5 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 3 pounds – 1 big potato per person)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
4 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery from the heart with leaves attached, diced
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1 box frozen corn (10 ounces) or 3-4 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes hot sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup regular or reduced fat sour cream
3 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
4 halibut fillets (about 6 ounces each), skin removed
Place a large pot of salted water and potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 10-12 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a knife.
While the potatoes are cooking, get the corn chowder gravy started: heat one tablespoon EVOO in a medium-large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon until golden and crispy, 3-4 minutes.
Add the onions, celery and thyme. Sauté the veggies with the bacon until tender, 7-8 minutes. Add the corn and season with salt, pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and half-and-half and cook until thickened to a gravy consistency.
While the gravy is thickening, check the potatoes. If they have finished cooking, drain them, then pop them back into the pot they came out of and place over high heat to dry them out a bit, 1-2 minutes. Add sour cream, chives and parsley (reserving some of the herbs for garnish) and mash them well with a potato masher. Cover to keep warm while you cook the halibut.
Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with three tablespoons EVOO. Season the halibut fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add them to the pre-heated skillet. Let them get crispy and golden brown on one side, about five minutes, then flip them over and let them cook for three minutes.
Serve the halibut fillets with the Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes alongside and top everything with some of the Corn Chowder Gravy. Garnish with remaining parsley and chives.