I have been craving fish for weeks now. My mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of thick tuna, seared quickly and then served with sesame. I’ve been thinking cold poached salmon with capers and crisp butter lettuce. And I could never forget halibut, particularly the stark white creaminess of a baked halibut steak. I succumbed on the walk home from work tonight, there’s no ignoring a craving when one nestles into my brain. I bought a walloping halibut steak that could have realistically fed two people if I hadn’t been caught up in the fervour of halibut madness. Because halibut has such a delicate flavour the fish only needs to marinate for 30 minutes, and to be honest 15 minutes would get the job done in a pinch. This fresh corn salsa is a great way to use up leftover roasted corn; in fact you could easily roast a few extra ears the next time you make it for dinner and eliminate the first step in making the salsa. The fruits and vegetables seem to integrate best when cut very finely, I suggest a good podcast or phone conversation with a friend while doing this part (and chopping in total silence isn’t a half bad way to go about it, either). I served this massive halibut steak with a chopped green salad and briny Kalamata olives drizzled in a passionfruit dressing.
orange and herb marinated halibut with fresh corn salsa:
for the halibut:
1-2 halibut steaks, depending on how many people are eating
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice and zest from 1 orange
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Pinch of dried chilies
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the olive oil, orange juice and zest, parsley, salt, pepper, and chilies in a shallow baking dish big enough to house the halibut without crowding. Marinate the halibut, turning once, for 30 minutes.
2. Bake the halibut steaks for 12-16 minutes depending on thickness, it should flake easily with a fork when it’s ready. Serve topped with a generous amount of fresh corn salsa.
for the fresh corn salsa:
2 ears of corn, roasted at 350 degrees for 35 minutes in their husks and cooled before peeling
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 ripe nectarine or peach, finely diced
2 small cucumbers, finely diced
1 cup of grape tomatoes, finely diced
1 sweet pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 yellow banana pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp. fruity olive oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
Small handful of cilantro or Italian parsley, minced
Kosher salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
I have the strangest affinity to this album considering both of my parents listened to it with heavy frequency in the aftermath of their divorce. It serves as a landmark for that period of my young life, serving to gather my time scattered memories and ground them with something certain. I listen to this album and I remember Saturday afternoons with my mom and sister. We would go to the children’s library and I would come home with a pile of John Bellairs books and Tintin comics. My sister and I would spend the afternoon reading in the backyard hammock, the sounds of “You and Me” drifting out of our kitchen window. Maybe that’s where the fondness comes from, its relation to the kitchen. Certainly now, as an adult, I feel great comfort listening to this song and all of the others on the record; it brings a sense of warmth and kindness to a period that was fraught with anger, hurt, and sadness.
Neil Young – You and Me