Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grilled Alaskan Halibut

Halibut is 'in season', and it's 'on sale' right now at the grocery store.  Last Saturday, I bought a 1 lb fillet and grilled it up for dinner.

The thing I love about Halibut is you can do just about anything with it.  The flesh holds up well to all kinds of seasoning combinations and cooking styles.  Back in AK, we'd do just about anything to fresh fillets from making cerviche, or smoking them, to battering them up and frying them.  The term fresh in AK = 'right off the boat' fresh.

Living in OH now, I've had to adjust my perception of 'fresh', instead of being right off the boat (or your hook!), it's more likely what you'll get here is within 36 hours of catch at the earliest, 48 hours on average, if your grocery store knows how to manage their fresh fish ordering.   The only thing I won't make with the halibut that is shipped here fresh is cerviche, that is unless its 'sushi-grade'.  I am too paranoid about making cerviche from fish I don't know the handling history of heh.  

I seasoned the fillet with EVOO, McCormick's low sodium Montreal Steak seasoning (good on just about any meat/fish), and fresh orange zest.  I usually add fresh lemon zest too, but had no lemons on hand.  I will season the halibut about an hour before grilling, to let the spices and zest infuse to the oil.

I turn the grill to high to heat up and before putting the halibut on, turn it down to medium low.  Since I am a complete grilling moron when it comes to fish, I cheat and grill the halibut (as well as other fish fillets that are skinless) on a piece of parchment.  I tried planking... too much money for something that doesn't, to me anyways, add any notable flavor and accomplishes the same thing a 5 cent piece of parchment does - a non stick barrier.

I allow the halibut to cook until the center of the fillet is just starting to go from translucent to opaque, I add a half tablespoon slice of butter to the top, close the lid and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the butter is melted and starts browning around the edge of the fillet. Thicker fillets may require additional time, I will press the thickest part of the fillet and if it isn't firm (has a little resistance when you gently press it), allow it to stay on another minute before I check again.

Served the halibut with a baby lettuce and herb chopped salad, dressed with a sweet orange vinagrette I made from cider vinegar, honey, orange zest, fresh squeezed OJ, and light olive oil.

The seasoning combination I used on this halibut works well with any seafood/fish and chicken.    The fish (and the salad, surprisingly, as he isn't a fan of dressings that aren't italian) were gobbled right up by the hubs.  I hint that he'd easily be able to cook this, but all I get is an eye roll.  Ah well...

No comments: