Halibut is one of my very favorite treats from the sea. A treat it is, indeed. It’s fresh-caught halibut season these days, though, which means SALE, SALE, SALE! In order to get the most bang for my buck, I decided to take advantage of the healthy fat benefits of the best fish in town, and also the decadently smooth crunch of macadamia nuts – well, sort of…
The truth of the matter is that my plan was to teach a class on healthy fats. “Fat is not the f-word!” To coincide with the class theme, I did decide to pair the omega-3 fatty acids of the halibut with the amazing fats in macadamia nuts – dressed with a spicy coconut sauce.
The combination was intoxicating – really. I found myself inhaling the nearly inebriating aroma of the garlic-basil-cilantro infused nut crust and then longing to imbibe in the creamy coconut ginger scent of the paired sauce.
But first…my task was to render the priceless organic grass-fed beef-tallow my pals in the meat department stowed away for me. The omega-3 fatty acid profile of grass-fed beef tallow is the gold standard when it comes to healthy fat. Of course, I felt the need to demonstrate that, along with a home-made ghee (clarified butter) demonstration.
This was a new experience for me. Never, ever have I undertaken such a feat – raw beef fat was rather unappealing at first. I anticipated feeling neutral, if not disenchanted with the experience. However, shhh…I discovered I quite enjoyed the smell of the beef fat melting down. Did I really just articulate that?
I was so relieved to receive the positive feedback that all of this information and visual representation was extremely informational and helpful. That’s the goal. I smiled, knowing that my efforts paid off – not just for my taste buds, but for the palate, persona, and proficiency.
1 cup macadamia nuts
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon real sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
6 small halibut fillets
3 Tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine nuts, garlic, basil, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a small food-processor, and coarsely chop. Transfer mixture to a plate. Rinse halibut and pat dry. Coat the top side of each fillet with honey. Press honey coated side into nut mixture. (If desired, coat both sides of the fillets with honey and dredge both sides with nut crust). Place fish, nut crust side up (if only crusting one side), on the prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.
Drizzle with Coconut-Ginger-Chili-Lime Sauce.
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
1 lime (juice and zest)
Real sea salt, to taste