Pan Seared Baja Halibut, Roast Baby Yukon Potato and Saffron Tomato and Corn Purées

Northern Michigan Recipe: Lulu's Bistro executive chef Henry Bisson is Traverse Magazine's August Local Foodie. Here's his recipe. Northern Michigan Recipes: Bellaire may be a bite-sized town but it boasts an eatery with a global palate. Credit executive chef Henry Bisson for the fresh, innovative menu that woos patrons of Lulu’s Bistro.

When Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine chose Chef Bisson as their August Local Foodie, he cooked up a Pan Seared Baja Halibut with Roast Baby Yukon Potato, and Saffron Tomato and Corn Purées. After he shared where he sourced the farm-to-fork ingredients used for this recipe:

"At Lulu’s we use a company called to purchase our Halibut.  It is a fish brokerage company connecting small day boat fishing vessels with restaurants.  This enables us to provide a variety of high quality fish and promote small family fisherman at the same time.  Some local fish that would work great for this same dish would be whitefish and walleye, which we purchases from John Cross Fisheries in Charlevoix, or salmon.

Many farmers in the area grow a variety of potatoes, which are small in the beginning of the season and get larger closer to the end. We work mostly with Oceana Farms. Our local shiitake mushroom grower is Robert Fergison.  His company is Goods from the Woods and can be purchased at the Grain Train in Petoskey. Our corn comes from Bolt Farms in Elsworth and our lettuces, escarole, herbs and radishes come from Werp Farms in Grawn."

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This recipe was first featured in August 2012 Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. Click here to order your copy!


Saffron Tomato Purée
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, tops cut off and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  Salt
  • ½  cup shallots, sliced 2 ounces garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup cream
  • 5 stems saffron
Corn Purée
  • Substitute 2 cups of fresh, raw corn kernels for tomatoes in the above recipe.
  • Baby Yukon Potatoes
  • 3 ounces butter or bacon fat
  • 1 pound baby Yukon potatoes, halved
  •    Salt and pepper
  • 10    chives, cut 1/8 inch long
Fish To Plate
  • 6  5–6 ounce halibut portions (Susbstitute whitefish or walleye)
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces Wondra flour
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 pound local shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels off the cob
Baby Yukon potatoes (above)
  • 2 escarole heads, cleaned and washed
  • 1 ounce fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 bunch salad greens, arugula, mizuna, frisée, pea shoots
  • 3 Japanese radishes, shaved on a mandolin
  • 1 ounce vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil


Saffron Tomato Purée Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes on a sheet pan and brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake 1 hour or until the edges of tomatoes are gold to dark brown. Cool. In a 2-quart saucepan, sweat shallots and garlic. Deglaze with wine, then add tomatoes, cream and saffron. Simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and puree. Strain sauce through a chinoise. Season with salt and pepper. Corn Purée Substitute 2 cups of fresh, raw corn kernels for tomatoes in the above recipe. Baby Yukon Potatoes Heat butter until just brown. Place potatoes in fat, flat side down, and sear. Season with salt and pepper and roast in a 350-degree oven for 20–25 minutes—until fork tender. Remove from the pan and toss with chives. Fish To Plate Pat fish with a paper towel to remove moisture. Season with salt and pepper and dust with Wondra. Shake off extra Wondra. Bring olive oil to slightly below smoking point at medium high heat. Add fish and reduce heat to medium. Sear for 2 minutes. Flip fish over and sear for 30 seconds. Place fish in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Heat butter in a sauté pan until it starts to brown, add shiitakes and corn, sauté until mushrooms become tender. Add baby Yukon potatoes and warm. Add escarole and wilt. Toss with tarragon, season with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato and corn purées on plates, then the potato, corn and shitake mixture. Plate the halibut. Garnish with salad greens and radish shavings. Drizzle with vinaigrette, salt and pepper.