The other day I made my favorite food on an ordinary saturday, Kokt Kveite, Boiled Halibut, Hälleflundra. I feel almost guilty. This time I made it with Pommes Duchess.
Some time back I went through a lot of searching and planning to get the fresh Halibut here in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then I have some in my freezer. So I cherish it more than gold and it is like the most special event for me make it and eat it.
This fish called Kveite in Norwegian my mother used to make for special occations like the first Day of Christmas or New Years Day. It was my favorite dish and we did not eat this more than a couple times a year during special Holidays. She used to boil it in a special way and serve it cold with hot potatoes, vegetables and sour cream that she made with whipped cream, vinegar and a pinch of sugar. The fish was always served as whole steaks and she would decorate the serving tray beautifully. I made it like my mom used to before and have posted the recipe on my website here. Today I made it with Pommes Duchesse.
In Norway we would easily have access to fish and fresh fish. Growing up by the ocean we would fish or we could go to the harbor to buy from the local venders or fishermen coming in with new catch. I remember how we would go to the local warehouses on the harbors were they were rinsing the fish and putting it on ice to be sold. It was cold and hard work. Those local places are not there anymore.
Living in Sweden for so many years now I seldom get fresh fish. I have not even seen Kveite here. And last fall I was looking to see if I could get this fish in the stores. During these Covid-19 times I only shop groceries online and I could not find it even frozen. I even had to try to find out what it is called in Swedish. So the Swedish name is Hälleflundra and the English is Halibut.
I wanted to recreate this festive meal my mother used to make. So I googled every possible option to see if it was possible to find fresh, whole Halibut here in Stockholm. And finally I had luck that a store had gotten some transport from Norway. I was able to get some delivered to my door. But guess my surprise when I got one huge steak of the amount I had ordered. It was from a really huge Kveite! So I didn´t get the steaks I was used to from my mom, which was the size that suited one portion per person. Now this steak was so big I had to cut it in small pieces. However even if the looks didn’t become what I wanted, at least I had the right fish.
- For 600 grams of sliced Halibut (ajust the water and spicing according to amount of Kveite you want to make)
- 2 liters of water
- 1 dl salt
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- Some black pepper corns
- 3-5 dl heavy cream
- Parsley for decorations
Directions for the Halibut:
Boil water, salt, peppercorns, vinegar and bay leaves in a large saucepan. Lightly place the Halibut pieces in when the water boils and turn down the heat almost completely. The fish should simmer and not boil. Let the Halibut simmer for about 10 minutes, depending on how thick the slices are. The Halibut is finished when the bone easily releases the fish. (As for me I had to cut it from the bone since it was so huge).
If you want to serve it cold you can prepare this in advance and let it cool. If you want to serve the Halibut warm you just prepare the rest of your sides while you simmer the fish or you start your potatoes and vegetables first.
- 1 kg floury potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 50 grams butter
- 0, 75 teaspoons salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
Peel the potatoes and cook in salted water until soft, about 20 minutes.
Strain the water and add the butter, salt and white pepper to the potatoes. Mix well with a balloon whisk. As the mash has cooled a bit add the egg yolks and mix some more until fluffy. Click or pipe the mash on a sheet of parchment paper. Gratinate for 10 minutes in the upper part of the oven, until the puree has taken on color.
For the sour cream:
3-5 dl whipping cream or as much as you feel you need for dressing. Whip the cream. When it is whipped carefully fold in a pinch of sugar and vinegar according to your taste.
Serve the boiled Halibut with Pommes Duchess and the sour cream.