Broiled Halibut with Mushrooms

Halibut alla griglia con funghi

Broiled Halibut

With the arrival of Easter on Sunday, today’s post will mark the end of the series of seafood dishes. And what a good one to end with: Broiled Halibut!

Some may be surprised to learn that halibut is what’s called a “flatfish”, meaning that it has evolved into one that lives on the ocean floor. Think flounder or sole, only very much larger. Like most flatfish, at birth halibut fry appear and swim like the young of other fish. Around 6 months of age, however, one of its eyes begins to migrate to the other side of the fish. As it does, the fish goes from being left and right-sided to having a top and bottom-side. The top-side (the side with both eyes) develops a gray color while the bottom-side (the side that rests on the ocean floor) becomes white. As is so often the case with seafood today, halibut is in trouble in some areas. Look for Alaskan, wild caught, and do not buy Pacific halibut caught with gill nets nor Atlantic halibut caught through bottom trawling. If your fishmonger doesn’t know how or where his halibut is caught, it’s a sign to buy seafood that you know to be sustainable. My experience has been that fishmongers are proud to tell you when their stock is sustainable and harvested correctly.

Halibut flesh is not oily, as was the swordfish of a few weeks ago. The flesh is every bit as firm as was the swordfish and stands up to grilling very well. And if a fish fillet works well on the grill, it will do very well under the broiler, too. Halibut has a good, clean taste that I very much like. As such, I prefer not to do anything to prepare it — no marinades, for example — other than salt, pepper, and olive oil. When preparing the mushroom accompaniment, I chose 2 that were delicately flavored and shiitake, which has a bit of a smoky taste. The idea is for the flavors to co-exist and not for any one to obliterate the others.

Broiling is a wonderful way to prepare meats and seafood, though one should probably learn how to use one’s broiler with something other than an expensive halibut fillet. When I broil a fish fillet, I’ll use a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil that has been lightly coated with olive oil or butter, depending upon the recipe. My oven’s first rack’s setting is about 5 inches beneath the heat source, perfect for broiling fish. Remember that the distance away from the heating element and thickness of the fillet(s) will affect cooking times, so, be sure to keep an eye on any kind of fish you put under your broiler. I’ve included more guidelines for broiling within the recipe, as well as how to test your fillet(s) for doneness.

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Broiled Halibut with Mushroom Recipe

Ingredients

  • Halibut steak(s)
  • Olive oil
  • salt & pepper

for the mushrooms

Maitake (t -l), Oyster ( t - r), Shiitake (bottom)

Maitake (t -l), Oyster ( t – r), Shiitake (bottom)

  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms, sliced (used here: Maitake (hen of the woods), Oyster, and Shiitake)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

for the mushrooms

  1. Clean and slice the mushrooms (see Notes), chop the herbs & shallots.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat.
  3. Add the shallots and sauté until they soften, about a minute.
  4. Add the mushrooms, lower the heat to medium, and continue sautéing for another 7 or 8 minutes, stirring often. Mushrooms will be ready when they have given up their liquids and darkened in color.
  5. Add the wine, increase the heat to med-high, and sauté until wine has all but evaporated.
  6. Add the herbs and stir to combine.
  7. 1 minute later, remove from heat, add parsley, stir throughly, and serve.

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for the halibut

  1. Lightly brush the fillet(s) with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Place fillet on a lightly greased baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Pre-heat broiler for 15 minutes. Place an oven rack about 5 inches from the heat source.
  4. Place fillet(s) directly under the heat source and broil from 7 to 9 minutes. If more than 1 fillet is being broiled, turn the baking sheet midway through the broiling.
    1. To test if this or any fish is cooked: use a metal skewer or sharp knife to pierce the fillet at its thickest point. Keep it there for several seconds. Remove it and use it to touch the inside of your wrist or the area beneath your lips. If cold, the fish isn’t cooked. If warm, the fish is cooked rare. If hot, the fish is done. If very hot, the fish is over-done.
  5. Serve immediately, using the mushrooms as an accompaniment.

