A True Big Fish Story
When 20 pounds of frozen halibut arrived at my door from my husband’s Alaskan fishing trip last week, what was a lucky girl to do?? Cook in frozen! The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has perfected techniques for cooking frozen fish that I think should be in everyone’s quick-meal repertoire.
Continuing with my posts on published recipes, Halibut Tacos with Cucumber Salsa was my first pick from the Alaska Seafood website. Did I follow the recipe precisely? Not exactly. For the salsa I substituted celery for fennel, and feta for goat cheese, but I followed the technique for grilling frozen fish in foil, and it works beautifully. I’ve also used the frozen pan-searing method which works equally well. The website has short videos for six different methods including broiling, poaching, roasting and steaming. The magic of the cooking methods is covered heat to gently, yet quickly cook the fish in 15-20 minutes. It’s best if the fish is in portion sizes of 6-8 ounces and with uniform thickness, but I had good success with a 1 pound uneven piece too.
So keep frozen fish on hand for quick-cooking meals and follow the Cook It Frozen!® techniques. Next, I’ll cook the frozen chum and king salmon Bernie carried home…..he caught BIG fish, or maybe it was the stories 🙂
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Alaska Halibut Tacos with Cucumber Salsa
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 15 min.
1 cup diced English/seedless cucumber
1 green onion sliced
1/2 cup grape or pear tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh fennel
1 Tablespoon white balsamic (or rice) vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 Alaska Halibut fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
4 medium (8 to 9-inch) tortillas OR flatbreads
1 cup (3 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
In a small bowl, combine cucumbers, green onion, tomatoes and fennel. In separate small bowl, blend vinegar, 1 Tablespoon oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over cucumbers; set aside.
Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Halibut under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonskick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of halibut with remaining oil. Place fillets in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.
Turn fillets over and season with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen halibut or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout. Remove from heat and break into large chunks.
To serve, divide halibut among tortillas. Sprinkle on goat cheese and top with cucumber salsa.
Nutrients per serving: 498 calories, 23g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 41% calories from fat, 145mg cholesterol, 46g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 507mg sodium, 303mg calcium, and 1140mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute