Tag Archives: Halibut

Fish Cakes

Calling these “fish cakes” really doesn’t do them justice. The “fish” part is right, but “cake” infers flour, fat and eggs with a bread-like crumb. These crispy succulent fish patties have none of that. They are packed with 3 types of fish, fresh herbs and chiles, and just a little filler to hold them together. I’ve combined sweet baby shrimp, salmon and Alaskan smoked halibut in this recipe, but feel free to adjust the quantities of each, so long as you have about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds in total. I do recommend including smoked fish – it’s flavor adds a certain heartiness and saltiness to these, er, cakes, evoking the seaside on a grey and misty autumn day.

Fish Cakes

Finely chop the fish instead of processing in a food processor. This will ensure a chunky – not pasty – consistency. Makes about 16 (2-inch) cakes.

1 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, divided
1 salmon fillet, about 6 ounces, skin and pin-bones removed, finely chopped
3/4 pound cooked baby shrimp, finely chopped
1/2 pound smoked fish (halibut or salmon), finely chopped
1 red jalapeno chile peppers, stemmed and seeded, finely minced
1/4 cup grated yellow onion, with juices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

Place 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Place remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix to thoroughly combine, without overmixing. With a light hand, carefully form 2-inch patties. Roll in the reserved breadcrumbs to coat and arrange in one layer on a tray or platter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Prepare the sauce: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until use.
Fry the fish cakes: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish cakes in batches without overcrowding. Fry until brown and crispy on both sides, turning once. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep warm. Serve  with Yogurt Sriracha Sauce.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Smoky Fennel Salmon Chowder
Cioppino with a Twist
Smoked Mackerel Pate with Horseradish and Dill

Cioppino with a Twist


~
I would like to call this recipe a cioppino. Cioppino is a fish stew with a San Francisco pedigree reaching back to the 1800′s. The name is derived from the Italian term ciuppin, which means “to chop.”  It’s believed that the Italian and Portuguese fisherman would chop up leftovers from their daily catch to make this robust and flavorful soup. The reason why I hesitate slightly about labeling it a cioppino is that I have taken a liberty with this recipe that is neither Italian nor Portuguese at all. It’s Greek.

Wine is a key ingredient in the cioppino stock, and recipes gamely call for white or red, depending on the source. I usually use red wine, however in this recipe I tried white. The result was a lighter, more acidic broth that I felt needed a little oomph. Additional salt and extra pepper helped, as did a spoonful of sugar (which often works wonders in tomato-based stocks and sauces.) Still, something was missing. I looked no further than the fennel I had sautéed with the onion as a base for the stock, and I reached for the Ouzo, a Greek anise liqueur, in the back of the pantry. It was a perfect shot. The Ouzo coaxed out the licorice flavor of the fennel, adding depth and roundness with subtle anise notes. So here you have it: Cioppino with a Greek twist.

Cioppino
Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juices
2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup Ouzo or other anise liqueur
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
18 littleneck clams
18 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
6 large sea scallops, about 3/4 pound
2 cooked crabs, legs cracked, flesh removed from bodies
1 pound firm fleshed white fish such as halibut or sea bass, cut in 2 inch chunks

Fresh Italian parsley

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, fennel, bay leaf, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent without coloring, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, Ouzo, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add a spoonful of sugar. Add clams. Cook, stirring, until they open. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Add shrimp, sea scallops and white fish. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until all of the fish is cooked through. Add crab legs and meat. Simmer to heat through. Serve hot in bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Grilled Soy and Mustard Marinated Fish Kebabs

Fish Kebabs

This weekend we are hosting my husband’s extended family for a dinner. Whenever we visit Denmark we do this at least once. Each time, I try to make food that they may not ordinarily eat but I know they will enjoy. Danish cuisine is simple, reflecting Scandinavian understatement while influenced by long winters and finicky summer weather. As a result, menus are usually limited and repetitive, taking full advantage of fresh food on hand before its fleeting season disappears. When I cook in Denmark, I like to prepare equally simple and seasonal food, while introducing additional flavors, spices and combinations not usually served in Danish homes.

This recipe for Grilled Soy and Mustard Marinated Fish Kebabs is my go-to recipe for grilling fish. It’s easy to make and somewhat unusual with the addition of grated onion, which adds sweetness and texture to the marinade which is rounded out with salty soy sauce and sharp mustard. Simple, fresh and a little different – this will be perfect for the barbeque and entertaining this weekend.