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Variations

These mushrooms  can be served with any number of dishes. I use white wine when serving mushrooms with seafood, pork, and poultry, but red wine for beef and then I’ll use crimini mushrooms rather than the more delicate tasting funghi. And though I don’t use garlic when serving this with seafood, I will add it for other dishes. You can easily alter this recipe to suit your own tastes.

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Notes

Do not use water to clean these mushrooms. Use a damp paper or kitchen towel to gently wipe them.

The stems of Shiitake are tough and inedible. They should be cut off.  The same may be said of the base of Maitake mushrooms. Some believe the base of Oyster mushrooms to be edible. I find them to be a little tough and trim them away, as well. Earlier I mentioned that you should save the mushroom bits and pieces. Why toss them when you can easily use them to make stock? Once I trimmed and sliced the mushrooms used in today’s recipe, I was left with about 4 oz (114 g) of stems and woody parts. These were roughly chopped and placed into a medium saucepan, along with an onion, a celery stalk, a carrot, a couple of parsley stems, a sprig of thyme, and a bay leaf but no salt nor pepper. I added a quart of water, brought it to a boil, and then reduced it to a simmer. Since I had relatively few stems, I wanted to concentrate the flavors, so, I left the cover  off of the sauce pan while it simmered and reduced. Had there been more mushroom parts, I would have covered the pan for there would not have been as great a need to reduce the stock. In any event, after an hour, I had 12 oz (355 ml) of stock headed for the freezer. I’ll use it the next time I make risotto, soup, a gravy or sauce.  And there’ll be no need to worry about its salt content ruining my dish.

If leftover, mushrooms cooked like this are worth their weight in gold. Use them for an omelet the next morning or to top off your burger for lunch. Yes, you can always use them to accompany your next supper’s protein but — and perhaps best of all — you could reheat them with a little more oil and some red pepper flakes. Add your favorite pasta and you’ve got a fantastic dinner, ready in minutes.

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It’s déjà vu all over again … 

Cavatappi with TunaEaster is right around the corner and today’s Blast from the Past features a dish that graced our table any number of Fridays, both in and out of Lent. Our Tomato Sauce with Tuna is a simple tomato sauce with tuna as its protein. It’s easy enough to prepare and doesn’t require a long simmer, unlike its meaty cousins. If you’re at all curious, you can see the recipe by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

This is the First Way

Bourbon & Coke Soused Ham, Two Ways

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182 thoughts on “Broiled Halibut with Mushrooms

  1. I love mushrooms and fish. Will have to take a leaf from your book and try them together. Wishing you a happy Easter 😉 We’re away for a few days, and be doing much cooking but I’m looking forward to some G.O. bbq’d fish on Friday and seafood on Sunday 🙂

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    • Thanks, EllaDee for the complement and Easter wishes. I hope your Easter and get-away are both fantastic. Grilled fish on Friday is a great idea, as is a seafood dinner for Easter. That’s my kind of menu!

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  2. Hmmph, Chgo John: we have some language problems here – methinks this is a fabulous recipe of a good piece of fish: but we GRILL it here Down Under, not ‘broil’ . . . 🙂 ! And I would go for 10 cms away from the source of heat [OMG, why on earth don’t you people go decimal?], which methinks is kind’of 1 [inch] less 🙂 ! Oh, did I forget to say the advice is great and shall be used and I love your use of the particular mushrooms! Thanks!!!! [have I been ousted for bad behaviour?]

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    • No language problems, Eha. I know exactly what you mean. Truth is that I’d already posted 2 grilled fish recipes and, when it came time to prepare today’s halibut, it was another rotten day outdoors. I just didn’t feel like spending any more time standing over the grill for my dinner. The broiler worked fine and gave me an opportunity to show the young ones in my family how to use theirs. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) As for the distance from the heat source, 10 cm equals about 4 inches, so, you’re in the ballpark — or should I say “football pitch”? 🙂 And I won’t even begin to address the issue of why we didn’t go decimal back in the late 70’s. ((sigh))
      No, you’ve not been ousted for “bad behaviour”. Apparently, we have far different opinions about what constitutes bad behaviour. 😉

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      • Thanks, kind Sir . . . I went to bed after a long, long work day with a damnably sore knee and ticked myself off unceremoniusly for again allowing my ‘peculiar sense of humour’ to show 🙂 !!! Happy Easter, John !!!

