I was kind of lacking inspiration for dinner last night. I had cleaned the house from top to bottom all day and been in the kitchen messing up a chocolate cupcake recipe since I didn't have enough eggs. I needed something quick, something light, something not chicken or beef.
Fish was the ticket! After making my own Bang Bang Shrimp last week, fish has been on my mind more often. While I usually would order the Bang Bang Shrimp as an appetizer with Chilean Sea Bass as my entree, the only white fish the commissary consistently stocks is tilapia, tilapia and more tilapia. Which don't get me wrong, tilapia is very tasty, it's just after 24 months (oh my goodness, we've lived in Okinawa for 24 months-- time does fly when you work like crazy!) of tilapia, it gets a little old. I think the buyers for the commissary have finally heeded our complaints since they've FINALLY added Blue Bell ice cream and will sporadically have cod and halibut filets too.
Not that Blue Bell ice cream has anything to do with me cooking fish for dinner, it just makes me so happy to have a taste of home in the BEST ice cream known to man. Just sayin'......
I defrosted the halibut and got to work. Not having many ingredients in the house right now since we're going on a vacation next week, my options were slightly limited, so I went with a simple bread crumb coating. If you remember from a mere few paragraphs ago, I was out of eggs. I got creative and used greek yogurt for a low fat, creamy alternative to help the bread crumbs stick! I don't normally enjoy greek yogurt by itself, but it goes well in my morning smoothies, and on the fish I could not taste its normal grittiness- a definite plus. While I did use oil to cook the fish, it was really not much at all, and the yogurt helped to prevent the fish from absorbing much at all, so it did not taste greasy at all!
Once we get back from Australia, I'll definitely have to try making halibut again, since it was so tasty and juicy. Maybe with a lemon garlic aioli, or a chimichurri sauce, or with basil pesto and roasted potatoes. The options are endless with this flaky, neutral flavored fish. Last night's breaded version with chipotle mayo paired perfectly with the zucchini cakes that were also a snap to make!
Breaded Halibut with Chipotle Mayoa Butter Than Toast original
For the Fish:
3-4 halibut "steaks" which really are about the size of large chicken strips
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used Progresso's Italian flavor)
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon All Purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup neutral flavored oil, for shallow frying
For the Mayo:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
Mix the mayonnaise and chipotle, set aside. Mix panko, bread crumbs and 1/4 cup flour in a wide pan.
Defrost fish, and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly toss the fish in the remaining tablespoon of flour, but don't worry if not all surface area of the fish is covered- this is only to help the yogurt stick. With your finger or a knife, spread the yogurt on all sides of the fish, taking care to try to make an even layer all around. Roll fish into the bread panko/bread crumb/flour mixture.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add fish and cook until brown on all sides, about 6-8 min total. Set on paper towels to drain of any oil that has stuck to the breadcrumbs.
Serve with side dish of choice (really, these were awesome!), chipotle mayo and enjoy.
*Beware: Some brands of halibut steaks will have some rib bones still in there, some don't. The ones I used had the bones remaining. I found it easier to cook the fish with the bones in and pick them out as we ate, but do what works for you. Just something to be aware of when you're eating- swallowing fish bones is no bueno!