Fox TV segment: Statue or Sauté

This last Wednesday I did another segment on Fox news with John Torres.  I was only told about the segment early on Tuesday morning and I had to rustle up an idea on what to sauté.  Fortunately that Tuesday at our school we featured the perfect heart healthy dish (rarely the case) and I could use the mise en place the following day.

I am getting more used to these segments and this time I was considerably more at ease in my set up.  The staff at the station is getting used to seeing me.  I took a chance in my demo to have John try his hand at cold sautéing some granola I found in their kitchen.  I would then dump out the granola and try to quickly heat up my pan so I could demo the dish.  Not a good call considering my time constraint of 2.5 minutes.

Before I went on the air the anchor blundered the segment by saying John was going to statue the dish.  Lots of laughs that carried all the way into our segment.  The segment went well but I ran out of time as I was sautéing the vegetables and plated the dish off air.  John took the dish away for others to eat and the station director came out personally to tell me how it amazing it tasted.  His healthy cooking segment has been cut to a once a month format.  Hopefully they will give us a little more time in this new format.  Anyway I rewrote a base recipe that we use for this dish at Cook  Street to reflect what I did on air.

Pan Seared Halibut with spring vegetables and arugula pesto

Pan Seared Halibut with spring vegetables and arugula pesto


Yield:  4 Servings

4 Halibut Filets, bloodline removed, about 5 oz. each

12 spears asparagus, blanched

1 pint red pearl onions, blanched and peeled

12 snowpeas, blanched and julienned

2 tomatoes, peeled and cut into petals


¼ c. white wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Core and score the tomatoes and blanch them very briefly (around 30 seconds) in boiling salted water.  Remove them from the water and chill in an ice bath.  Peel the skin, cut into quarters and remove the seeds.  Set aside.
  2. Bend the asparagus until they snap at their weak point.  If they are very large peel them.  Blanch them until tender in the same pot as the tomatoes.  Remove them and chill them in the ice bath.  Set aside.
  3. Blanch the snowpeas in the same water, remove and chill. Slice them into thin julienne strips and set aside.
  4. Cut the stems off the pearl onions and blanch in the boiling water until they are tender.  Chill them in the ice water and peel them.  Set aside.
  5. Prepare the halibut filets patting them dry and seasoning them with EVOO, salt and pepper.
  6. Heat up a Teflon pan with a little EVOO and sear the fish until it has developed a nice brown crust. Then flip it over to finish cooking. Remove the fish and pat with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  7. Put the tomatoes on a sheet pan.  Brush them with EVOO, season and heat in an oven until warm.
  8. In a hot sauté pan, add a little EVOO and add the blanched vegetables.  Sauté and season with salt and pepper.  Add the wine to heat through and flavor. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated.

10.  Place the vegetables in the bottom of a bowl and top with the halibut filet.

11.  Garnish with arugula pesto (recipe following).


2 c. Arugula leaves, stemmed

2 cloves garlic

¼ c. pistachios, toasted

1 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 T parmagiano cheese

salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

  1. Clean the arugula and pick out the stems.  Blanch briefly until the leaves wilt.  Chill in ice water. Pick out the leaves and squeeze dry.
  2. In a food processor add the garlic, toasted pistachios, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Grind to a paste.
  3. Add the arugula leaves and one ice cube.  Continue to grind until a nice light paste.  If it is too thick add more olive oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper and a little lemon juice

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