Seared Alaskan Halibut

The American Idol of Fish that Amanda Made

Simply seared, with salt and pepper
Eater rating: 4.8 / 5  4.79


For an incredible meal we decided to fix a seared piece of alaskan halibut seasoned only with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. The halibut was served on top of crisp green beans tossed with butter and garam masala and a couscous salad. The couscous salad was filled with toasted almonds, dried cranberries and apricots, sauteed fennel, carrots, onions, and roughly chopped fresh mint leaves then tossed with a citrus garam masala vinaigrette.

A: okay, dude. seriously. i wish we could afford to eat alaskan halibut every. single. day. I totally would. this was soooooooooo good.
T: This may have been the best fish that I ever put in my mouth. If not, it was definitely in the top 5. It was thick, boneless, unbelievably tasty, and it had such a great texture that it seemed almost like… I don’t know. Another animal altogether. It was, how shall I say, hell wicked. Wow hell wicked is a lame thing to say.
A: hehe yeah. it totally is. but the fish was so not lame. seriously, this was incredibly moist and flaky and sweet jesus, i wish we had more!
T: so how much did this sucker cost? Can you give me a per pound price?
A: i think it was something like 26 or 27 dollars per pound. we got a 20 dollar piece of it. which was a decent size for the two of us i think… especially with the couscous salad and curried green beans.
T: it was a great size for 2 people. Wow. It was just so damn fine. I love how you cooked it… it’s amazing how such a simple preparation led to this magnificent, bitchin dish.
A: absolutely. it was just seared with a little salt and pepper for seasoning. shit, the whole meal was pretty darn easy. just boiled the green beans for like five minutes then tossed them with some butter and garam masala and whipped up a little middle easternish couscous with fruit and nuts and sauteed veggies.
T: I’ve been raving about the fish because it was so outstanding, but the couscous was really really good too. The occasional bit of fruit really set it off. I loved it. The green beans were tasty but weren’t quite as exciting as the rest of the meal. I give the meal a 4.83/5. I give the fish by itself a 4.91/5. My god I can’t say enough about Alaskan Halibut prepared this way. Oooowweee. Your rating?
A: man, i know it seems like we rate stuff high all the time, but i’m gonna have to give this another good rating. For the meal alone i give it a 4.75/5. for the fish it gets a 4.8/5. seriously high marks. if you can get your hands on some really fresh alaskan halibut i say splurge and buy it…. it really was worth it. btw, in san diego, i’ve found really good fish at point loma seafoods.
T: I can’t wait for you to make more fish! :D …… so, uhhh, when are we having fish again?
A: when ever you go take your skinny little butt down to the pier two blocks away from us and catch us some damn fish! :-P …. or this weekend, if i get a chance to go to the market!
T: yeah, umm.. I’m hoping for the latter, because they’re not exactly catching alaskan halibut at the O.B. Pier.
A: ;-) what? mackerel’s not good enough for you?
T: that would be a good one to try your sauce skills with.

A Fish Recipe, by Amanda
Seared Alaskan Halibut

2 6oz alaskan halibut fillets
2 tbsp canola oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil to the pan. Season the halibut liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the skillet is hot, place the fish into the oil serving-side down. Cook the alaskan halibut for about 5-6 minutes per side, until the fish is just cooked through. Remove the halibut from the heat and allow it to rest for a 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy! (seriously, you're gonna enjoy this... if you like fish that is.)

A Couscous Recipe, by Amanda
Couscous Salad with Citrusy Garam Masala Vinaigrette

1 cup moroccan couscous
3 dried apricots, chopped
1/8 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup boiling water, salted
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
1 1/2 tbsp honey
juice and zest from 1 lime
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp garam masala (homemade or store bought)
1/4 cup olive oil

Place the couscous, apricots, and cranberries into a heat safe mixing bowl, preferably metal. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the fruit and couscous. Seal the mixing bowl with plastic wrap to allow the couscous to cook and the fruit to plump. Allow the couscous to sit for twenty minutes, until all of the water is completely absorbed.

Preheat a pan to medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot add the onion, carrot, and fennel. Saute the veggies over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.

While the couscous cooking and the veggies are sauteing make the vinaigrette. Add the honey, lemon and lime zest and juice, and garam masala to a mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Begin drizzling in the olive oil while continuing to whisk constantly to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Set the vinaigrette aside until the couscous is finished.

Once the couscous has absorbed all of the water, remove the plastic wrap. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the sauteed veggies, diced red pepper, mint leaves, toasted slivered almonds, and vinaigrette to the fluffed couscous. Toss the salad until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and everything is coated with the vinaigrette. Taste the salad, then season as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve warm or chilled. Goes great with seared alaskan halibut. Enjoy!

6 comments so far:

  1. jef says:

    Man, I wish I had me some halibut. It’s always a kick in the wallet every time I buy it, but in the end, it’s worth it. Did you get this lovely specimen from PLS or did you get it somewhere else? I usually pay the same price at Whole Paycheck so don’t feel too bad.

    Damn, I’m going to have to have me some this weekend I think.
    My wallet is not happy with you.

  2. Amanda says:

    hehehe please ask your wallet to forgive me, jef! i’d hate to have a wallet mad at me. ;-) but man, it really. is. worth it. i did get this lovely piece of godly fish from PLS, which happens to be the closest fish market to our house. what’s whole paycheck? i can’t wait to see your post after you make the monetary sacrifice and get yo self a piece of this action.

  3. Anna says:

    How amazing is it that the simplest preparation can make a piece of really great fish the best thing ever! Nothing more than salt and pepper needed. I have a question for you, Amanda.. Why canola oil and not olive oil? Higher smoke point?

  4. jef says:

    Whole Paycheck = Whole Foods. You know, you go in there expecting only to buy one thing, then you find a few other things, and before you know it, you spent the Whole Paycheck.

    It could also be that the place is so damn expensive, too…

  5. Harvey says:

    I pulled in over 900 lbs of halibut this summer! Fishing is great in Ketchikan, Alaska

  6. Lisa says:

    Made this tonight. Even though the fish was simply seasoned, it tasted great and moist. The cous cous was a great combination of flavors and textures. Loved the extra crunch with the almonds…it was yummy!!

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