Monday, April 18, 2011

Slow Roasted Halibut

Some people are very picky about fish, and I can understand it.  I like the more mild fish, to be honest, but as I've gotten to try different kinds from different areas, my pallet is expanding.  Halibut has become my new salmon; it's tender, flaky, mild and goes well with most flavors.  Every time I see it on a menu I have to order it because it's rare!  I've been anxiously awaiting for "halibut season" as I was told is starts usually the end of March.  Central Market had halibut fillets right around that time and I snatched them up as soon as I saw them. This isn't a dinner you should make if you're hungry right then and there, and don't feel like waiting.  I think that slow cooking it keeps the fish from drying out, and really lets the seasoning sink into the fish.
Start by coating a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.  I cut the recipe in half and used 1 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs.  I used Challah bread that I had leftover and broke the bread into crumbs.
Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, and lemon peel in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Drizzle melted butter over the breadcrumb mixture.  Using a fork, toss to incorporate evenly.
I probably could have made three fillets, but I was so anxious to eat it I made two really large fillets.  And yes, I ate it all :)
Place halibut fillets on the prepared baking sheet, spacing apart.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Divide breadcrumbs among the fillets to cover top, and pressing to adhere.  You can do this ahead of time and let chill for an hour, I let chill for around 20 minutes.  Bake halibut until opaque in the center, around 20 minutes at 300 degrees F.  Turn on broiler and broil until breadcrumbs start to brown, around one minute. Serve hot.
It turned out great!  The top turned into a kind of crust, that was cheesy with hints of lemon and butter.  Again, halibut is very diverse, you can cook it many different ways and I will for sure be trying something else shortly.  This is a great dish to start off with, and really gives you a feeling for how the fish tastes and how to cook it.  I served with mashed cauliflower and asparagus.  I'll post the mashed cauliflower recipe tomorrow.  Until then - have a great Monday everyone!

Slow Roasted Halibut
Non-stick spray
2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs *I used Challah
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 6oz halibut fillets

Coat rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs and lemon peel in a medium bowl.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle melted butter over and toss to evenly distribute.
Place halibut fillets on prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Divide breadcrumbs amount fillets to cover top, pressing to adhere. 
Let chill for up to an hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Bake halibut until opaque in center, around 20 minutes. 
Then turn on broiler and broiler until breadcrumbs start to brown, around a minute.
Serve immediately.


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