Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Brothers Do Sustainable Pacific Halibut Right

Sometimes life’s undeniable randomness produces our most fond memories.  This is not one of them.  However, it was cool when my little brother walked into my office on Thursday with two pieces of fresh sustainable wild-caught Pacific Halibut.  He then proceeded to suggest that we each cook a dish and post it on LC.

You might remember my brother, a firefighter and paramedic, from his previous appearances on LC, A Hero is Born & Stacked Fried Green Tomatoes.

Wild-Caught Pacific Halibut is one of the finest fish in the sea.  The only job of the cook when dealing with halibut is just not to fuck it up, the flesh is amazing. 

By the way, next week our 5 Star Foodie Cooking Group convenes again, and this month’s theme is, you guessed it, Sustainable Fish.

Without further ado, I give you a stomach ache, um, I mean Alex’s dish.  C’mon man, we kid because we care.  Enjoy…

Supreme Halibut Corn Tamales with Tomatoe Avocado Salad

2 large fresh ears of corn, husks intact
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 6-ounce halibut fillets

For Halibut
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon diced onion
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a baking sheet with PAM.

Carefully remove the 4 largest husks and save them for the tamales. Cut kernels off of corn. Place the corn, cilantro, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and orange pepper in a food processor and pulse a few times until just coarse – do not puree.

Place two husks on a baking sheet and fill with half of the corn mixture.
In a bowl, mix the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, flour, lemon juice, onion, and cayenne pepper. Spoon the mixture on the halibut fillets & place them on top of the filling. Place the remaining husks on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

Sun Gold Tomatoes & Avocado Salad

1/4 cup Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes Halved
½ Hass Avocado
½  lime, juiced
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
Salt, pepper

Combine tomatoes, lime, avocado, cilantro and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix to coat and enjoy.

Now it's Laz's turn...

Pacific Halibut with Fried Sushi Rice

 You didn't actually think you were going to see a traditional fried rice, did you?  This is more of a deconstructed fried rice, but when eaten together, it will give you the feeling of eating fried rice.

Soft Scrambled Eggs

Fried Sushi Rice Cake

Pacific Halibut, Bird's Eye Chili, Jalapeno, Leek & Garlic Stir Fry.  Topped with a Sesame Vinaigrette

Pan-Roasted Pacific Halibut

For the fried sushi rice:
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbs cane sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Wondra flour
Canola oil

Rinse the rice under water until the water runs clear.  Combine the rice and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove rice from heat, but do not uncover.  Allow the cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the salt, sugar and vinegar.  Still well to dissolve.  Transfer the rice to a glass bowl.  Cover with the vinegar mixture.  Turn the rice with a spatula to incorporate.  Turn the rice out onto a baking sheet.  Using a spatula, spread the rice to an even layer.  Maybe about 1/4 inch thick.  Cover with plastic wrap and fridge for 30 minutes.

In a saute pan, heat 1/4 inch of canola oil over medium heat.  Remove the rice from the fridge.  Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds of rice.  Lightly coat both sides with wondra flour.  Fry each rice cake for 1 minute on each side.  Remove to a plate lined with paper towel.

For the sesame vinaigrette:
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 bird's eye chili - minced
1 jalapeno - minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup fish sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over low heat.  Allow the flavors to infuse for 1 hour.  Strain.  Will keep in fridge for 5 days.

For the Halibut Stir Fry:
Halibut trimmings - cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bird's eye chili - seeded & minced
1 jalapeno - seeded & minced
1 leek (white and light green parts only) - sliced thin
1 garlic clove - minced
Sesame oil
Plum Vinegar
Cane sugar
Sea salt

In a wok, heat some sesame oil.  Add the chili, jalapeno, leek, and garlic.  Stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add a splash of plum vinegar and a pinch of sugar and salt.  Add the halibut trimmings.  Stir fry for 2 minutes.  Do not overcook.

For the Pan-Roasted Halibut:
1 - 6 oz Pacific Halibut fillet
Sea salt
White pepper
Piment d' Espelette
Wondra flour
Safflower oil

Pat dry the halibut with paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Season both sides with salt, pepper, piment d' espelette, and wondra flour.

In a saute pan, heat 1/4 inch of safflower oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is very hot, add the halibut.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Do not overcook.

A big thank you to my brother Alex for joining me on this fun project.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. This is great! I do love the idea of halibut corn tamales but I'm absolutely captivated by all the amazing layers of flavors and textures in your dish. The deconstructed fried rice is a very neat concept with the soft scrambled eggs and the crispy rice cake, and the stir-fry is an awesome and flavorful addition!

  2. I'm captivated by the creativity of both dishes. Well done, boys!

  3. Is this a throwdown? I remember one being considered some time in the past. :)
    You both did a super job with your dishes. Creative and unusual. But the flavors in yours are more complex.

  4. Haha! I love that, "we kid because we care". Hubby and I must really care a lot for each other because we're just down right mean sometimes.
    Two very different and unique dishes. I loved them both. Alex's dish was lovely and unique, like nothing I've ever tried before. Your dish had a very familiar Asian touch to it, but nothing like the usual Asian dishes I've had - superb in all aspects. Beautiful presentations on both dishes and well thought out executions. Thank you to the both of you for sharing your talents here.

  5. Excellent! Both dishes are so creative and beautifully presented! I love seeing these together, gets the creative juices flowing...great stuff :)

  6. I'm not choosing between brothers... they are both great dishes. I have never made tomales... can you imagine? They look great and taste great but I've always left it to the professionals! Both the dishes look delicious and as always the seasoning is deftly done with imagination.. must run in the family. I got my fish yesterday to make my dish for next week.. can't wait!

  7. the fried rice is a great idea - I love deconstructed dishes....

  8. hahaha the only thing to cook halibut right is to not fuck it up. Love it.
    You guys need to do this kinda of project more often! I enjoy seeing what you come up.

    Btw, I like fried sushi rice! In Thailand, we grill sticky rice coated with egg. It tastes so good especially in Winter.

  9. What a fabulous idea. Mom and I often have cook off's using the same ingredients. It is tons of fun. I love theses dishes, they look yummy, healthy, and if licking screen is anything to go by, bloody delicious too. :0)

  10. I bet one could learn a lot about your personalities by analyzing the two very different dishes here. Interesting!!

    I'm in love with a halibut tamal.
    And I couldn't agree more on the perfect way you cooked your filet, wondra flour - excellent!


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