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  3. There you go again. A beautiful combination, beautifully presented. I am looking forward to your ham post too. I have Limerick Ham appearing tomorrow, just in time for Easter. I hope you like it.

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  4. I´ve never thought to combine mushrooms with fish – but, to be honest, I have no reason for this. I guess I´ve just associated mushrooms more with chicken, pork or beef. Silly me!

    Hey, I´m so glad our eyes don´t start moving around after six months, aren´t you? I like my eyes exactly where they are! 😉

    Happy Easter to you and yours 🙂

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    • Thank you, Marianne. Fish and mushrooms isn’t a common pairing but they go very well together here, probably because the halibut isn’t a strongly flavored fish. Although I’ve none now, I’ve had fresh and marine tanks much of my life. Flatfish and their roving eye have always fascinated me. You’re right, though. Glad it ain’t me!
      Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter!

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  5. Outstanding post, John! Fresh halibut is hard to find in these parts, probably because the areas where it is still being caught are far away. I’ll look for it, because I’ve never prepared it sous-vide and wonder what that’d be like. Broiling sounds like a good idea as well, but I have a crappy broiler or I should get to learn it a bit better.
    Love the mushrooms and especially the mushroom stock! It is okay (and a lot more easy!) to use a bit of water to clean mushrooms, by the way. This has been verified by Harold McGee, and it beats cleaning with a wet cloth.
    Finally, I’ll have to do more with pairing mushrooms with fish. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    • Thank you so much, Stefan, for leaving such a nice compliment. Halibut flesh is firm, good for broiling or grilling. I bet it would be wonderful cooked sous-vide. Although available here, halibut is by no means inexpensive. With the exception of today’s post, I only prepare it now on special occasions. That’s fine, especially if the decreased demand means that halibut will stay off the endangered lists.

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  6. Great tips for sustainably sourcing of halibut, it’s a fine robust fish that is an occasional treat for me. Love the idea of broiling and serving with these pretty and delicate fungi, a new idea for me. Thanks John, for another fine recipe and tips!

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    • You are very welcome. As I just mentioned to Stefan, halibut is now a special occasion meal. It’s becoming too expensive for just a casual dinner. And yes, preparing something for a post is considered a “special meal.” Kinda nice how that works. 😉

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      • Again… it’s to bad that a fish like halibut, which was so plentiful when I grew up, is now so scarce as to be rare. Question – what is “sous-vide”… I lived in the province of Quebec for many years.. but I don’t know what that means… Literally, it seems to mean “under-empty”!!

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        • Sous-vide is a style of cooking in which the food is sealed in an airtight bag and submerged in hot water for a rather lengthy period of time. The temperature of the water can be from 130˚ to 140 ˚F (55˚ – 60˚C). If you wish to see a recipe, check out my blogging buddy, Stefan. He just shared a recipe for coq au vin, cooked sous-vide. You can see it here: http://stefangourmet.com/ It’s interesting, to say the least.

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  7. Another beautiful fish recipe here John and some good advice about buying fish. Love the mushrooms too and I bet these would be good with just about anything (including pasta) or even on their own as a little tapas style dish or a side dish. Have really enjoyed this fish series you’ve done and it’s inspired me to not just slap the fish on the grill pan or under the grill (broiler). I agree it’s nice to use some gentle, subtle ingredients without overpowering the fish. Will have to see what my fishmonger has for Good Friday! Have a wonderful Easter if we don’t “speak” beforehand and love to Zia too 🙂

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    • Thank you, Tanya. With all of the mushrooms you guys collect on The Mountain, you could throw together some wonderful combinations, suitable for just about any dish/protein. As I’ve said in the past, this blog is meant to inspire the young cooks in my family. So far, I’ve showed them how to pan fry, grill, and now broil fillets. I’ve still got a baked recipe and a salad or two to show them. Only by doing will we get over our fear of cooking fish. I know. I went years without cooking it because I was sure I couldn’t.
      I hope you, Big Man, and your families have a wonderful Easter, Tanya.

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  8. Oh wow this looks incredible ! I’ve never thought to combine fish and mushrooms but I can only imagine the results are mind blowing! Such mouthwatering photos too!

