and bay leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil until it’s syrupy and reduced to about a third of its original volume, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove and discard the rosemary and bay leaves.
Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Heat a large, preferably nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fish, skin side down. Cook, without moving the fish, until the skin is crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fish, and cook an additional 2 minutes to brown the other side.
Put the pan in the oven, and roast until the fish is just cooked through, about another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve skin side down, drizzling each portion with a little of the balsamic reduction.