Grilled Soy and Mustard Fish Kebabs

This marinade suits most firm-fleshed fish on the grill, such as swordfish, salmon, halibut, or tuna. Serves 6.

1 medium yellow onion, grated, with juices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds thick fleshed fish (salmon, halibut, swordfish, tuna) cut in 1 1/2″ chunks
Optional: 1 large red onion, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Pre-soak 12 bamboo skewers in hot water 30 minutes before using.
Combine onion, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard and pepper in a large bowl; whisk together. Add fish to marinade and toss gently to coat.  Refrigerate at least one hour and up to 3 hours.
Prepare grill for medium-hot heat or broiler. Thread 4 pieces of fish on each skewer, alternating with pepper and onion pieces if using. Discard marinade. Grill over direct heat, turning, until fish is charred and just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Arrange on a platter and garnish with parsley sprigs.

Spicy Halibut Stew with Chorizo and Kale

Halibut STew

I was tempted to make a fish chowder last night. Nothing beats a rich and creamy chowder on a rainy day. However, when I opened my refrigerator a bag of kale fell out.  It’s curly leaves were bursting out of the plastic demanding attention. Obligingly, I started to think of other possibilities.  A container of chicken stock was sitting squarely on the middle shelf, patiently waiting to be put to use, and I decided to change course. Instead of chowder, I would make a lighter stew with the fresh halibut I had purchased in the morning. I wanted a smoky component to lend depth to the flavor of the soup, so I fished a chorizo sausage from the meat drawer. I would also add chunks of potato that would complement the sturdy greens. The result? Satisfying, rustic dinner in a bowl:

Spicy Halibut Stew with Chorizo and Kale

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fennel bulb, ends and fronds trimmed, chopped
8 oz. spicy chorizo, cut in 1/2″ slices
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb. kale, ends trimmed, washed, coarsely chopped
1 lb. halibut filet or other firm fleshed white fish, cut in 1″ pieces
Flat leaf parsley for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, one minute. Add fennel and chorizo and continue cooking, stirring, until onion is translucent and fennel begins to soften. Add potatoes, thyme, oregano, salt and bay leaf and toss to coat in the oil.  Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are nearly tender.  Stir in kale and cook until leaves brighten and stalks soften, about 3 minutes.  Add halibut and carefully submerge in stock. Gently cook over medium heat until fish is just cooked through.  Add extra salt if necessary. Remove from heat. Serve in warm soup bowls garnished with parsley sprigs and freshly ground black pepper.

Easy Entertaining: Grilled Salmon and Halibut Skewers

It’s mid-April, Easter vacation, and when it rains it pours – luckily and figuratively – in the houseguest department.  Who needs to go away during a school vacation, when you live in the San Francisco Bay area?  There is no shortage of beaches and nature to explore, food and wine to taste, museums and city to walk, and it can’t get any better than with the streak of brilliant weather we have had this week.  Besides, if we don’t go away, then those who do go away, come to us.

We are reaching the end of a week of playing tourist in our own backyard, hiking Pacific coastal trails, tasting Napa wine, window shopping in Union Square, and having our senses titillated in Chinatown.  My brother and his family have come and gone and return again this evening after visiting Yosemite National Park for a 3 day excursion. While they were gone, the kids have had friends sleep over, and a good friend from our Geneva days came round for a dinner - she was in town for business and we had the chance to catch up after 10 years over good wine and food.  Next week when we are back to our usual routine I will rest.

As you might imagine, the kitchen chez nous has been busy and continually re-stocked.  And for last night’s dinner I prepared these lovely fish kabobs for easy, elegant entertaining.

Grilled Salmon and Halibut Skewers
Serves 6

For the marinade:
1/4 cup (60 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml.) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium yellow onion, grated, with juices
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 lbs. salmon fillet and halibut filet (thick pieces), cut in 1″ chunks
1 large red onion, cut in 1″ pieces
1 large red pepper, cut in 1″ pieces
1 large yellow pepper, cut in 1″ pieces

Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Soak 12 wooden skewers in hot water 30 minutes before using.

In a large bowl combine marinade ingredients.  Whisk together.  Add fish to marinade and toss gently to coat.  Refrigerate at least one hour and up to 4 hours.
Preheat grill or oven grill.
Remove skewers from water.  Thread 4-5 pieces of fish on each skewer, alternating with pepper and onion pieces.  Grill, turning, until fish is brown and just cooked through, 6-8 minutes.
Arrange on a platter, salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with parsley sprigs.