Fish in Season – Fast & Fresh

For when you desire a light, easy to digest delicious dinner, try making something with fresh white fish like Halibut or Dover Sole.halibut3

Both mild fish adapt really well to almost any seasoning, even something so simple and classic like butter, garlic, squeezed lemon & parsley.  It’s no fuss and fairly fast to make. Sole is not a dense fish so it tends to fall apart quite easily. For me the best way to cook sole is quickly in a frypan with a light breading and a little butter. I mix panko breadcrumbs with fresh grated parmesan and add spices like Italian seasoning then squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.  A little chopped red chili pepper adds an extra kick. 

Super Sole Sunday.  Panfried with a light homemade breading over sea asparagus (sautéed in a little butter by itself).  Sides of steamed farmers market carrots and wild rice.

Super Sole Sunday!  Pan fried with a light homemade breading over sea asparagus
(sautéed in a little butter by itself).  Sides: steamed  carrots and wild rice.

Halibut can be steamed, baked or broiled but never fried.  Okay, I’ve never tried frying it. I just don’t think it would lend itself well to the frypan.

This time I placed Halibut fillets over fresh Kale in a cast iron pan and baked it with sundried tomatoes and lemon olive oil over top.  It came out moist and the kale had some crispiness – a nice combo with corn on the cob and steamed tri-coloured carrots.

Halibut over Kale with Sundried Tomatoes
Halibut over Kale with Sundried Tomatoes

We’re repeatedly told to eat two fish meals per week. Fish offers a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, low in cholesterol-raising saturated fat. Don’t forget we get major sources of two of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. But some fish contain higher levels than others.

Did you know?

Even though sole is not usually found at the top of the list, it turns out to be a good source, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s also packed with protein, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D. It’s also much lower in fat. Along with the omega-3s, one serving of sole only has 73 calories yet supplies 13 grams of protein, 20 percent of your RDA of vitamin D and 41 percent of your RDA for vitamin B-12.

Halibut does not have the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the seafood world, but it is still a good choice, containing .9 g per 100 g of fresh fish. This compares with fresh salmon at 1.4 g per 100 g of fish; lake trout, with 1.6 g; sardines, with 1.7 g; herring, with 1.7 g; and mackerel, with 2.2 g, according to weight-loss adviser Anne Collins from LiveStrong.

*Sidenote: I have one helluva Halibut story.  Our VW camper broke down in a tiny fishing village in Newfoundland on a Friday night moments after buying a fresh huge (emphasis on one big f… halibut right off a boat.  We ended up having to spend the whole weekend in a motel that luckily had a kitchenette while waiting for a part to arrive on Monday and with me having to cook halibut every which way for several days.  I’m surprised I can still eat it.  Add to the misery the closest walking distance store from the hotel was a Walmart.  That was the first time I set foot in one of those.  They really do have a lot of stuff.  Moving along right…. I have bigger fish to fry.

What is your favourite fish to make? 













Grill Talk: FISH in the PAN

It’s officially summer!

getting started
getting started

You want to keep things easy, breezy but still want to impress your guests? With this non-recipe recipe you can feel like you’re dining in a little village somewhere in France or Italy. I’m talking a delicious “one-pan” dinner using any meaty white fleshed fish.   Here’s what you do:

Place the *fish (already sprinkled with salt, pepper and any other spices you want) atop cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, artichoke hearts, pitted Kalamata olives, caper berries, and lemon slices in a pan.

Pour in some white wine and olive oil.  Put the pan on grill, cover the grill, and cook just until the juices bubble and the fish is cooked through (roughly ten minutes or so).

end result
end result

Serve it from the pan – with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

*For the fish I prefer halibut but you can use monkfish or cod. I used sole fillets once & it worked out fine.

Thank me later!



Simply Satisfying – Halibut with Cilantro-Sweet Chili-Lime Butter

This recipe is so simple yet so incredible.  I ended up freezing the butter I did not end up using for next time – you can adjust the quantity.  If you can’t find halibut then use another type of solid white fish similar to halibut which is light and mild with a slightly sweet flavour.  Halibut in a cilantro-sweet chili-lime butterServes 4.

 4 halibut fillets

1 tsp kosher salt

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp. sweet chile sauce (I use Thai)

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

zest from 1 lime

Set the oven temperature to 375

In a small food processor combine butter, sweet chilli sauce, cilantro, lime juice and lime zest. Set aside.

Season the halibuts with salt.

Place on a baking sheet (like Pyrex) and bake until done – approx. 15 minutes or until fish is opaque and starts to flake.  You can also grill this.

Remove the halibut from the oven (or grill) and serve with the clilanto-sweet chilli-lime butter generously dolloped over top.  It will melt in to form a rich flavorful sauce.  Serve with sides like rice and asparagus or green beans.  In Photo: Quinoa cooked with black beans, shallots & red pepper and Asparagus drizzled with vinaigrette of olive, white truffle oil & champagne vinegar (from last week’s recipe).

A perfect wine pairing – crisp Chardonnay.

Halibut is in season normally from April to November.  It’s a great source of protein and vitamin B3.  It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids.  It lends itself easily to different sauces.

How to know if fish is fresh:

1)      Look them in the eye if you can.  Clear, bright eyes are signs of the freshest fish; the eyes of a less fresh fish will be dull of greying.

2)      If the fish still has its skin on it, check it for shine and brightness.  A fresh fish should look metallic and clean.  Dull or discolored scales could be a sign of a less fresh one.

3)      It should not smell fishy.  An overwhelmingly strong smell is a sign that the fish is past its prime.

4)      If the fish is in fillets, press your finger gently against the flesh.  The indentation should disappear quickly as the fish springs back into form.  A lasting indentation could mean the fish is no longer good.

5)      The flesh of the fish should be moist and not spongy.  Fish that is yellowing or discolored is past its best before date.

Do you have a favorite halibut recipe?