In an effort to eat more low calorie foods and lose some weight before dress shopping for my daughter’s wedding, I have been trying to cut back on the pizza, pasta and pastries and focus on fish, fruit and flavors. (I am constantly sabotaging myself and Superbowl Sunday party foods didn’t help.) Since it’s citrus season, and I can’t seem to get enough of those luscious cara cara oranges and blood oranges, I combined them with a fish that I love to order when eating out — halibut. It’s always so expensive at the fish market, making it a relative bargain on a restaurant menu. But I couldn’t resist buying some when I saw it on sale last week, and a 3/4 pound piece was enough for the two of us. It provided the perfect foil for the oranges and the salsa verde. It couldn’t be much simpler to cook either. Just dry the fish thoroughly, sprinkle with salt and white pepper and place it skin side down in a hot skillet coated with oil. I didn’t use olive oil here since the heat is cranked way up, but rather chose canola oil. You could use peanut or safflower oil, which also have a high smoking point. The skin will start to crisp up, and eventually loosen from the pan. After about five minutes, lower the temperature of the burner.
You could flip the fish over and finish cooking on the other side, or even easier, just leave it skin side down and cover with a lid. It should finish cooking in just a couple of minutes.
While the fish is cooking (or before you even start cooking the fish), make the salsa verde, by finely mincing the parsley, dill, onion, capers and jalapeño. The jalapeño is optional, but I had some candied jalapeño in the pantry and I thought they would add a nice “zip” to the salsa.
Scatter the orange sections and salsa all around the fish.
Serve with some rice and vegetables for a colorful, healthy and easy to prepare dinner that’s fit for company or just you and your partner.
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- ¾ lb. - 1 lb. halibut
- 2 tablespoons canola, safflower, peanut or other vegetable oil with a high smoking point
- 2 oranges sectioned into supremes (I used one cara cara and one blood orange)
- FOR THE SALSA VERDE:
- ½ cup finely minced parsley
- ½ cup finely minced dill
- a couple of tablespoons finely minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon capers
- a couple of slices of candied or fresh jalapeno (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt, pepper
- juice that remains in the oranges after sectioning
- Let the halibut sit on the counter for about a half hour to let it reach a temperature closer to the room temperature.
- It will cook more evenly if it's not cold from the refrigerator.
- Dry the piece (or pieces) of fish, then sprinkle with salt and white pepper.
- Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the fish, skin side down.
- Cook at high heat until the skin starts to loosen from the pan.
- (Be patient - It will take five minutes or so and it will splatter a lot of oil on your stove).
- At this point, lower the heat slightly, and put a lid on the pan to finish cooking.
- It should take only a couple of minutes to finish cooking.
- While the fish is cooking, section the oranges and make the salsa verde.
- For the salsa, combine all the ingredients and stir with a fork.
- Remove the halibut from the pan, drizzle the salsa on the fish and around the sides, and scatter the orange sections all around.