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  9. Ahhh a great recipe John! I was eyeing up some wild Halibut filets the other day but for some reason plumped for Skate wings. Maybe on my trip to the fish market tomorrow I’ll be tempted! It’s a delicious fish, delicate in flavour.
    Oh and that last shot is a scream 🙂

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    • Believe me, I was very happy there were some beautiful halibut fillets, properly caught, at the fishmonger the afternoon I went looking for today’s fish. What luck!
      And that cocktail was just to see who’s paying attention. You, my dear, are the first and may come to the head of the class.

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    • Thanks, April, and this is one dish that you can fix with absolutely no fear of encountering a bit of dairy or gluten. That’s a rarity around this blog and I’m so glad to oblige!

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  10. Thanks for the tip on how to clean the mushrooms. I have really enjoyed your fish series but I have got to say that you have my attention with your “teaser” on the next post. Your first way to prepare bourbon and coke soused ham is certainly “original”!

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    • Thank you, Barb, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series. I tried to give everyone a variety of fish dishes and ways to prepare them. As for the cocktail, well, I was just trying to see who was paying attention. 🙂

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  11. I think the combination of halibut and mushroom is simply perfect! I haven’t broiled fish here in the new home, because the house would smell like fish for eternity + 6 months. At some point we will be able to make changes, but until our home in Oklahoma sells, no way to do ANYTHING… can you tell I’m getting anxious? 😉

    great recipe, John… I also love your blast from the past

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    • Thanks, Sally. Yes, you’re life is in a state of flux but it won’t remain that way. Just imagine how good that first seafood dinner will be when you prepare it for yourself at home! I bet it will be fantastic! And don’t hold back. Make it a dinner you’ll remember!

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  12. Hi, John–We love halibut–broiled, grilled or just sautéed with some butter and shallots. The mushrooms sound like a great, especially the hen of the woods. Good advice on buying sustainably. Ken

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    • Halibut is such a great fish, Ken, that just a simple sauté will allow it to shine. I didn’t want to sound preachy about sustainability week after week but it is important. I want to do my part to ensure that the grandchildren of today’s newlyweds have the same selection of seafood, if not better, that we do. We just need to inform ourselves.
      Thank you for the encouragement.

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  13. Absolutely phenomenal, John! I love halibut to start with, but your recipe redefines what a great halbut dish should be all about. I love it when you said that, given the clean taste of the halibut, you did not want to do anything to prep it: I really appreciate it as this brings back memories of how most fish is done in Italy, very simple not to alter its natural flavor and let it speak for itself. That’s the way I like it (to quote the famous song!) – certainly to do that you need a top quality, super fresh fish!
    Thanks for a great recipe.

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    • Thank you, Stefano, for the nice compliment. Mom & Zia did not have a wide variety of spices and herbs. They had some for baking, to be sure, but for most dishes, they relied on olive oil, parsley, garlic, rosemary, and sometime marjoram. There were exceptions, of course, but for the most part everything was seasoned simply. It took me a long time to realize that when the ingredients are “top quality”, as you say, less is more.

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  14. Thanks for this great fish series (and the story about halibut). I love the mushroom/halibut combination. Mushrooms aren’t commonly used with fish, but your recipe, with the wine and herbs, would make it a great mix….

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  15. This dish looks delish! I love mushrooms, but don’t think I’ve ever served them with fish … I will have to try it. I agree, the mushrooms could be served with so many dishes–YUM! I was just at the store yesterday lamenting the price of halibut, it is one of my favorites and it’s been ages since we’ve had it.

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    • Thank you, Judy. I, too, love halibut but it is getting far too expensive. Now it is a celebratory meal entrée and that’s a shame. I hope that “they” can figure out a good, eco-friendly way to farm raise them. If not, I just won’t be serving it.

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  16. Great dish! I love halibut, and have never met anyone (except for the most confirmed fish hater) who didn’t. Because it’s meaty but with a mild flavor, it’s always a great choice for those who often shy away from fish. Love the mushrooms, too! They look so great, and that’s a nice, quick stock you made with the stems and such. Excellent recipe and post! And you have me sold on next week’s recipe already – who can resist a ham garnish? Brilliant!

