Thursday, January 6, 2011

(Not So) Thoughtless Thursday: Baked Halibut with Zesty Gremolata

My brain turned off at some point yesterday afternoon (it did, however, return for a short jaunt today during an interview and lunch with Kim of Rustic Garden Bistro). However, this tasty (and insanely easy) dish needed posting, but due to my lack of brain function, I had absolutely nothing to say until about 10 minutes ago. I decided I was going to do one of those Wordless Wednesday or Silent Sunday posts, but look for a word that started with the letter T. Thoughtless. You know, since thoughts are hard to come by at the moment.

It didn't work. I sat down to "write" a Thoughtless Thursday post--you know, the requisite (and maximum) two sentences--and these words just started to appear. Minimal verbiage is clearly not my strong suit. The thing is, I don't have any funny or fun stories to share with you today. I basically got conned into cooking for two of my friends who are in town for break (one from his job in Hong Kong and the other from the life of a PhD student). I didn't really want to cook for anyone, as lunch is normally my food relaxation time. I can eat a boring sandwich (those fancy seafood sandwiches are dinner fodder only), mismatch random things in the fridge, or simply eat a massive bowl of tomatoes and cucumber covered in Italian dressing. Yeah, that's probably my all-time favorite thing to eat. Don't judge.

I obviously gave up my precious feed-me-and-feed-me-only time to make this dish. I'm actually kind of glad I did--the gremolata belongs on everything you cook. Don't know what to do with that chicken breast? Zesty Gremolata. How about those short ribs? Zesty Gremolata. Lamb? Not that I like lamb, but add some more mint to this Zesty Gremolata. Hell, add it to your boring steamed vegetables or a bowl of pasta. Just eat this gremolata.

Adapted Slightly From Bon Apetit

Baked Halibut
4 4-6 oz halibut fillets
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Zesty Gremolata
3/4 cups finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint
1 shallot, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of the lemons, trying only to get the yellow zest. Set aside 4 2-3 inch strips, and finely mince the rest of the peel. Place 2 1/2 tablespoons of minced peel into a medium bowl.

2. Add parsley, mint, shallot, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to bowl with minced peel. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: Gremolata can be made a few hours ahead of time. Additionally, if the lemon peel has a significant amount of the white, bitter pith, run a slightly slanted sharp knife over it a few times to scrape it off.

3. Cut four large squares of parchment paper or tinfoil. Place each fillet on a square, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Top each filet with one reserved strip of lemon peel, with white side up (outside down). Seal up into pouches.

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until opaque in center. Time will vary depending on thickness of filet.


Chow and Chatter said...

wow love this I am so going to make it yum

sara @ CaffeIna said...

Uh oh ok I would have to let the mint aside but oh boy was it worth it that you decided to cook for your friends! And, no please, don't start writing wordless Wednesdays or silent Sundays. Not that I don't like them...but after a long long day of work like today I need to read you and your sarcasm. So please, keep on going with long posts!

Kori said...

Wow, we love baked halibut and the fresh herb topping looks divine. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks really tasty! I'm sure your friends are grateful that you cooked for them.

Jason Phelps said...

Nobody would ever say you were without thoughts or short on words!

You friends are lucky. They should be paying you back somehow.


Baking Barrister said...

dear blog comments, are you working?

SprinkleBakes said...

Y-U-M! and really great photos to boot!

I also have mismatched lunches. Sometimes I just stand in front of the 'fridge and eat.

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

I've never had gremolata, but I'm pretty sure I'll be putting it on everything now.

Christine Wu said...

Gremolata, I like the sound of it.

Jamie said...

I never cook fish - it scares me! So I leave it to my husband and he doesn't make it often enough. This is an easy-enough and fabulously tasty recipe, what with that gremolata (which yes I make for Ossobuco). Yum!

Amy at TheSceneFromMe said...

I'm loving that herb spread you put on top! That would be good on so many things :)

Jackie said...

You are a girl after my own heart. And stomach. I tried doing a wordless post once... it didn't happen. Words appeared. I gave up. I'm just a talker (I nearly wrote 'stalker', there - I don't think I'm that...).

Still, this looks tasty awesome. I'd probably put that gremolata on anything I could get my hands on, honestly.

Jax x

Monet said...

I'm glad you shared your words with us...I always am! I know what it feels like to get suckered into cooking a meal you aren't particularly excited about. I think after the holiday bustle, we all need a break! This fish does look so delicious though. All of that parsley and mint in your gremolata must make for a flavorful meal! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a relaxing Sunday. I don't know about you, but I need a day to rejuvenate!

Ingrid said...

Love halibut! Looks like a winner!

Stephanie @ Per l'Amore del Cibo said...

I realize that I'm a million years behind on commenting here, but I just wanted to tell you that your gremolata looks amazing. That is all. :)

Marian said...

This looks great, simple, and pretty healthy. Thank you for posting!

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