This week is all about foods or recipes that make us happy. There are many meaty dishes that make me smile from ear to ear. Rich, slow-roasted stews. Hearty soups filled with chunks of roasted chicken or tiny, savory meatballs. Simply grilled steaks. Sticky ribs that are slowly smoked over an open fire. One dish that always puts a smile on my face is a piece of snowy white halibut that has been poached in oil olive, or oven roasted with a drizzle of white wine, or marinaded and grilled.
Halibut is a flatfish and is from the family of the right-eyed flounders. The name comes from the word haly which means holy and was very popular with Catholic holidays. Flatfish includes many bottom-dwelling fish such as flounder, plaice and sole. I love the flavor as it is not overly “fishy” or oily, and the texture is very meaty. Great on the grill.
When picking out the type of Halibut you should purchase, you want to look for Pacific Halibut. Pacific halibut is caught with bottom longlines, which causes minimal damage, as well they have lower levels of accidental catch. Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington state are certified as sustainable to the MSC (Marine Stewardship Counsil). Most Pacific halibut are caught in Alaska where it is strictly enforced to bottom-line fishing. So, when buying a snowy white piece of halibut, please try to look for Pacific halibut; it doesn’t hurt to ask, either.
For this recipe, I marinaded a pound of halibut for an hour in a mixture of mescal, fresh lime juice and cilantro. The acid of the lime juice gently cooked the flesh, just enough to lock in the juices. Then I pan grilled the fish (I would have done it over a charcoal grill, but we still need to get a new one) until it was seared on the outside and still moist and juicy on the inside. The fish is so flavorful from the smokey mescal and tart lime juice, that it is easy enough to serve it with a light avocado salad or as I did with smokey pickled red onion salad. Great summer-time recipe when you want a little something on the lighter side.
Denise Woodward believes anything can be made at home as long as you have a little patience, and time. All of her recipes are made using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on Eat Boutique, the Mushroom Channel, Saveur.com, Foodies of the World, PBS and Fine Cooking.
Denise also creates the recipes on the popular food blog Chez Us. Saveur has featured Chez Us as one of 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading as well as one of the Sites They Love. Be sure to read more about what they are cooking up over at Chez Us.