Although we try to eat a lot of fish, I don’t usually buy halibut because it can be quite pricey. But the other day when I was at the grocery store they had just cut some fresh halibut and it looked so good I had to buy some.
I’m always a little nervous about making halibut because I don’t want to overcook it. It’s somehow easier for me to rationalize making a mistake with salmon (although I have that pretty much down to a science) than with halibut. But I just couldn’t resist how good and fresh the halibut looked and decided to try this recipe for making it.
So let’s talk Dijon crusted halibut…
Lesson Learned 1 – Do you leave the skin on or not: That is the perennial question, isn’t it? I prefer removing the skin but you can certainly leave it on. Some think that by leaving the skin on the fish tends to be more moist. In my experience I don’t know that to be the case. So the decision is up to you. I prefer removing the skin but the choice is up to you. Either way, it doesn’t seem to affect the overall cooking time of the fish.
Lesson Learned 2 – The hardest thing about this recipe is determining when the fish is done: The best way to determine that is to take a fork and try flaking off a small piece on the end of the fish. If it flakes off, it is done. The only advice I can give with cooking fish is it takes time and practice to perfect that skill. Basically you have to get to know the type of of fish you’re using and how your oven functions. I realize that may be little comfort where a more expensive fish like halibut is concerned, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ve got it!
Always cook the fish for the least amount of time that a recipe calls for and go from there. You can always put the fish back in the oven but you can’t change things when it’s overcooked. I know in my oven a 4-5 ounce salmon filet is cooked the way we like it at 375 for 20 minutes. (keep in mind I am at high altitude and cooking temperatures on average can be 15-25 degrees higher than on any given recipe designed for sea level).
Also, the cooking process determines the oven temperature and cooking times. This particular recipe is done entirely in the oven. Sometimes I make fish (and you can certainly do this with halibut) where I lightly brown the fish on both sides in a skillet on top of the stove and finish off the cooking process in the oven. Doing that normally changes the oven temperature and cooking time. So the cooking process will determine what temperature and how long you cook the fish.
This particular recipe is done entirely in the oven. When I made the fish I cooked it at 365 for 15 minutes and it turned out great. Again, keep in mind I am at high altitude and most recipes are not written that way so for my sea level friends I recommend baking the fish at 350 for 15-18 minutes. If you are unsure for any reason check the fish at 15 minutes. You should be just fine if you do.
And that’s it. Just a few last thoughts – I’m writing this recipe for 2 people put you can certainly make it for more. Just increase the crust ingredients proportionately. Also, the combination of mayo, horseradish and lemon creates a wonderfully flavorful crust for the halibut. Once you make this, I’m sure you’ll want to make it again. It’s just that good! And guess what – the crust works equally as well on cod so you have a less expensive choice as well. Enjoy!
Dijon Crusted Halibut...
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup bread crumbs, separated
2 tsp. grated Parmesan, separated
2 4-5 ounce halibut filets
1 Tbs. butter, melted
Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (365 for high altitude). Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Stir in 1/8 cup (half) of the bread crumbs and 1 tsp. (half) of the Parmesan cheese. Spray the foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the filets on the baking sheet and spread the mayo/crumb mixture on top of them.
In a small bowl mix together the remaining bread crumbs, Parmesan and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle this coating on top of the halibut filets.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, checking the filets at 15. The fish is done when it flakes easily off the end of the fish with a fork.