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    • Thanks, John, for leaving such nice compliments. Halibut is a favorite but I fear that if things continue, it will become prohibitively expensive. As it is, it’s already become a special occasion dish — but one I really enjoy. As for the ham cocktail, well, I just wanted to see who was paying attention. 🙂

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  17. Lovely recipe as always. My comment has to be what is coming to me soon!! I had to go and get my glasses just to confirm that was indeed a piece of ham perched on the side of a glass of bourbon and coke. It made me laugh out loud and has me itching for your forthcoming ham recipe!! Happy Easter.

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  18. Great minds, we just had tilapia with a mushroom and tomato Mediterranean style sauce — it was incredibly good. My mushrooms weren’t nearly as exotic but the idea was similar! I wish I had written down the recipe because I would definitely eat it again! And I’m absolutely loving the idea of making the mushroom stock, John; I usually make mushroom stock out of the dried mushrooms’ soaking liquid, it works incredibly well in risotto (or barley risotto which is what I usually make).
    I must say that piece of meat in that cocktail made me do a double take, WHAAAA? Meat in a cocktail? It’s genius really. It gives me a few ideas….
    Hope you have a great weekend, we’re off for a few days and I am unsure if I will have internet access.

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    • Thank you, Eva. There’s a new chain of groceries opening here and they’ve a rather extensive stock of mushrooms, most of which I’ve only had dried. It’s been great getting “the real thing” for a change, especially with a pricey cut like halibut. The upcoming ham recipe relies on a healthy dose of bourbon. So, I thought, why not have a cocktail with a healthy dose of ham? I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend with weather to match.

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      • That sounds like my kind of grocery store, John. If we plan a visit to Chicago, may I trouble you for a list (or even better, a tour) if you aren’t too busy?
        Our weather is much more spring-like, finally. My crocus have bloomed and the garden has that lovely wet scent that happens when things start to defrost. Hopefully tomorrow will be warm enough to have a quick cocktail outside!

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        • Eva, when you come to Chicago next, if you can spare me a couple hours, I can take you to the Italian market, in Elmwood Park and then, on the way back, is the new grocery and, right down the street, the sustainable fish market. Of course, we needn’t do them all but, if you really feel like it, we can head over to my area. Once here, we can make a stop at Patel’s in Little India for spices and then over to Little Chinatown for Asian supplies at the Vietnamese market — or any number of Asian markets in this area. And if you’ve still not found what you’re looking for, we’ll head to the Middle Eastern bakery for more spices. You’ll head home feeling like Marco Polo!
          We may have reached 60˚ (15˚C) with sunny skies today!!! Rain is coming tonight but that’s ok. We finally had a touch of Spring. Only about 25% of my crocus have bloomed but that’s ok. If the rain tonight is heavy, it would only ruin them. Colder weather returns to start the week but we had a fantastic day today. YAY!

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          • Wow! That would be incredible John, thank you!
            I think the crazy squirrels ate must of my bulbs, I planted over a hundred last fall and see only about five crocuses.
            Also I’m putting my boots away in protest of the chilly weather; I’m done with winter.

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          • Not to worry, Eva. We’ll do as much as you’ve time for.
            A couple years ago, the squirrels devastated my newly planted bulbs and iris, too. We’ve come to an agreement. I don’t plant any more and they don’t touch what’s already in the ground. It’s an uneasy truce but it is working.
            Our temps are going to drop again tomorrow for what is supposed to be the last time. We’ll see …

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  19. I love the simple preparation and the list of ingredients: easy and accessible! And using the mushrooms in my pasta the next day is a bonus! I learned quite a bit about halibut here. And I’m happy to know what KIND to purchase, I always have the moment of self doubt when I buy fish. John, what is the ham doing on your bourbon and coke? Honestly I’ve never seen that! Not that I’d turn it away or anything!!! Bourbon and ham pair well together after all.

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    • Thank you so much, Tanya. I have an app on my smartphone that will tell me what is sustainable and suggest alternatives but I’m still sometimes unsure. For me, it’s been a blessing geting to know my fishmonger. I have to trust what he tells me. This is the best I can do, short of getting on a boat and fishing for my supper. The ham cocktail was just a joke. As you’ll see, my ham is drenched in bourbon. Why not have a bourbon cocktail with a bit of ham?

