Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nut-Crusted Halibut



“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t…” That catchy jingle ran through my brain, though I can’t remember which food product it advertised. No matter, we definitely felt like nuts -nutty halibut that is.  Boat guest Laci caught the first flatfish of her visit, a nice 25-pound halibut that produced one good-sized fillet that was more than enough for dinner for dinner and three more fillets to freeze for her to take home. I still grin thinking of her heavy duffle bag stuffed with clothing and rain gear plus frozen halibut fillets and three frozen whole coho (silver) salmon.   

Halibut is such a versatile fish, yielding roughly 80% of its weight in firm, delicious edible white meat. Yummmm, think succulent citrus ceviche, or tangy sweet and sour kabobs, maybe moist and flaky deep-fried fish and chips… and on and on. The list of possible preparations is lengthy, but last week a nut-crusted recipe was perfect for a quick galley meal featuring the day’s catch.

Note:

The halibut frame (carcass) provided snacks for half a dozen eagles and an evening’s  entertainment for us in Ell Cove. (link)


Pecan-Crusted Halibut 

Adapted from "Drop the Hook, Lets Eat" by Rachel Barth

1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crushed or very finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
6 skinned fish fillets, 6 to 8 oz. each, approx. 1-inch thick
6 heaping teaspoons grainy mustard
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the breadcrumbs, pecans and lemon pepper in a small bowl and stir to blend.

Place the fish fillets, skinned side down, in a lightly oiled rectangular baking dish; season with pepper. Spread a teaspoon of mustard on each fillet. Pat the nutty breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the fillets.

Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until fish is slightly opaque and topping is lightly browned. Check early – beware of overcooking the fish! Transfer to a warmed plate or platter and serve immediately.

Notes:
- The recipe is meant for salmon as well as halibut.
- Substitute other nuts if you like: almonds are a favorite.
- Serve atop or alongside greens mixed with halved red grapes, toasted pecans and a light honey vinaigrette. Add lemon wedges and a fresh loaf of French bread for a light lunch or supper plate.



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