Seared Halibut with Pumpkin Grits

Executive Chef Joshua Cunningham of KANU Restaurant Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

Serving size: 6 oz.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes


4 6 oz. portions fresh halibut

1 pie pumpkin

1 cup grits

2.5 cups water

8 oz. pancetta

2 cups brussels sprouts

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Micro greens to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Carefully cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place pumpkin halves, inside down, in roasting pan. Add a half a cup of water to the pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Take out of oven and set aside to cool.
  • Slice thin strips of pancetta and lay on a parchment paper-lined pan. Cook in oven until golden brown and crispy, approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Pull out and set aside to cool.
  • When pumpkin has cooled enough to touch, using a spoon separate the pumpkin from the skin. In a food processor, puree the pumpkin until smooth.
  • In a medium pot bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add one cup of grits and 2 cups of pumpkin puree, while constantly stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 7-10 minutes. Depending on the water content of the pumpkin, adding more water may be necessary. The grits should have a thick but fluid consistency.
  • Steam brussels sprouts until tender. Toss in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
  • While brussels are steaming, add olive oil to a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, and add halibut filets. The halibut will release from the pan when it is ready to turn over. Cook approximately 5 minutes on both sides, or until desired doneness.
  • Put a large dollop of grits in the center of the plate and add the halibut, brussels sprouts and pancetta. Garnish with fresh microgreens before serving.

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