Sunday, October 5, 2014


Halibut Nuggets
A Pacific Northwest theme is going on in this dish.  Recently, we purchased fresh wild Alaskan halibut at the fish monger and a beautiful large lobster mushroom at the produce market. Halibut is one of my favorite finfish from the Pacific Northwest and its peak season is from April until October.  And the Pacific Northwest is one of the main growing regions for lobster mushrooms, which are widely available in September and October. I've been eyeing the lobster mushrooms for many years whenever they were at the market, so now was the time to give them a try. 

The halibut recipe is adapted from the Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook. Halibut is a finfish that is high in protein, low in calories and easy to cook. The halibut is cut into chunks and dipped into a honey-mustard mixture, then coated with a hazelnut-crumb mixture and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes.  The end result is a very moist and succulent fish.
And the lobster mushrooms, surprisingly, are not mushrooms but a fungus that grows on certain species of mushrooms, turning them a reddish orange color that resembles the outer shell of a cooked lobster.  They have a seafood-like aroma when cooking and a firm, dense texture.   When sautéed, their succulent meat hints pleasantly at seafood. We simply sautéed the mushrooms in butter with fresh thyme sprigs.

For the Halibut:
Yield:  Serves 2
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup Panko (or unflavored bread crumbs)
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
2 teaspoons minced cilantro
3/4 pound halibut, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces
Olive oil
Kosher salt
White pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mustard, soy sauce, butter, and honey.  In another small bowl, mix together the panko bread crumbs, hazelnuts, and minced cilantro.

Lightly sprinkle halibut pieces with salt and pepper.  Dip the halibut nuggets in the honey-mustard mixture, allow excess to drain off and then coat with the hazelnut-crumb mixture.  Place nuggets on the baking sheet without crowding.
Bake the halibut nuggets for 8-12 minutes, or 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  The fish should just turn opaque.  To test for doneness, cut into the center of one nugget with the tip of a small, sharp knife and pull apart slightly. 

For the Lobster Mushrooms:
Yield:  1 cup mushrooms

1 large lobster mushroom (about 12 oz)
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Place lobster mushroom in a bowl of cold water for several minutes.  Remove from water and cut the mushroom in half.  Wipe off and clean the brown spots on the outer parts and in the flesh of the mushroom and remove the hard bottom part.  Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.
Melt butter in a pan.  Add mushrooms to pan with thyme sprigs.  Sauté mushrooms, turning occasionally, until mushrooms are cooked through. Remove thyme sprigs before serving.
To Finish:
Serve halibut nuggets with the sautéed mushrooms and their pan juices as a side, or place a mushroom slice on each halibut nugget and drizzle with some of the pan juice.  The nugget with the mushroom slice on top is a perfect one-bite experience loaded with intense flavors.

1 comment:

cv writers said...

Tasty, I so want to have it right now but I can't as don't have all the ingredients with me right now. Good thing is you have shared recipe and I keeping it, will be giving it a try soon