Dijon Crusted Halibut…

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!

The end of the fish is flaky – the fish is done.

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...

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS:

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.

Coat The Fish With The Mayo/Bread Crumb Mixture

Add The Buttered Bread Crumbs On Top And Bake

 

 

 

 

Parmesan Crusted Halibut…

My husband and I have been trying to eat fish more regularly and so I’ve been experimenting with various methods of cooking different types of fish. Not all fish are created equal. I have to admit that it can be a little unnerving trying to master the art of cooking fish as it can go from underdone to overdone in the wink of an eye. But this particular recipe is very easy and if you follow the instructions you will have a delicious mouthwatering piece of fish.

Most of the work in this recipe is in the prep (that seems to be a recurring theme for me, doesn’t it). Creating the breading station and preparing the fish is what takes up the most time. But bottom line, within 20 minutes you can go from prep to table and that’s pretty quick. Your side dishes may take more time than it does to make this halibut recipe.

So let’s talk parmesan crusted halibut…

Lesson Learned 1 – Halibut is expensive: Compared to talapia, cod and catfish, halibut can be pricey. The filets I use in this recipe are frozen and between 5 and 7 ounces. They cost about $10 each. So depending on your budget halibut may be a special treat versus a dinnertime staple. I usually buy them when they go on sale at my local supermarket. Every once in a while they go on sale for 20% off and I stock at that time. Halibut freezes nicely so you don’t have to worry about getting it fresh which also tends to be more expensive than frozen. My advice is to check the specials at your local supermarket. Every once in a while halibut goes on sale and that is definitely the time to buy it.

Lesson Learned 2 – Follow the directions in this recipe: Although halibut is more expensive than other types of fish it has a nice meaty texture and is very flavorful if prepared correctly. That is why I cannot stress enough to follow the directions in this recipe. The overall tendency with fish (or maybe it’s just my tendency) is to cook it longer than you should. If you’re not sure it’s done, take a fork and try to flake off the end of one piece. If it flakes (as seen in the picture below) it’s done. Trust me, after you make fish more often you’ll be able to eyeball it to see if it’s done.  You can always put it back in the oven if it’s not but you don’t want to spend $10 for a piece of fish and overcook it.

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

If you’re planning on serving fish to company and are concerned about presentation make sure you are adept at cooking that type of fish so you don’t have to do the fork test. I can’t tell you how many times my husband got a piece of “forked” fish but never minded because he knew it would be cooked appropriately.

My husband absolutely loves this recipe and I think you will too. Try it and let me know what you think…

PARMESAN CRUSTED HALIBUT…

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

Parmesan Crusted Halibut4 five to seven ounce halibut filets, skin removed

1 extra large egg

1 Tbs. water

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tbs. fresh thyme (just take the leaves off the stem – no need to chop them)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Zest of one lemon (you can cut the remainder of the lemon into wedges and serve with the fish)

2 Tbs. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400. Make a three part dredging station. Part 1 is the flour. Part 2 is the egg and water whisked together. Part 3 is the panko, parmesan, lemon zest and thyme combined.

Dredge a filet in the flour on both side. Shake off the excess flour. Dredge the filet on both sides in the egg mixture. Place the filet onto the bread crumb mixture and cover both sides pressing down on each side to ensure the breading adheres to the filet. Repeat this process with the other three filets.

Heat an ovenproof pan (preferably a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. Once the pan is heated pour the olive oil into the pan and make sure the bottom of the pan is completely coated. The pan is sufficiently hot if the oil smokes. Place the filets into the oil and brown them for 3 minutes. Turn them over and put them in the oven for an additional 5 – 7 minutes depending upon the size of your filets.

Remove the filets from the pan and serve immediately.

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

 

Pan Seared Halibut With Sweet Pepper and Mushroom Relish…

I never thought the day would come when I became more adept at cooking fish, but it has and there’s no one happier about it than me. The challenge now is to find a variety of ways to make fish more interesting. And I think this recipe does the trick.

Cooking any kind of fish can be tricky because there is a fine line between the fish being underdone and overdone. It takes time and experience to get a feel for cooking fish but it is a skill that is well worth the energy. We try to have fish a couple of times a week now and I am constantly researching creative but easy ways to serve it. I really like this particular recipe for its flavor, and the relish is easy to prepare and can accompany just about any kind of mild white fish (or even grilled chicken).

IMG_4276Lesson Learned 1 – When pan searing fish, use a combination of butter and olive oil to cook the fish: You use this combination for a reason. Olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter and by combining them you can cook the fish at a higher temperature without burning the butter and you’ll still be getting that rich butter flavor. For this particular recipe I had pieces of halibut that were 1 inch thick and about 2 inches by 1 1/2 inches in length and width. Obviously the thicker the piece of fish the longer the cooking time. These particular pieces took between 9 – 10 minutes to cook.

IMG_4266Lesson Learned 2 – You can be creative with the relish ingredients: I chose a relish that was a combination of a yellow sweet pepper, Roma tomato, shallots, baby crimini mushrooms and minced garlic. I liked the combination of flavors and colors. But really you can make it out of anything you have on hand. I decided to cook the relish and the fish in two separate pans versus cooking the fish and keeping it warm in foil while I made the relish in the same pan as the fish. This particular relish took about 10 minutes to cook so it closely matched the cooking time of the fish filets. I started out sautéing the peppers and mushrooms for about 4 – 5 minutes. Then I added the shallots and garlic and last the tomatoes. I was able to time it so that the fish and the relish were done almost at the same time. The trick is to know your relish ingredients and how long they take to cook so you can cook them in the proper time and order. If for some reason you can’t time them to be done closely together, my recommendation would be to cook the relish and keep it warm and cook the fish so that it can be served immediately.

If you think you’re not a fish lover then you definitely have to try this recipe. I’ve written this recipe to serve two but you can certainly adapt it for more servings. The relish is a great enhancement to the fish and will make you think differently about serving fish regularly. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Pan Seared Halibut With Sweet Pepper and Mushroom Relish…

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

2 (6 ounce) halibut filets

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 Tbs. butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 -2 tsp. garlic powder

1 – 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

salt and pepper (to taste)

1 shallot, sliced

1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced (again to taste)

1/2 cup sweet pepper, any color

5-6 medium sized baby crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 medium – large size Roma tomato, seeded and chopped

1 Tbs. sherry cooking wine

1 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Combine flour, garlic powder and Old Bay Seasoning. Dredge the fish filets on both sides in the flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a pan. Add peppers and mushrooms and sauté for approximately 3-5 minutes. Once you’ve started cooking the peppers and mushrooms, heat the remaining olive oil and butter in another pan until the butter is melted. Season the fish filets with salt and pepper and add them to this pan seasoned side down (I also added a touch of Old Bay Seasoning on top along with the salt and pepper). Season the other side of the filets with salt and pepper (and Old Bay, if desired). Let the filters cook for approximately 4-5 minutes before turning. Cook on the second side until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork (approximately another 4- 5 minutes). Keep in mind that the thickness of the filet will determine the cooking time, obviously the thicker the filet the longer the time.

Once the peppers and mushrooms in the other pan have softened add the shallots and garlic and cook for an additional 2- 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sherry cooking wine and cooking for another couple of minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and serve over the fish filets.

IMG_4297

IMG_4283