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Originally published Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Recipe: Halibut Poached in Saffron Broth

Serves 4 2 medium tomatoes

6 cups water

1 fish bouillon cube

½ cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced

4 medium green onions, white part only, finely chopped

1 sprig fresh basil

¼ teaspoon saffron threads

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 to 1 1/3 pounds halibut fillet (or substitute another moderately firm fish)


1. Cut cores out of tomatoes, and cut a shallow X in the opposite end. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add tomatoes, remove pan from heat and time about 30 to 60 seconds, just until the skins begin to loosen. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon (do not drain liquid), and rinse briefly with cold water. When cool enough to handle, remove peels and cut each tomato into quarters. Place in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet or use a Dutch oven.

2. Drop bouillon cube into hot tomato-blanching liquid, stirring to dissolve. Pour into the pan with the tomatoes, adding wine, bay leaf, garlic, green onions, basil, saffron, salt and pepper. Bring just to a boil. Cut the halibut into 4 serving pieces. Place in the liquid, skin-side down. (The liquid should cover the fish.) Cover, turn heat to medium-low and simmer gently 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until cooked through.

3. Remove bay leaf and basil from the pan. Remove skin from fish and spoon fish into wide shallow bowls. Ladle broth and tomatoes over fish and serve with a good, crusty bread.

Based on "The South Beach Diet Cookbook" by Arthur Agatston, M.D.

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