Poisson Perfection: Philippe Ruiz's Maine Halibut Filet Aux Aromates

In last week's two-part interview with Philippe Ruiz, executive chef of the Biltmore's Palme d'Or and all around nice guy, the James Beard Award nominee described his food as "simple, classic/modern, generous, and appetizing." When asked for an example we could recreate at home, without pause he shared the recipe for his Maine halibut filet aux aromates, a dish the chef tends to keep on the menu, though he claims to tweak it often and play with different presentations.

If you're wondering how to render this plate Ruiz-style, keep in mind his suggestion to "Buy the best products and not add too much stuff to it." And if you still can't master the art of French cooking, may we suggest you attend Bilmore's Culinary Academy? Ruiz is teaching a French Bistro class on the 27th.

Bon appétit!

Maine Halibut Filet "Aux Aromates" with Green Asparagus, Provencal Herbs, and Chicken Jus
Serves 4

Chef Philippe Ruiz
Palme d'Or

4 halibut filets (6 oz each)
8 jumbo green asparagus
2oz tomatoes, cubed
1oz capers
1oz black olives, chopped
1Tbsp shallots, chopped
½ Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
½ Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
3oz extra virgin olive oil (high-quality)
1cup reduced chicken jus
1oz fresh butter
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Directions: Cook the green asparagus in salted, boiling water. Refresh them in ice water and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add capers, black olives, shallots, thyme, rosemary and 2 ounces of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the halibut filet with salt and pepper. Sear the fish filets in a Teflon pan with 1 oz of olive oil until golden brown on each side. Set aside.

In the same pan, add the brown chicken stock and reduce it until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Add butter to finish the sauce.

Presentation: Place the fish filet in the middle of a plate, top with the mixed aromatics, arrange two asparagus around that, and pour the chicken jus on the top of the fish and around the plate.

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Riki Altman