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  20. I really do appreciate the way you describe preparing fish, John. I have had so little instruction in my past and good fish isn’t inexpensive and I get insecure. With nothing more than canned tuna and salmon cakes (from canned salmon) growing up, I think the first fish I enjoyed as an adult was halibut, because it wasn’t fishy! I really like the way you’ve prepared it with the mushrooms. With a good filet this would be a winner every time. I normally put my mushroom trimmings in the compost, but it never occurred to me to use them for stock! What a great idea! I do hope you have some Easter plans that are nurturing in this cold end of March. And I send a long distance Easter hug to Zia, too! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Debra. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. None of the methods or recipes within this fish series are that difficult to duplicate. I know that the cost of fish today makes everyone leery of experimenting. But, you needn’t experiment with the most costly. Salmon can be pan-seared or grilled. Cod can be baked or broiled relatively easily and doing so will give you the experience — and confidence — you need to tackle one of its more expensive cousins. It really is a case of practice makes perfect.
      We never had compost when I grew up, Debra. Everything went into the stock pot. I don’t do it nearly as much as I could but, with mushrooms, the stock can be used in so many ways. It’s a shame to not use them
      I’ll be sure to send your Easter greetings to Zia and hope that you and yours have a fantastic Easter!

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  21. The fish looks wonderful once again! Thank you for the idea to use the mushroom stems for making stock. I had not thought of that before. We usually have an abundance of mushrooms in the fall when we make regular mushroom picking excursions.

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  22. Great combo, halibut and exotic (and pricey) mushrooms. I see you chose ground white pepper instead of black, is that for appearance? Looking forward to learning about the ham sitting on the glass.

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    • Thanks, Norma. I think Lady Luck was smiling on me the day I went shopping. My fish monger had halibut on sale. I only needed a few ounces of each mushroom so it really isn’t that expensive. And, best of all, I ended up with a bit of mushroom stock, too. 🙂

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  23. Hi John, this is a great post. I love when I learn something new. I always try to buy sustainable and always, always wild caught fish. I am so glad you shared more information on Halibut so we are informed. I have a great fish market in my area and you are absolutely right that they are very proud of their fish and know where it came from and how fresh it is. My fish market always has signs that show, “Wild caught”. This recipe looks delicious as usual. Have a very wonderful Easter . —Geni

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    • Thanks, Geni, for the encouraging words. If we inform ourselves, many of the fish currently endangered can rebound. There have been success stories. North Atlantic cod, for example, has rebounded. I don’t mind paying a little extra if I know that, by doing so, I’m helping to ensure the grandchildren of today’s newlyweds will be enjoying the same fish.
      Wishing you and your family a happy Easter!

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  24. …marks the end of your series on fish?!…oh John, truly? There must be more fish in the sea to apply your Bartolini touch to! I OK, I fconfess to being greedy. I’ve loved this series and with one final heavy sigh i accept your decision. You’ve been very good to us after all, as my bulletin board and recipe box attest. And halibut, simple and clean, beneath a pile of delectable earthy mushrooms sounds exquisite! Count me in! (again!)

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    • You’e too kind, Spree. Thank you. There will be more fish recipes to be sure, but for now I’ve got a few other dishes queued. I am glad, though, you loved the series. I certainly did enjoy “testing” the recipes. In fact, I can’t remember a Lent that I’ve enjoyed so much. 🙂

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  25. Mmm halibut and mushrooms–great combo. Looks fantastic! and what is that drink?!!! I need it. I’ll keep my eyes out for the post. 🙂 Happy early Easter to you!

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    • Well, Anna, I certainly did my part. I’ve no idea what I’ll do next year during Lent but I’ve got 40+ weeks to figure that out. 🙂
      I hope you and yours have a happy Easter, too.

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    • Thanks, Abbe. Even if you only get a half-cup of stock, it will still be a great addition to gravies or risotto. And it’s such an easy thing to make and store. I hope you do try it.

