If you think serving seafood at home is too hit-and-miss, this recipe is a keeper: It uses simple ingredients, won’t stink up the kitchen and results in a mild but flavorful fish dinner that rivals salmon as a favorite dish.
Best of all, this moist and tasty halibut is the centerpiece of a meal that you can pass off as gourmet even though it cooks in about the same time as hot dogs.
The following recipe serves two to three but is easily expandable to feed a larger party.
Ingredients are Available at Most Grocery Stores
- 1 pound halibut fillets or steaks (figure 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person)
- ¼ C half and half
- Salt (optional)
- 1 C fine bread crumbs, such as Panko, Progresso or you store brand
- Cooking oil (optional)
Ingredient Substitutions to Save Money or Calories
- Instead of expensive halibut, another white, solid fish can be used (but do yourself a favor and use halibut)
- Instead of half and half, whipping cream makes a rich alternative. Condensed milk is another good option. Either can be used whole or diluted with up to half milk or water. For the diet conscious, use all milk for fewer calories.
Directions for Quick and Easy Halibut
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees
- Coat bottom of heat-resistant baking dish with oil, or cover with foil
- Remove skin and bones from fish and cut into approximately 2- to 3-inch pieces
- Pour half and half into a small bowl; salt it to taste (optional)
- Pour bread crumbs into a separate bowl or dish
- Dip fish into half and half
- Roll fish in bread crumbs until lightly coated
- Arrange fish pieces in baking dish so pieces aren’t touching
- Drizzle fish lightly with cooking oil (optional)
- Bake for 10 minutes, until bread crumb coating is golden brown (add only a minute or two to the cooking time if the fish is very thick).
- Serve with favorite side dishes
Halibut is High in Protein but Low on Fat, Carbohydrates and Calories
A quarter pound serving has about 200 calories, if made with half and half but no cooking oil. Many of the calories come from about 23 grams of lean protein in the fish.
There are about 5 grams of fat, which can be reduced slightly by switching to milk for dipping.
For low-carb diets, figure that a 4-ounce serving contains about 10 grams of carbohydrates, mostly in the breading. Don’t avoid breading to cut carbs because you will sacrifice moistness. However, the coating can easily be scraped away when the fish is cooked.
Halibut contains desirable omega 3 fatty acids, several important minerals and vitamins and is low in mercury compared to many fishes. It is listed in The World’s Healthiest Foods book.
Halibut is Expensive; Buy Wisely
Let’s face it: The only real downside to halibut is that it usually is one of the most expensive fish choices widely available in supermarkets.
Don’t get too caught up in labels proclaiming the fish to be “fresh.” Sometimes that simply means previously frozen fish has been thawed. If it has never been frozen, it still may have spent days traveling to and sitting in your store’s fish counter. Look for firm flesh without a fishy smell.
Often the better choice – and sometimes the less-expensive option – is to buy halibut that was quickly processed and kept frozen until you are ready to prepare it. Besides fish markets and typical groceries, try nontraditional outlets such as Trader Joe’s.
Pacific halibut is the biggest and often considered the best-tasting member of the flatfish family. The dominant Alaskan halibut fishery has been deemed sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
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