Oh my, is this dish a keeper.  I made extra with the intention of having it for lunch as well the next day, but my dining companion and I ended up having seconds (maybe thirds..) and wiped the pan clean. It is ridiculously good.
It's easy to run out and purchase a jar of curry paste, but if you care for something vastly more rewarding with very minimal effort, try making your own. It's hard to believe that in such a short time you can create something so flavorful, spicy, and rich. But you can. And I did.

 Halibut is undeniably one of my favorite fish. In addition to its high nutritional value, it has a very low fat content, yet yields a sweet, buttery flavor. Its firm texture holds up perfectly in this spicy curry.

This sauce could be a vessel for any protein. If you don't care for fish or even just want to use it in different ways, try braising chicken thighs, adding chicken breasts, or going vegetarian and using tofu or sweet potato as the main component.

(Serves 2)

Curry paste-
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs freshly grated ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom part only sliced thinly
2 thai chilis
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs fish sauce

1 onion
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini
1/2 cup fava beans
1 cup spinach
2 cups coconut milk
2 halibut filets

Turn the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients for the curry paste and blend until a paste forms.

Slice the onion thinly. Heat a saute pan to medium heat, add oil to coat and saute onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the curry paste to the onions and cook for about 2 minutes being careful not to burn. Remove from the heat.

Add the coconut milk to a sauce pan and pour in the onion and curry mixture. Bring just to a very low simmer and allow the curry to infuse.

While the coconut milk is simmering, slice the bell pepper thinly. Clean out the saute pan used for the onions. Heat to high heat, add oil to coat and saute the bell peppers until very soft, about 20 minutes. You may need to add about 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the pan every few minutes to prevent burning.

Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Remove the fava beans from the pods. Add to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain immediately. At this point, the actual fava bean is still enclosed. You will need to peel the outside layer to reveal the bean. Remove each fava bean and set aside.

Slice the zucchini thinly into half moon shapes and add to the bell peppers. Saute for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Carefully pour the coconut, onion, and curry mixture into a blender or food processor. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Blend until smooth and strain through a fine sieve. This step is important as the lemongrass has woodsy pieces that need to be strained out. 

Pour the coconut broth over the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fava beans and the spinach. Remove from the heat.

Heat an oven safe saute pan coated with oil to very high heat. Season the halibut and add to the pan presentation side down. If the skin is on, this will be the opposite side. Allow to cook for 3 minutes without touching the fish. Still without turning the fish, place the pan into the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the size. For thicker pieces, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. If the skin was on the fish, it will easily peel off once you remove it from the oven.

Add the vegetables to a bowl and spoon in a generous amount of the broth. Top with the fish, seared side up.

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