You’ll need a wide deep pot that your steamer will fit into snugly. Drop the bacon, onion, carrots, turnips, and potatoes into the pot and add the thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and white pepper and give the ingredients a stir. Scatter the cabbage on top and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water, cover the pot, and bring to an active simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray the bottom of the steamer basket with pan spray. Season the halibut on both sides with salt and put it into the steamer.
Set the steamer over the vegetables and steam for about 8 minutes. Check the fish: the sides of the fillets should feel firm when you squeeze them, but the tops should still be slightly mushy. Halibut can be very dry if it’s overcooked, so you are aiming for something slightly underdone—the fish will finish cooking with residual heat. Thicker fillets—about 1 inch thick—will take 9 or 10 minutes to steam.
To serve, divide the vegetables and broth among four wide soup plates. Set a piece of halibut on top of each. Plop a spoonful of horseradish cream on the fish and sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt. If you feel the need for color, shower the dish with chopped parsley. Pass the rest of the horseradish cream at the table.
Horseradish Cream (see recipe below)
Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Whisk the crème fraîche, horseradish, mustard, dill, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and white pepper and whisk again.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight, if you have time, or for at least 30 minutes.
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