Halibut Veracruzana

halibut veracruzana

This is one of those recipes that is more a guideline.  Inspired by the flavours of fish we’ve had served in the style of Veracruz in Mexico, this is so easy to prepare at home, and if you have a good source of fish, give it a try!

You will need:

  • enough fish to feed your family (I’ve used halibut here but any white fish will work)
  • green olives
  • fresh tomatoes
  • black olives
  • capers
  • roasted red peppers
  • fresh red peppers
  • your best olive oil
  • lemon
  • sea salt & pepper

Generously butter a baking dish (extra points for using a pretty one that you can also serve this dish in!)

Lay in your fish, cut in serving size.

Chop the olives, peppers and fresh tomato, and then cover your fish with all the toppings.  Again, be generous with seasoning – liberally sprinkling salt and pepper over it all.  Then – squeeze a whole lemon and drizzle olive oil over the top.

Roast at 375 just until fish flakes nicely.  This will entirely depend on the thickness of your fish, so watch it carefully and check after 10 minutes.

Serve over rice, with a bright, crunchy salad on the side.  Add crusty bread to soak up those juicy drippings and you’ve got a quick easy dinner good enough for company.

Tossed Salad

Phyllo Wrapped Halibut with Lemon Scallion Sauce

A little bit fussy to prep, but once you try wrapping a few of the halibut fillets, the rest will be easy to complete. Well worth it and super impressive to serve. Our good friend Jean came up with this, and we helped her do it for her own 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.

Ready for a party, these little phyllo packages are sprinkled with chives, fresh dill and an extra little drizzle of the lemon sauce.

Ready for a party, these little phyllo packages are sprinkled with chives, fresh dill and an extra little drizzle of the lemon sauce.

To serve 4:

4 tbsp butter
8 sheets phyllo dough
4 (5 oz) halibut fillets
4 tsp chopped fresh dill
6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
4 green onions, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425

Separate the phyllo – it will take 4 sheets total for every 2 halibut fillets. Lightly butter 1 sheet phyllo dough. Lay another sheet directly on top of the first sheet and lightly butter it. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of phyllo. Cut sheets in half.

Season halibut with salt and pepper. Place each fillet near the bottom edge of one of the halved sheets – sprinkle with dill. Fold in the sides of the phyllo, then roll the fillet.

Place on baking sheet, lightly brushing with more butter.

Ready for the oven, these little fillets are going to be so moist inside, crispy and crunchy outside.

Ready for the oven, these little fillets are going to be so moist inside, crispy and crunchy outside.


Bake in preheated oven until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

While the fillets are baking:

In a small saucepan, bring lemon juice to a boil over high heat. Boil until almost evaporated. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream. simmer until the cream thickens somewhat. Stir in green onions and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve halibut on a pool of the sauce. Garnish with more fresh dill.

Halibut with Caper Beurre Blanc

Probably one of the simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy halibut – in season right now. Start with halibut from a great fishmonger – well worth it.

Moist, flaky and delicious halibut served with Caper Beurre Blanc.

Moist, flaky and delicious halibut served with Caper Beurre Blanc.

Caper Beurre Blanc

2 finely diced shallots
3/4 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold butter, in small pieces

1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1-2 tbsp capers, to taste

In small saucepan simmer the shallots, wine and vinegar until reduced by about half. Add butter one piece at time, whisking well until smooth and creamy looking.

Keep warm until you are ready to serve halibut, adding capers and dill right before serving – just until capers are heated through.

Halibut

6 serving size pieces of halibut fillet

1/2 cup mayonnaise
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tbsp assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped (I like basil, parsley and tarragon)
2 tbsp finely chopped chives or green onions
1 tsp black pepper

Blend the mayonnaise well with all the ingredients. Spread over the tops and sides of the halibut.

This can be done earlier in the day, and allowed to rest in the fridge. I’m not a huge fan of recipes that have fish or chicken slathered in mayonnaise – this allows the flavours of the halibut to work beautifully with the herbs and is enough to keep the fish moist. Feel free to add more mayo though if you like.

Bake halibut in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Watch carefully after 15 minutes. The minute your fish starts to flake easily it is done, so remove it from the oven.

Serve with Beurre Blanc sauce – simple white rice is a great carrier for the sauce. We served it tonight with some of the first of the seasons carrots and asparagus, along with fresh garden greens – but I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of the completed plate!