Just For The Halibut

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Butter & Three Grain Rice:

Vacationing in Maine is always extraordinary. There is something very special about Maine – the towering mountains that caress the ocean, the unmistakable rocky coastline, the salty beautiful people that are both reserve and welcoming, and the freshest seafood plucked from the ocean the very same day before serving. Maine has unfortunately been found, and as such more and more travelers flocking to its warming summer seacoast. We however, as usually, venture farther off the beaten path. On this trip we landed in Northport, which is located north of Camden and just south of Belfast, Halibut_001on a six acre property literally a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with its own private beach. A property also bolstering an ultra-inspiring kitchen complete with ocean front view – which meant – time for me to cook fresh fish. In perusing the local market, and with much delight, a beautiful steak of fresh halibut with center-bone and skin-on was the inspiration for this recipe. The kind of recipe that comes about instantly in a market as we gather the various ingredients to bring it all together.  It was the thick two inch cut of this steak that made the dish. Paired with a simple wild rice and vegetable medley and a garnish of grilled kale pesto which albeit amazing, this dish was all about the halibut, along with the lemon butter that injected the soul of summer for this sit-outside-and-listen-to-the-waves dinner.  This day will be remembered, for both quintessential Maine, and the fresh taste of cold Atlantic bounty.

SECRET INGREDIENT:  Fresh Halibut, thick cut

TIP: Can make the pesto day before

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Butter & Three Grain Rice

  • Halibut steaks (1 ½ lb, 2 in thick with center-bone and skin-on)
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Ground Coriander
  • Olive oil
  • Cedar plank
  • Scallions (for garnish, chopped)
  1. Soak cedar plank in water for 1 hour. Remove from water and drizzle with oil.
  2. Preheat grill.
  3. Place halibut steaks on planks and season with salt, pepper, and coriander.
  4. Place on grill and baste with a few tablespoons of lemon butter. Cook for 10 minutes with grill covered. Baste again and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. (internal temperature to 120°F for flaky just under cooked)
  5. Plate with rice and top with some chopped scallions.

For Sauce

  • Butter (4 Tbl)
  • Lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • Lemon zest (2 tsp)
  • Fresh Cilantro (2 Tbl, chopped)
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium-heat, melt butter and then add remaining ingredients.

For Rice

  • Extra-virgin Olive oil (1 Tbl)
  • Shallot (1 Tbl, minced)
  • Butter (2 Tbl)
  • White Wine (1/4 cup)
  • Red Rice (1/4 cup)
  • Wild Rice (1/4 cup)
  • Quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Water (2 ½ cups)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)
  • Fresh Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
  • Pistachios (1/4 cup, toasted, chopped)
  • Patty Pan Squash* (2 small, roasted, chopped)
  • Fresh Parsley (1/4 cup chopped)
  • Cherry Tomato (1/4 cup, chopped)
  • Parmesan Regianno (1/2 cup grated)
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, warm oil and add shallot. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add butter and increase heat to high. When butter is melted, add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice, quinoa, and salt. Stir in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

*For Patty Pan, cut in half, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano, and roast in oven at 425°F for 15 mins. Then chop before adding to rice.

For Grilled Kale Pesto

  • Kale (1/2 lb)
  • Garlic (1 clove, chopped)
  • Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • Almonds (1/2 cup roasted)
  • Parmesan Reggiano (1/2 cup grated)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil (1/3 cup)
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil over kale, and grill until just chard. Remove from grill and let rest. Remove chard leaves and discard stems.
  3. In a food processor, add all ingredients except oil and process for 30 seconds. With processor running, slowly add oil and process until smooth.


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