Halibut with Saffron Cream Sauce

We were overdue for a Swiss style dinner, but I hit a complete mental block as I was trying to figure something out. To try to overcome that, I looked at some menus of a few spots we ate at while in Switzerland, and I settled upon Tradition Julen. We feel particularly connected with that institution because they let us hold their Valais Black Nose Lambs during a tour of their barn in 2019 (oh pre-Covid days, how I long for thee!). We also love that they often share their signature recipes online to make gourmet food accessible to the home cook!

Anyway, we were drawn to their cod in saffron cream sauce…but of course, we had to make it our own. We went to the grocery store looking for the best looking white fish we could find to put with saffron cream sauce…and the halibut (figuratively) jumped out at us.

We served our halibut over toasted pine couscous with sauteed zucchini on the side. We think this would go very well with rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, or your favourite steamed vegetables though if you prefer something different!

**We decided that since this was a special meal, we’d open a bottle of Swiss Chesselas to enjoy with our meal, and that turned out to be a great pairing. The only regret we have is that we no longer have our bottle of Chesselas…

Time: 20 Minutes


  • For your Fish:
    • Halibut (we used about 6 ounces per serving)
    • Salt
  • For your Sauce (2 servings):
    • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
    • 1/2-1 Shallot
    • Chives
    • Saffron
    • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
    • 1/4-1/3 cup Heavy Cream


  • Slice your halibut fillets into 6 ounce portions, and then sprinkle a little salt on the top and bottom of each piece.
  • Turn your attention to your sauce:
    • Peel and dice your shallot.
    • Melt your butter in a shallow pan, and add your shallots. Sautee until they become opaque.
    • Add your chives, juice from half of a lemon, and saffron (crinkle it up with your fingers as you drop it in).
    • Turn the heat to low, and let everything cook together.
  • Melt some butter in a large Cast Iron Pan, and when it’s hot, place your fish in, skin side down. Sear for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn your attention back to your sauce:
    • Pour in your cream, and whisk gently to combine.
    • Bring to a simmer, and allow to thicken while all of your flavours blend, and the saffron adds a deep yellow colour to the sauce.
  • When your fish is seared on the skin side, flip your fillets, and cook for another 5-6 minutes until your fish reaches an internal cooked temperature of 145 degrees F and flakes easily.
  • Plate your fish, top it with your sauce, devour, and enjoy!

Leave a Reply