Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cajun Halibut with Dirty Rice


Over the course of the past few months we have really upped our seafood consumption.  Its funny, because when I was single, I would cook fish for dinner several nights a week, but once Joey and I got married, I all but stopped cooking seafood for some reason.  I have no idea why, because it is easy, quick, and healthy.

This halibut makes me really happy that I'm cooking fish again.  Its got a delicious Cajun seasoning, a praline sauce that's just sweet enough to keep things interesting, and its served with a yummy dirty rice.  Joey said this was a very "Top Chef" meal because there were several components and they all went so well together.  I take that as a pretty good compliment.  :-)

As much as I'm a fan of the sweet and savory, the sauce was actually just a tad too sweet, so I've decreased the sugar below.  I also bulked up the rice by doubling the veggies (this is a trick that I do quite often actually).  All in all this was a really delicious dinner that is easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for guests.

One Year Ago:  Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas and Guacamole Salad




Cajun Halibut with Praline Sauce
adapted from Cuisine Grilling
serves 4

For the Praline Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon whiskey or apple juice
For the Fish
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 halibut fillets (about 6 oz each)
Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Toast the pecans in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until golden, 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the pecans and salt, and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter and whiskey.  The sauce will thicken upon standing, but you can reheat over low heat before serving if needed.

Combine the oil, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Brush mixture over both sides of the fish.

Use a paper towel with oil to grease the grates of the grill.  Grill, covered, until the fish is cooked through and the fillets release easily from grate, about 3 minutes per side.  Drizzle warm sauce over fish before serving.

Dirty Rice
  • 1 link Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup dry white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
Saute sausage in a skillet in oil over medium-high heat until starting to brown, 2-3 minutes.   Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in rice, and saute 1 minute, then add broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Let the rice stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.  Season with salt and cayenne, and stir in the scallions.  Fluff with a fork and serve.


6 comments:

Tien said...

I would love this recipe. Thanks for sharing. -Tien :)

Cara said...

the sweet and spicy combination sounds fantastic!

ashley said...

i'm totally intrigued by the praline sauce! too bad hubby wouldn't eat it. he hates sweet dinners! he even eats his corn on the cob last if i serve it cause its like dessert. lol.

Annie said...

This looks so, so good! Can't wait to try it.

Kim said...

Josie,
I made this last night with tilapia instead of halibut and it was so delicious! This is a recipe I would definitely recommend to even make when entertaining guests. It's spicy, savory and sweet all in one!

BMK said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it last night and my husband said he didn't know if he would have gotten anything better had we been in a five star restaurant. He said whenever I ask him to make something this is what he will want! Definitely a big hit! I substituted cod for the halibut and it worked beautifully. Will be trying your halibut in with chipotle butter next.

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