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Pan-Seared Halibut with Pork Rillon and Stoneground Fennel Toss

Peppery without being too much so, this second course was both substantial enough to be an entrée, and yet delicate enough to be a small plate. Fresh halibut makes a huge difference in quality. The fennel toss was tangy and complemented the flaky halibut nicely. Pork rillon gave the dish a subtle meaty texture.

• 1 lb pork belly, 1 piece
• ½ quart red wine
• ½ quart water
• 2 Tbsp black pepper
• ½ cup brown granulated sugar
• 10 whole garlic cloves, remove skin
• 2 large yellow onion, diced
• butter
• ½ cup Pasilla chilies, peeled and diced
• ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
• 2 Tbsp fish sauce
• 3 green apples, cored and diced to 1/4” cubes (with peel)
• 3 lbs halibut files, about ¾”thick, cut into 6 pieces
• 1 cup fennel bulb, shaved thin
• ¼ cup fennel leaves,no stems
• ½ lb watercress, leaf only
• 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
• 2 Tbsp honey
• ¼ olive oil