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Photo via Stefan Milne. 

Our new column celebrates a Seattle chef’s current preparation of a local ingredient (or two) in prime season.

“If it grows together, it goes together. And morels and halibut are such a classic pairing, especially in Seattle,” said Tilth executive chef Jason Brzozowy of his new special.

Perhaps it’s the contrast that pairs them so well, a culinary yin-yang—the fish, vast and lean and porcelain-pale; the mushroom, gloomily honeycombed and ash-grown (morels are most often found in the remains of last summer’s fires). 

Both morels and Halibut appeared on local menus around mid-April, with painful price tags, even by foraged mushroom and line-caught fish standards. Now that the annual novelty has worn off a bit, with both products still booming, chefs' creativity increasingly accompanies the ingredients.

Take Brozozowy’s special. He wanted to use the Halibut scrap that kitchens accumulate from butchering perfect, portioned fillets—the ounce-sized anomalies of beautiful fish that are cut away in the name of consistency.

His answer: a Halibut scallop. He blended the fish with cream and eggs, rolled and steamed the mousse, and sliced it into scallop-like cylinders. Brzozowy’s cooking method—pan-seared and butter-finished—is a favorite for both halibut and the mollusk it mimics. The morels, too, are caramelized in butter. A dusting of pine nut gremolata and an olive oil drizzle finish the plate.

The dish comes to Tilth tonight as a special and will remain until it runs out, presumably through the week.

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