The culinary marriage between pork and seafood is like bread and butter – one is not the same without the other. Think about it; Clams casino is just a bread-laden shell without the bacon and the same goes for stuffies sans chorizo. Shrimp are sweet, but a blanket of prosciutto takes them to another meaty level and even cioppino benefits from a little pancetta porkiness.
This Friday marks the 3rd anniversary of FishPig, an annual party during Nantucket’s Wine Festival, hosted by Chris Himmel, Executive Vice President of Himmel Hospitality Group (Harvest, Grill 23 & Bar and Post 390) and Mike Geraty of Wulf’s Fish Market. This year’s celebration at Slip 14 will feature a raw bar and crudos from Nantucket Oysters and Rocky Neck Fish, lobster rolls from Snappy Lobster, whole roasted pigs, locally-caught fish, spit roasted wild boar, charcuterie and cheeses from Table No. 1, seasonal sides and desserts from Harvest’s Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury. Cisco Brewers and Champy sparkling wine will provide liquid refreshment.
“FishPig started as a party for our friends and industry peers to let loose after getting dressed up for the traditional wine and food fest activities,” Mike Geraty, owner of Wulf’s Fish said. “We wanted to profile our favorite ingredients, fish and pig, and serve it in different ways with the best local sides and toppings. Our partners, chefs, coworkers and friends are bringing our very best to take FishPig 2016 to the next level in terms of food.”
Tickets and additional information are available by searching for FishPig at www.eventbrite.com, or if you’re craving briny seafood with porcine perfection tonight, we’ve got you covered with Pan Seared Halibut with Tomato and Pancetta Jam.
4 ounces pancetta, diced
6 plum tomatoes, diced
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup honey
⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ pound skinless halibut, cut into 4 portions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat; add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered and the meat is crispy. Remove the crispy pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the flavorful fat from the pan.
Add the diced tomatoes to the pan, along with the white wine, honey, dried rosemary, and thyme. Cook this mixture over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently once the liquid evaporates, until the mixture is almost sticky like a jam. It will thicken further as it cools to room temperature. Season the tomato jam with black pepper then taste before considering adding salt. Pancetta is a salt cured product and probably provides enough salinity.
Season the halibut pieces with 1 teaspoon salt and warm the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the fish and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for another 3 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low. Add the butter and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the halibut to a plate and cover with foil for 2 to 4 minutes.
Arrange the pan seared halibut over a bit of the sweet and savory tomato jam then top each piece with a few crispy bites of pancetta and serve with your favorite Spring vegetable.
Article originally published in the Boston Herald on May, 17, 2016.