Simple Baked Halibut

Halibut2

I love to experiment with sauces and flavors, but sometimes they can get in the way of one’s appreciation of the main element of a dish. So whenever I have a really great piece of fish – like this halibut that a friend sent to us from Alaska – I like to keep its preparation simple. That way the fish itself can really shine. Here I served the Baked Halibut with stir fried asparagus, steamed rice and soy sauce mixed with lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper served on the side.

Simple Baked Halibut

serves 2 – 3

1 lb piece of halibut cut about 2-inches thick, thawed

1 large lemon

sea salt

mix of black and green peppercorns

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

2. Meanwhile, pat fish dry with a paper towel. Place fish, skin-side down, on the parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle fish with sea salt and several twists of fresh ground pepper. Cut about 2/3 of the lemon into thin slices. Spread slices over the top of the fish. (You can save the rest of the lemon to squeeze into a little soy sauce, if you like.)

3. Place fish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked all of the way through. (The fish will be solid white in the center, not somewhat translucent.) Serve immediately.

Variations:

• Mix a few thin slices of red onion in with the lemon slices.

• Drizzle just a little bit of melted butter or olive oil on the fish before baking.

• Top with a little bit of chopped fresh parsley when serving.

What’s For Breakfast?

Some very nice guests from Oklahoma gave me a bunch of fresh asparagus from their garden. What a treat! Now, I am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into breakfast this morning. As I write, I’m thinking that my special of the day will be Scrambled Eggs Primavera. The dish is still taking shape in my mind, but I am thinking fluffy scrambled eggs served atop a bed of baby yellow potatoes with sautéed  asparagus, Vidalia onions and cherry tomatoes, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche and chives from my garden. I had better get back to work. It’s a good thing that everyone is have a late breakfast today! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Spaghetti with Asparagus & Herbs

Spaghetti with Asparagus & Herbs

This dish is designed to highlight the flavors of its fresh ingredients rather than overpowering them with heavy tastes. Serve for lunch or a light dinner with bread, fresh fruit and a light cheese. (Makes about 3 servings.)

Approximate measurements:

12 oz. spaghetti

1 lb. fresh asparagus

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1 oz. white balsamic vinegar

4 fresh lemons

several twists of fresh ground green and red peppercorns

1/4 t. sea salt

1/4 c. fresh golden oregano

1 T. fresh flat leaf parsley

1 1/2 t. fresh thyme

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water.

2. About half way through the cooking time for the spaghetti, put the asparagus on the stove to steam. Cook until crisp tender. Remove from pot then rinse asparagus with cold water and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, vinegar, juice of 2 of the lemons, fresh ground pepper and salt. Set aside.

4. Submerge herbs in a bowl of cold water to remove any possible dirt or insects. Remove herbs and rinse well. Pat dry. Strip herb leaves from stems. Discard stems and any damaged leaves. If there are any thyme flowers, set them aside for garnish.

5. When the spaghetti is cooked to desired consistency, drain well. Add the olive oil mixture to the pot that the pasta was cooked in. Return spaghetti to the pan and toss with the olive oil mixture.

6. Divide spaghetti between serving bowls. Top with fresh herbs and then with asparagus. Squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice over asparagus and then grind a little more fresh pepper over dish. Garnish with thyme flowers if available. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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