This recipe by Chef Dave Cruz of Brix Restaurant and Gardens is an example of the restaurant’s farm-to-table dining.
YOUNTVILLE, Calif.— Executive Chef Dave Cruz selected Godspeed Vineyards Chardonnay to pair with this dish. Brix Wine Director Jeff Creamer explains, “The texture of the halibut and the sweetness of the corn call for a Chardonnay with substantial body, but we still want acidity and balance. The Godspeed Chardonnay is barrel fermented, but only in 25% new barrels and with no malolactic. The barrel fermentation and aging give it a rich texture and full mouthfeel while the natural acidity keeps the wine fresh. In addition, it is more mineral than fruit-driven, so it complements the dish rather than competing.”
Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette
(makes 1 cup)
4 Piquillo peppers (canned), seeded and small diced
1/2 Tbsp shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp chives, chopped
1/4 Cup sherry vinegar
3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt, to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the salt until well combined. Season to taste
1 Halibut (portioned to 6 oz.)
1 Brioche, sliced 1/8” to 1/4” thick
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard thinned with water to 1 tsp
Salt, to taste
1/2 Cup yellow corn (off the cob)
1/4 Cup cranberry beans, cooked (dried or fresh)
1 Tokyo Turnip, peeled, halved and blanched
3 Baby leeks, blanched
1 tsp Piquillo Pepper vinaigrette
2 Tbsp butter
Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Season the fish lightly with salt on all sides, then brush a thin layer of the mustard mixture across the largest surface.
3. Lay the brioche on a cutting board and then top it with the halibut, mustard side down, adhering it to the brioche slice. Trace the perimeter of the fish with a sharp knife and cut away the excess. Reserve the trim for another use.
4. Place an 8” sauté pan over medium heat on the stove and add enough safflower oil to create a thin film.
5. When wisps of smoke just begin to appear, carefully add the crusted halibut, brioche side down and then immediately place in the oven.
6. Meanwhile, in small pot, add the butter and tablespoon of water, then bring to a boil
7. Add the corn, the beans, turnips and piquillo vinaigrette to the pot to warm. Season with salt and pepper
8. Add the leeks.
9. If the succotash begins to look oily, add a tsp of water and stir over heat, then remove.
10. After 6 minutes, check the halibut for doneness. Insert a cake tester into the center of the fish. It should penetrate easily and when pressed against the wrist, should be hot to the touch.
11. Plate the ragu and then the halibut.
12. Garnish with a small spoonful of the vinaigrette around for added flavor.
Property Manager Memo Rodriguez takes care of the grounds and garden at Brix. Here he harvests spring onions for halibut dish. Many other items are grown on the property.
Executive Chef Dave Cruz of Brix Restaurant and Gardens focuses on farm-to-table dining, typical in Napa Valley and visits the gardens regularly to see what's ready to harvest.
Brix Wine Director Jeff Creamer chooses the restaurant’s wines by sampling new releases. “We feature many small production wines that are hard to find outside of Napa, so frequent tastings, often with producers I haven’t met before, are important to our program,” he says about keeping the wine list fresh.