This post was featured on GustoTV Guesto Blogger Series. I was the GustoTV blogger of the month for July 2014.
It’s always a treat when mid March arrives and with it, the West Coast halibut commercial fishing season. Though the season is long (it lasts until mid November) we do miss having this lovely white fleshed fish to poach, pan fry, or steam. I usually stick to ordering it in restaurants but lately I’ve become a bit more confident with my fish cooking skills, enough to buy some halibut fillets and cook them on my own.
This year I’ve eaten halibut maybe once per month because I am keeping a careful eye on ocean fish sustainability. Following Sea Choice recommendations is not only kind to the critters of the sea but ensures there will be fish to enjoy for generations. Since the sustainability of halibut differs from region to region and as per type of halibut we as consumers need to be mindful of what we eat from the sea. The sustainability of West Coast Canadian halibut does have some concerns, according to Sea Choice, because they have placed it in the yellow or ‘cautionary’ zone. I think it is in everyone’s best interest to become educated on fisheries around Canada and so does Chef Ned Bell. He is currently riding his bicycle across Canada, East to West, to promote the choice of sustainable fish on tables nationwide. If you want to follow his ride you can follow him on twitter or check his schedule out to see what Chefs For Oceans events are happening during his ride. You can also go to gustotv.com/chefsforoceans for more information, recpes, and tips for making smarter seafood choices.
So you’ve got a nice piece of halibut, now what do you do? One of the best ways to enjoy it is by pan searing it. With any sear, it is important to begin with a super hot (almost smoking) pan. Your butter should be melted before you slide fish in, presentation side first. Once it’s in the pan don’t fuss with it! Just leave it be until it is cooked about 2/3 way through. Remember you want it nice and golden because after all, you do eat with your eyes first! After the presentation side has had a good sear, carefully flip the fish over and continue cooking. Judging the done-ness of a piece of fish is more of an acquired skill than exact timing because it depends on the thickness and size of the fillet. Unfortunately fish is expensive so you really don’t want to make too many mistakes! I used butter on this halibut and threw in some tarragon leaves as it was searing.
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The kids have been asking for more lentils since the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge so I thought I would appease them with this super easy halibut ‘supporter’. Bacon and lentils are indeed a magical combination.
Lentils and Bacon
- 6 slices of bacon; diced
- 1/4 cup small diced celery
- 1/4 cup small diced onion
- 1/4 cup small diced carrots
- 500 g green lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper
Sauté bacon until crisp then add celery, onions, and carrots. After about 5 minutes or so they will be translucent so it’s time to add the bay leaves and lentils. Cook for a minute or two longer, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down stove to simmer and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. Season.