Hooks for Cooks™


April 29th, 2009

What’s for dinner at my house tonight? Halibut.

My husband and sons love to fish the cold offshore waters here in the Pacific Northwest. As a result, my freezer boasts a hefty stockpile of halibut, salmon and lingcod. I’ve learned to use my wild-caught fish in an infinite number of family friendly dishes. One of our favorite ways is in “haliburgers.”

Spontaneously created and named as such by my husband, “haliburgers” are a quick and easy dinnertime solution and a healthy alternative to the traditional hamburger! Our method uses a slightly smaller serving size of halibut, so it’s also a great way to stretch this white fish a little farther on the dinner table.

Armed with whole grain rolls, a locally-made tartar sauce, and a hefty supply of mixed lettuces, we grab a cutting board and get to work. We take a chubby halibut fillet and slice it in half horizontally with a sharp knife. By slicing the fillet in half, we create a thinner fillet with a large surface area. This is basically the same technique used to create an escalope of veal or pork–we just don’t pound the halibut to flatten it. The slicing technique also makes the halibut easier to eat in a sandwich. Some fillets can be quite thick, because a halibut can weigh as much as 150 pounds!

Once we’ve created our escalope of halibut, we add a little blackening seasoning and cook it in a cast iron skillet or on the grill until it just flakes. Because the fillet is so thin, it cooks very quickly so we are always careful to not overcook our haliburgers. We then assemble the halibut with the bun, tartar sauce and lettuce and dinner is served in under 10 minutes!

Note: Wild Alaska Halibut season officially kicked off March 21 and runs through November. Seattle supermarkets are starting to feature it in their weekly specials and this week QFC has fresh halibut steaks on sale for $9.99 per pound. (This sales knocks $6 off the regular retail price.) Steaks contain the bones because they are the cross cut sections of the fish. The steaks can certainly be used for our haliburgers, you just need to do some simple fillet work beforehand.

One Response to “Haliburgers”

  1. Norene Gilletz (cookbook author)

    What a quick, wonderful and less expensive way to enjoy the flavor of delicious halibut. You won’t have to “fish for compliments” when you serve hali-burgers!

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