Saturday, April 9, 2011
Walnut Crusted Halibut
Traditionally, Catholics don't eat meat each Friday during lent. Well, sort of. Fish is acceptable during these meatless days and my dad generally seizes this opportunity to force fish on the plates of my mom and sister, who refuse to eat seafood otherwise. Is it fair that some have to suffer through these Fridays while others are thrilled with the culinary "constraints"? Probably not. However, I love the excuse to try out new fish recipes.
When we bought an economical package of frozen halibut fillets this week at Costco, I began thinking of recipe ideas. Halibut is really special. It's moist, flavorful, and delicate. Halibut is a versatile fish, but I didn't want to overwhelm it's natural flavor with overpowering marinades. This is no inexpensive fish we're talking about -- halibut is quite a luxury. I found this recipe from walnut roasted halibut from Bon Appetit online and it seemed perfect.
It turned out beautifully. The topping was crunchy and flavorful and the fish was unbelievably moist. I made a few changes to the original recipe. Instead of chives, I used a little bit of finely chopped shallots. I also very lightly brushed the tops of the halibut filets with Dijon mustard before pressing the walnut topping on top (I had tried this technique with a salmon recipe by Ina Garten and loved it). I also roasted mine a bit longer, but cooking time depends a lot on the thickness of your halibut filets. What I was most happy with about this recipe was that the topping didn't take anything away from the natural flavor and texture of the halibut. It's true qualitites shone through. This recipe is sure to make a fish lover close their eyes, lick their lips, and smile, any day of the week.
Walnut Crusted Halibut
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Non-stick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup panko
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallot
3 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon (about) Dijon mustard
3 halibut fillets
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together walnuts, panko, parsley, basil, and shallots in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter.
2. Pat each halibut fillet dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the tops of the fillets with Dijon mustard, just enough to moisten the fillets. Top each fillet with approximately 1/3 of the filling, pressing to adhere to the fillet.
3. Roast fillets on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil until firm and opaque all the way through, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest 3 minutes. Serve immediately.