Stuffed Alaskan Halibut

Wild Alaskan Halibut with bleu cheese, stuffed with mushroom-pine nut purée and Alaskan shrimp.

The other evening after making Salmon en Papillote I had a few tablespoons of mushroom-pine nut purée left over (see recipe here). I’d never made stuffed halibut but felt certain the purée would make an excellent stuffing. To enhance it further, I mixed in several Alaskan shrimp cut into smaller pieces. I made a slice in the halibut exactly as one would do with pita bread and spooned in the stuffing.

Next I rubbed salt and freshly ground pepper into the halibut fillet and set it aside. I then put about three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a casserole dish just large enough to hold the fillet, tossed in several cloves of garlic, and heated the dish in an oven set at 375 degrees F (190 C). Once the oil-butter mixture was heated through, I placed the halibut fillet skin side down and baked the fish covered for twenty minutes. Then I topped the fillet with bleu cheese and continued baking till the cheese was melted.

This recipe was as easy as it was delicious – one of the best halibut dishes we’ve had. A 3/4 to one pound fillet prepared this way will serve two.

Ten to 20 pound halibut like this one are perfect for the kitchen.

Pine Nut Encrusted Halibut

A fillet of Resurrection Bay, Alaska halibut in a homemade mayonnaise and sour cream mixture, encrusted with chopped pine nuts and almonds and served on a bed of mixed brown and wild rice. Broccoli is one of the few vegetables we can consistently obtain in good shape in the bush.

I was recently looking around online for the next great place to call home. A top priority for both of us is a place where we can harvest our own fish. With that in mind, as I looked at coastal waters and lakes in other states, it was with a keen eye not only toward some of our preferred fish species (walleye, crappie, perch, striped bass, salmon), but also with an eye toward each state’s fish consumption advisories.

What a shock. In locale after locale, the advice from state departments of natural resources is to limit one’s consumption of local fish. Mercury and PCBs are the chief culprits, but in some places there are other chemicals in the stew. Even DDT remains a problem in some areas. The prospect of living in a place where warnings are to limit one’s consumption of fish to one meal a week–or a couple meals a month–is depressing. (We really hope they keep the Pebble Mine out of Alaska!)

Glad to live in a part of the world where the near-shore fish are still healthful enough to enjoy as often as one cares to. We generally have meals featuring salmon, rockfish or halibut two or three times a week.

There’s nothing to the above halibut dish. In a glass bowl I mixed together equal parts homemade mayonnaise and sour cream. I wanted to add a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a pleasant kick, but having none used a prepared Thai seasoning mix instead along with a couple of grinds of black pepper and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice. I spread this mixture on a halibut fillet, then covered the sauce with chopped pine nuts and almonds, and baked for 15 minutes at 375 degrees in a small, preheated casserole dish in which I had melted butter. Make sure to check while it’s baking to avoid scorching the nuts. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil if the nuts are becoming overly done.

By the way, if you’ve never made mayonnaise, it’s easy–and kind of magical. There are no shortage of instructional videos on the Internet.