Halibut is my favorite fish, so I was ecstatic. Especially since I hadn't eaten it in several years. In fact, the last time I ate it was on vacation in Seattle, Washington. We traveled there in June and it didn't ran once. Not a drop. So much for my youthful dreams of rainy Seattle.
Despite the heat wave, my boyfriend and I gorged on the freshest fish we'd ever had. Growing up in the Midwest has its perks, but fresh seafood is not one of them. Out of all the dishes I ate, the sushi came in at a close second, while the best were the halibut cheeks I ordered at the Palisade. It was expensive, I paid for it personally and it was 1000% worth it. I felt spoiled after that experience. And I came away aching to live in the Northwest even more than before.
Fast forward to now. I'm living in hot, hot, hot non-coastal Dallas, Texas. I don't fix fish at home often, but I'd like to change that.
Back in Whole Foods, both the filets and steaks were on sale, but the the steaks were less expensive so I purchased two smaller portions.
I currently have frozen flounder in my freezer, which I've cooked from time to time with a parmesan and panko breadcrumb topping. It's a simple preparation and an easy way to win over folks that don't dig seafood (like my boyfriend).
I didn't want to risk doing anything too out there since I was trying to illustrate halibut's tastiness to my boyfriend, so I opted for the cheesy, buttery breadcrumb toppings. Trust me...it did NOT disappoint.
In fact, it solicited an awesome reaction. My boyfriend took a few bites then proclaimed "Mm...I really do like fish after all!" :)
My verdict? I could have scrapped off the topping and eaten the fish plain. It was so buttery, moist and slightly flaky. And most importantly, fresh! Halibut, or any white fish really, is perfect for picky eaters since it doesn't have an overpowering flavor.
Not only is it clean tasting, but Halibut also has these nutritional benefits (source):
- low calorie and fat
- high levels of protein
- lots of minerals such as selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium (lots of this)
- B12, niacin, and B6 vitamins
- omega-3 fatty acids
If you're looking for side dishes that will pair perfectly with this, try my cast-iron pan-fried asparagus with grass-fed butter and parmesan and roasted garlic buttermilk mashed cauliflower.
Pan Seared and Baked Parmesan & Panko-Crusted Halibut Steaks
Fresh, wild caught halibut steaks seared and topped with a parmesan and seasoned panko breadcrumb topping then baked til moist and slightly flaky.
Slightly adapted from Gordon Ramsey's Herb-Crusted Fish Filets
2 fresh caught, wild halibut steaks (mine were 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
--I recommend this brand of olive oil since it passed the EVOO Test--
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
(I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic or Utah sourced salt)
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of organic, grass-fed butter, melted
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and granulated garlic, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large pan to medium high heat and add in the two tablespoons of olive oil. It's important to have plenty of oil so the fish doesn't stick to the pan. Rinse the halibut steaks with water and pat dry. Rub both sides of each fish with the one teaspoon of olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
When the oil is very hot, add in the halibut steaks and cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook for another minute. This should create a nice sear on both sides. Remove from the pan and place on a foil lined baking sheet. In a medium sized bowl combine the panko, melted butter, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Stir until the crumbs are all moistened.
Spread the seasoned bread crumb mixture over the tops of the halibut steaks and bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the halibut. My two steaks were not the same size so I took the first one out 8 minutes and the larger one out after 10 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the fish. It should be slightly flaky with a moist interior.
Real Food Resources
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From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes
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Question for Discussion: What's your favorite white fish?
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