On tonight’s menu? Macadamia nut crusted halibut, roasted rosemary carrots, and cauliflower mash.
SHOPPING THE MEAL: First of all, halibut is one of my favorite fishes. Not only is it an easy fish to bake, but it also tastes delicious. It’s one of the heartier textured fishes on the market that leaves you with a clean taste. It is also rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. When purchasing your halibut, make sure to buy from a reputed seller. When I’m in Nashville, I usually buy mine at Whole Foods, and when I’m in L.A., I like to swing by my local Ralph’s Fresh Fare. I always make sure the fish is “Wild-Caught” when purchasing. And yes, although ‘wild-caught’ is a little more expensive than ‘farm-raised,’ you don’t even want to know what has happened to those ‘farm-raised’ fish…it’s pretty disgusting when you read up on it (if you’re interested, take a look here). Once you’ve got your eye on the ‘wild-caught’ fillets, make sure the fish looks clear and white without any signs of browning or gaping. Also double check there’s no pungent smell to the fish. From there, make sure to grab Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Macadamia Nuts. I usually go for unsalted macadamia nuts as I feel the recipe doesn’t really need the extra salt…nor do I. Don’t forget to also grab your eggs and coconut milk, as well as grass-fed butter, parmesan cheese (I like freshly shredded) and Plain Greek Yogurt for the mashed cauliflower recipe. I recommend regular, unsweetened coconut milk, and Organic, Free-Range Eggs. If you can find pastured eggs, that’s even better! Last, its time to head over to the Produce section. Grab one bunch of fresh Italian parsley and one medium orange. You’ll need these two ingredients for your halibut, and they definitely give it a nice fresh, clean, citrusy flavor. Here you can also grab your cauliflower, carrots, rosemary sprigs, garlic, and chives. Lastly, don’t forget to grab olive oil or coconut oil—whichever you’d prefer—and some low-sodium, organic chicken stock.
PREPARING THE MEAL: Okay, so now we move into the kitchen. First, if you’re working with two ovens**, turn oven number one on at 350 degrees, and oven number two on at 425 degrees. I would start by preparing the roasted rosemary carrots as those will take the longest to cook. So—take your carrots, cut off the stocks, and slice in half vertically down the middle. Take a baking sheet and line it with foil. Grease the foil with a little olive oil. You can also use coconut oil if you’d like a little sweeter taste on your carrots. Take half of your garlic clove (which we’ll partly use in our cauliflower recipe as well), and throw that on the baking sheet. Lay out the carrots evenly and sprinkle the sea salt and black pepper on them. Next, take your rosemary sprigs and you can either pull off some of the little leaves and sprinkle on top of carrots themselves, or you can cut smaller pieces of the sprigs and lay them next to the carrots on the baking sheet. Rosemary is a pretty strong herb so it just depends how much of it you like in your dishes. Next we sort of toss the carrots all together on the baking sheet to coat with the spices, oil, and rosemary. Lay them out all evenly after you’ve done that and top with foil. Toss those into oven number two at this time and set timer for 20 minutes. Now onto the topping for the halibut. Take the macadamia nuts, and toast them in a skillet with a little olive oil, on low medium heat until golden. Make sure to stir them and watch that they don’t burn as they toast pretty quickly. Set those aside in a bowl and let them cool off a little. Then lightly grease a shallow baking dish with a little olive oil, and in a medium bowl, beat three egg whites and the coconut milk together (you may need a little more or less egg whites/coconut milk depending how big your fillets are). Then, take your cooled macadamia nuts and chop them up in a food processor. Pour them back into the bowl once chopped up. Next, cut your orange in half, and make sure to zest the outside of one half, while cutting the other half into small triangle-like pieces. Chop up your parsley, and add the orange zest, parsley, sea salt, and pepper to the bowl of nuts. Next, take your halibut fillets and coat each side with the egg mixture. Then dip the fillets into the nut mixture, and place in baking dish. You can always spoon some of the nuts onto the fish as well once its in the baking dish to top it off with any pieces that may have fallen off when transferring the fish to the dish. Set fish dish aside for a minute. At this time, it may or may not be time to turn your carrots over, but once the 20 minutes is up on them in the oven, make sure to lift foil, flip them over, and bake them for another 25-30 minutes. Now, we want to fill a stock pot with water (enough to where cauliflower can float in boiling water). Add the remaining garlic and a little sea salt, and get the water to a rapid boil. While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, rinse your cauliflower head, cut off the stalk, and chop into pieces. It doesn’t have to be really small pieces—just enough so that it will fit in a food processor. Once the water comes to a boil, place the cauliflower in the pot and steam for 8-10 minutes—until its tender. While your cauliflower is cooking, now is a great time to probably slip those fillets into the oven and cook them for about 15 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork. Now that you have the fillets and carrots in the oven, and the cauliflower boiling, you’ll want to take your cooked cauliflower and remaining part of your garlic clove, pat them dry with a paper towel, and transfer to a food processor. Add the chicken stock, cheese, oil, and yogurt to the food processor. Whip/Puree until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes. At this time I would also add at least 1 TBSP. of grass-fed butter to the mix as well as maybe a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Always make things to your taste, and if you prefer more/less salt or butter or onion or garlic, don’t be afraid to use more/less. Once the mix is about pureed, add chopped up chives and give it a few more spins in the food processor. Then let the mixture sit in there to stay warm while your fish and carrots are almost finished up baking. Once they are, done, transfer everything onto a plate, and make sure to top your halibut off with any extra chopped parsley you may have as well as the orange triangles. You can serve carrots with or without a sprig or two of rosemary, and feel free to add a slice of butter and a few extra chives to the top of your mashed cauliflower, if you so choose to indulge.
MACADAMIA NUT CRUSTED HALIBUT:
Heat oven to 350 degrees f
3/4 cup–Macadamia Nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon–Extra Virgin Olive Oil (My favorite is Pompeian’s Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
3 Large Eggs if using egg whites only–or–1 Large Egg if using yolk
2 teaspoons–Coconut Milk (you can also use regular milk or almond milk if you prefer)
1 Tablespoon–Parsley, fresh and chopped
1/4 teaspoon–Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon–Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 Halibut fillets (6-8 oz.)
1 Medium Orange, half of it sliced into triangles & the other half of it zested
(SEE DIRECTIONS ABOVE ON HOW TO PREPARE)
ROASTED ROSEMARY CARROTS:
Heat oven to 425 degrees f
1 1/2 lbs. Carrots, peeled & cut down the middle into even pieces
2 Tablespoons–Extra Virgin Olive Oil or melted Coconut Oil
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
3-4 Rosemary Sprigs, fresh
(SEE DIRECTIONS ABOVE ON HOW TO PREPARE)
1 Medium Head of Cauliflower, chopped into pieces
2-3 cloves of Garlic
Sea Salt to taste
1/4 cup Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Stock (I like Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth)
1 Tablespoon–Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon–Grass-Fed Butter (I love Kerrygold’s Grass-Fed Pure Irish Butter)
1 Tablespoon–Greek Yogurt (One of my favs is Chobani’s Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt)
Fresh Chives, chopped, for garnish
1- 2 Tablespoons–All-natural Parmesan Cheese
(SEE DIRECTIONS ABOVE ON HOW TO PREPARE)
**If you’re working with ONE oven, then prep the carrots first and start to roast them at 425 degrees f. Then, once you’ve flipped them over after 20 minutes, turn the temp on the oven down to 350 degrees f., and 10-15 minutes later, add the halibut fillets….bake each dish until cooked through and golden brown.