In a saucepan heat olive oil and saute onions until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and olives and cook until sauce is thick and most liquid has evaporated. Season with herbs and salt and pepper to taste, adding sugar if necessary to correct acidity. Serve warm on top of BAKED HALIBUT IN A SAFFRON BROTH WITH MASHED POTATOES.
Mashed potatoes and saffron broth:
Quarts chicken stock
Large pinch saffron (about 1/4-ounce)
Large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
/4 cups warm milk
Freshly ground white pepper
Large shallots, minced
Tablespoon chopped garlic
Tablespoons olive oil
/2 cup finely chopped green onions
In a large saucepan combine chicken stock and saffron and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, add potatoes and cook, covered, until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain liquid into another large saucepan and reserve. Add butter to potatoes and stir and mash until completely melted. Add milk, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while making the halibut. In a saucepan saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add reserved saffron stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add green onions and simmer 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
(6-ounce) halibut fillets
Creole seasoning, recipe follows
/4 cup olive oil
/2 cup saffron broth from above
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Season halibut fillets with Creole seasoning on both sides. Rub fillets with olive oil and place on a lightly oiled shallow casserole or baking sheet with sides and pour saffron broth around fillets. Cover filets loosely with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes, uncover and bake another 5 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily. Serve fillets in a large bowl on top of MASHED POTATOES, with SAFFRON BROTH ladled over all and fish topped with a generous dollop of TOMATO AND BLACK OLIVE RAGOUT.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme