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Good morning everyone!
Today I’ve got a real special meal lined up for you. This bastard ticks off a lot of positive boxes. It’s quick, it’s pretty simple, it can be made for a weeknight meal, it’s HEALTHY-ish, and it is insanely delicious. In addition the side dish offers tons of versatility and adaptability in case you want to vary some shit up.
Yep. That’s macadamia crusted halibut and rice pilaf with turmeric, garlic and crumbled macadamia. We went full on fucking nuts with this meal and had a side spinach salad with – you guessed it – almond slivers!
Nuts! They’re what’s for dinner!
There have been previous discussions about varieties of nuts and there are some pretty strong opinions on what is the best nut. I am partial to most of these delightfully tasty, protein and nutrient packed little nuggets but would call it a pretty close call for favorite nut. On any given day I could say that macadamia, pistachio or cashews are my favorite nut but that would be disrespecting the incredible almond. Goddamn pecans can be incredible too.
Fuck! So many choices!
It’s macadamias actually. They have a subtle “crispness” to their bite and a little bit of sweetness and an undeniable satisfying crunch. Yep. It’s the macadamia.
Proceed to argue down in the comments.
I’ve been on a pretty sustained health kick recently. My creaky ass knees have been giving me some grief so I’m trying to help them out by taking a few extra pounds off of them. Lately I’ve been trying to lighten some things up, mainly my ass, and I’ve been trying to cook healthier without sacrificing taste. Today is our second feature this season where we sail off to the briny deep and catch us a meal with some fresh fish.
First we had us some fish and chips.
Granted not the healthiest preparation technique but motherfucker it was delicious.
Today we are going to cook my favorite fish.
When did this shit get so goddamn expensive? Shit was 20 bucks a pound. Twenty five if you want fresh Pacific fillets.
The fuck is that?
How the fuck are we supposed to eat healthy when this fucker is 20 bucks a pound? These swine have gone and priced us mortals out of having halibut in a regular meal rotation! Rat bastards!
Fuck it, we’ll just have to make this a “special occasion” meal.
Many good things to get to today including a side dish that begs to be fucked around with and given entry into your side dish repertoire.
Let’s get after this.
Macadamia crusted halibut steaks!
Quick note here, this recipe is for halibut steak not fillet. There is a big difference in cooking time.
Here is a fillet.
And here are the steaks we used.
You will notice that there is a bone right down the center of these. No worries, you can easily eat around the bone, just use standard fish eating caution. If you were cooking with fillets instead of halibut steaks, sear for about 2 minutes per side and finish in the oven for just 5 minutes.
(1) 8-10 ounce halibut steak per person.
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs.
1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts plus another 1/4 cup for other uses. Save a handful for the side dish and the pan sauce to be named later.
Whites of 2 eggs.
3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle of cayenne.
Let the halibut steaks come to room temperature and dry them off with a paper towel. Food note! Buy the fish the same day you plan to cook it. For freshness sake as well as for the sake of the interior smell of your refrigerator. Nobody likes a stanky fridge.
Next we are going to season with the salt, pepper and cayenne.
Let’s go ahead and preheat the oven to 375.
Meanwhile get out your handy food processor to crunch up some of those macadamias. This could be done by hand if you want to challenge your patience and your sanity. Then again if you have a food processor this would be a good time to use it.
Toss your nuts in the working bowl.
Then give these just a few pulses. We ain’t trying to make macadamia butter here so don’t get all crazy and shit. Just enough to crumble them up.
Get a dish deep enough to dredge in and add the crushed nuts to the breadcrumbs.
Mix the breadcrumbs and the nuts together to combine.
Take another dish out and place in the beaten egg whites – no yolks – to act as a dredge.
Take one of your seasoned halibut steaks and place in the egg whites. Coat evenly.
Next we will be taking the fish and placing it in the macadamia/bread crumb mixture.
Press down to get a good covering of the nuts and breadcrumbs.
Repeat the process until all of your steaks have been coated.
Take out your handy skillet and get it heated up over a medium flame. The idea here is brown the fish, and finish cooking in the oven.
When the skillet has heated, add in the olive oil and heat until the oil is shimmery. You could use butter instead but “healthy” remember? Without overcrowding the pan, add in a couple of the pieces of fish. These will cook for 3 minutes on the first side. SET A GODDAMN TIMER!
