Wondering where in the world I’ve been lately? Did you think I’d gone on a cooking hiatus? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I did! I had a very unwanted guest come to visit me for about 3 weeks. In our house, he goes by the name of “damned cold virus”. You all know his kind. Uninvited, he creeps up on you when you’re least expecting it and stays for days on end, robbing you of any energy you mistakenly thought you had! My guys hate it when I’m sick, because the “WHAT’S FOR DINNER?” question is always answered with “Whatever you decide to bring home!” They are SO happy when I’m back up and cooking. 🙂
The other day I got home rather late from the office. I was pretty drained and didn’t really have the energy to do my usual “experimenting” in the kitchen. Falling into bed was what I would have preferred, BUT I had 2 pitiful looking guys standing in my kitchen with that “WHAT’S FOR DINNER?” look in their eyes! Besides, I had some nice halibut in the fridge that needed to be cooked. Not wanting to waste a great piece of fish, I just needed a quick way to prepare it. A quick sauté in the pan to create a nice crust and then a pop into the oven proved to be the perfect quick dinner! I topped it with a dollop of one of my flavored butters (see previous post “Pan Seared Tilapia with Lemon Parsley Butter Sauce”) and served it over a bed of sautéed spinach w/garlic. I had dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! Eat your heart out Rachel Ray!
Not too shabby for a quick, throw-together meal, huh? Certainly better than driving through Chic-Fil-A! Not that anything’s wrong with Chic-Fil-A…I’m actually addicted to their chocolate shakes, but “I’M JUST SAYING”!
If you’d rather not top this fish with the flavored butter, several other things would be great! A few that come to mind that can be purchased already prepared at the store would be fresh pico de gallo, mango salsa, or maybe a prepared lemon/dill sauce. The fish is also fantastic with no topping at all!
So here’s the lowdown on putting together a quick and healthy meal in not too much time. It’s really not much of a recipe, but I’ll do my best to walk you through it:
Pan Roasted Halibut Served Over Bed of Fresh Spinach w/Garlic
Serves 4 (or 2 with one teenage son)
Sauteed Spinach w/Garlic
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 package fresh spinach
Place garlic and olive oil in skillet over low heat. Cook until garlic starts to sizzle and turn brown. (DON’T let the garlic burn or it will turn bitter! You just want a golden brown color.) You are making garlic infused olive oil! At this point, you can take out the garlic if you don’t like eating it, but I leave it in. Crank up the heat just a bit and add spinach to skillet. Using tongs, continue to turn spinach over as it starts to wilt. It should only take a few minutes for the spinach to reduce down. Remove from heat and keep covered until fish is ready.
Ingredients for Halibut
- 4 pieces of fresh halibut (any size)
- McCormicks Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
- olive oil (enough to lightly coat skillet)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place just enough olive oil in large non-stick skillet to coat, and heat over high heat (make sure your pan is able to be put in the oven…no plastic handles, etc). When you see the oil start to wave & ripple, you know it’s hot! Brush both sides of fish with olive oil and lightly season with Grill Mates (it contains salt, so be careful). If you don’t have Grill Mates, use salt and pepper, but if you have the chance, try Grill Mates. It’s my go-to seasoning for EVERYTHING! Place fish into pan (it should sound like Carnegie Hall, sizzling–if not, the skillet isn’t hot enough!) Turn the heat down to med-high, and cook until you see a nice brown crust forming underneath, then flip and put into the oven for about 4-5 minutes. The fish will continue to cook as it comes out of the oven, so don’t overcook!
To plate, put your spinach in middle of plate, and place fish on top. Top with your choice of toppings or nothing at all. If you’re using flavored butter, put a dollop on top of fish and put back into oven for just a minute to start butter melting. Serve immediately.
1. If possible, always ask to smell the fish you buy from the store. It should NOT smell like what it is. It should smell like the ocean…fresh & clean! If it doesn’t, give it back and chose another kind.
2. General rule of thumb: cook fish for approx. 10 minutes per inch of thickness. In this recipe, you’ll cook it for about 4-5 minutes in skillet, then 4-5 minutes more in the oven.