This is my dad's famous halibut, and it is the number one requested dinner from his granddaughter. I couldn't resist snapping a shot just as the pan came out of the oven as I was trying to capture the essence to sustain me until my next visit.
A long time ago, when I was a child and lived in Maine, a fish truck came to our house once a week. A milk truck came too but on a different day. Can you imagine? Although a "Mainer" fish wasn't my favorite when I was a kid. Mom didn't overly encourage me to eat it because it was expensive..even back then. Thankfully, my tastes matured.
The best place to buy fish in Portland, Maine is Harbor Fish Market where it's as fresh as you can get. The local experience adds richness to the meal. I've even had crabmeat and fish shipped from Harbor Fish Market to my home in California for a party. If you live in Maine or plan a trip, be sure to visit Harbor Fish Market. Thanks Dad for sharing your recipe, and I've kept it in your words.
George's Halibut, Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free
Serves 3-5 and takes 50 minutes start to finish
- 3/4 pound to 1 1/2 pound halibut, steak or fillet
- generous sprinkle Lawry's seasoned salt and black pepper
- generous sprinkle dill or fennel - dried or fresh chopped
- olive oil
- lemon slices
1. Bring halibut out of refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking to take the chill off. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Select cast iron or ovenproof stainless steel pan.
2. Sprinkle one face side of fish liberally with Lawry's seasoned salt, black pepper, and either dill or fennel - dried or fresh chopped.
3. Heat pan to medium-high on stovetop with olive oil just covering bottom. Tilt pan away from you to avoid splattering of hot oil while using tongs to place fish with seasoned face down in sizzling pan. Sauté for minute or two watching for fish to become free from bottom as it browns. Again, tilting pan, use large spatula to turn fish over and immediately place pan on center rack in oven.
4. Now time for 20 minutes. No need to check unless your piece is thin or smaller (maybe 18 minutes is sufficient) and if halibut is very large then use knife to open middle division revealing whether extra time is required. We like our fish slightly moist, not wet.
5. Immediately remove outer skin (some folks do eat it). We find smaller servings do invite seconds. Present by plating in kitchen or on formal platter with sprigs of parsley and/or wedges of lemon.
6. Clean up pan with coarse salt and later follow up with baking soda to remove smell of fish which may be strong due to high heat use. But it's all worth it!