Three minutes and flip. Then 2 minutes and remove from skillet. Here’s after the first flip. Get them a lovely golden brown.
After all of the steaks have been pre-cooked take out a foil lined baking sheet and place the halibut on the foil. These are going to finish cooking in the preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. I set the timer for 13 minutes and..
Macadamia butter pan sauce.
Some of the crushed macadamia nuts.
2 tablespoons of butter.
I used a slotted spoon on the ground up macadamia nuts to remove the larger of the pieces which allowed the coating for the fish to be a little more uniform. Use the leftover bigger pieces of macadamia nuts for this sauce and the upcoming side dish.
Melt down the butter and get it slightly browned without burning it. Add in the macadamia bits and cook for 3-4 minutes.
The halibut steaks are now ready for service. Take a halibut steak and drizzle some of the butter/nut pan sauce over the top. Serve with a nice glass of white wine and a delicious side dish with maybe a salad and you’re a goddamn hero you are.
When eating the halibut, eat from each side like you would a t-bone and be mindful of the spiny bone in the center.
Stuck on ideas for a side dish?
Let me help you with that.
Rice pilaf with turmeric, garlic and macadamia nuts.
1 cup of long grain rice. I used a nice jasmine rice but basmati would do the damn deed as well.
1 and 2/3 cups of chicken stock.
2 tablespoons of butter.
1 small onion chopped pretty fine.
2 cloves of garlic minced.
1 tablespoon of turmeric.
Salt and pepper to taste.
A small handful of some of the crushed macadamia nuts.
Take out a medium sauce pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Next add in the diced onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Next add in the rice. We’re going to toast the rice for a few minutes to give it a nice toasty aroma. Now add in the garlic and turmeric.
Give a few more stirs and cook for just 2-3 minutes. This is where you will say “Goddamn! This shit got really yellow in a hurry!”
Yes it does.
Add the chicken stock to the rice, along with some salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat on the burner to LOW, cover with a lid and cook the rice undisturbed for 17 minutes.
When the 17 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid, turn off the stove and use a fork or spoon to fluff up the rice. Next add in some of the crushed macadamia nuts for a nice crunch.
The cool thing about this type of rice preparation is you can vary up the aromatics. Onion, garlic, shallot, fennel all work well and will each give a distinct flavor to the rice. Rice is a nice base for flavor variations. Also use different spices to change things up. I like turmeric and it’s really fantastic with the onion and garlic but you could use paprika, cumin, chili powder, thyme, curry powder, cinnamon. Get all fucking crazy. You can finish this baby with some veggies – corn, peas, carrot – or like today add in some nuts. Almonds, walnuts, crushed pistachios would all do the trick.
You know what would work here? Use 2/3 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of chicken stock and add in some grated coconut flake and some fresh pineapple chunks instead. Profiles and shit.
Soon you will be a pilaf professional! A Rice Renegade! A side dish ninja!
Let’s plate today’s meal up shall we?
Grab a spoon or two of the rice and set it in the center of the plate. Next take one of the halibut steaks and set it up next to the rice. Get a spoon of that butter/macadamia pan sauce and ladle it right over the top of the fish.
Let’s also get a nice fresh garnish on that directly from the herb garden.
Chop up some of the fresh chives and sprinkle them over everything.
Pour yourself a glass of white wine – Duck Pond pinot grigio for this one and serve.
The rice has a rich, exotic aroma and flavor from the turmeric, onion and garlic and a satisfying crunch from the chopped nuts. It’s buttery, intoxicating and delicious. Cooking it in stock instead of water boosts the flavor quotient exponentially.
The fish is flaky, meaty, with a good bite and it’s so, so very fucking satisfying. The buttery sweetness of the macadamia nuts is present and accounted for.
The fresh chives give everything a subtle oniony brightness.
Everything works in a symphony of the perfect bite.
This is how motherfucking shit gets done!
Easy enough for a weeknight.
Healthy enough to feel good about.
Sexy enough to raise your status as a cook up another goddamn level.
Try this one people.
If it’s good enough for Jehovah?
Thanks for stopping by.