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  26. Wonderful post, John. I’m sure the halibut and mushrooms paired beautifully. I agree with you about saving the stems from the mushrooms. We do it ll of the time. We have a bag we keep in the freezer just for mushroom stems. They make a wonderful liquor (broth) that we add to soups, sauces, mushroom caps served on the side, etc.

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    • Thanks, Richard, for always being so encouraging. I almost didn’t add the portion about making stock with the stems. It’s just something that’s always been done. Judging by the response, though, I’m glad I did.

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    • I swear, Marie, you should write a book about your experiences behind the counter. Anyone who has ever served the public would buy it, no doubt about it.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.

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  27. Pingback: Broiled Halibut with Mushrooms | Italian Food & Wine | Scoop.it

  28. Your mushroom recipe sounds delicious. I haven’t been very adventurous in the mushroom department, I’m afraid to say; it appears I need to get out and about a little more and get acquainted with different varieties! I have to say, your picture of a mixed drink garnished with a slice of ham made me laugh out loud. No celery sticks here!

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    • If you’re not familiar with mushrooms, Mar, this preparation is a good way to experiment. None of the flavors are so strong that the mushrooms cannot be tasted. If you’re still leery, don’t use all 3 just use 1 or 2. With your skill in the kitchen, I can’t wait to see how you’ll use them.
      Oh! Cheers! 🙂

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  29. I love that you reminded people to NOT wash off their mushrooms. So many people do just that. And, I’ve gotta tell you… I totally cracked up laughing at your photo for the “Bourbon and Coke Soused Ham”!! You are just tooo much!!

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    • Thanks, Cecile. i don’t think everyone realizes that many mushrooms are hydroponically grown now. Washing them is a waste of time. I’m glad you enjoyed the cocktail. I hope you’ll like the ham recipe as much!

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  30. I grew up around fishermen.. many of whom had trawlers and they are the toughest, meanest bunch around.. they just dredge the sea with their nets with those huge weights that keep the net on the bottom, destroying the sea bed and catching everything in the way. Usually they are after one school of fish that they are following, what ever is Running and getting the best prices that day, the rest are drowned in the trawling nets anyway, and hiffed back overboard afterwards. It is quite quite hideous and I have seen this first hand. This is one of the reasons why I don’t eat fish unless i can see the sea and see who caught it.. However i am heartened by the knowledge that there are fishmongers who will find out how their produce is caught.. this is a good thing… this looks like a lovely dinner john.. I am so sorry for that wee spout of lecturing, i am so glad when I find someone who is aware of fishing practices and buys accordingly..lovely post, take care.. c

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    • Cecilia (our names are almost alike!!) – I enjoyed reading what you wrote. I don’t understand why trawling with weighted nets is even allowed. As you know, it destroys EVERYTHING in its path.

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      • Although I do eat fish I could not agree more with you and I do believe an ever increasing number of buyers, Down Under at least, ARE asking questions! I have seen the practices on film and am highly disturbed by them also . . .

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    • No need to apologize, Celi, especially here and about the subject. If we do not wise-up, our grandchildren will have few fish to eat. We must demand eco-friendly harvesting. We did it with dolphin-free tuna and recently Target stopped selling farm-raised salmon. We have to hit the unscrupulous ones in the pocketbook and refuse to buy their catch, pure and simple.
      I’m glad you like the post, Celi. If you like, I can take you to the sustainable fishmonger during your next visit. 🙂

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  31. I love halibut, and so rarely see it around here these days. I’ve never tried broiling fish…always grilled or baked, but am intrigued. Love your flavors with the mushrooms, and the great advice about making stock with the stems. This sounds like a fantastic dish to make on a weeknight, so simply but perfectly flavored. And bourbon and coke ham…what fun! Can’t wait for that one. 🙂 Happy Easter, John!

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  32. You are wrapping up the seafood series with a spectacular recipe offering. I’ve shared it on Facebook cause everyone should see your wonderful blog posts. You set a high standard.
    Wishing you a Happy Easter, John.
    (Not sure about that meat adorning the drink but the photograph intrigues me.)

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    • Thank you so much, Ruth. You’re my my biggest backer and I really appreciate it. The cocktail was just a joke to see who was paying attention. 🙂
      I hope you and your lovely family have a wonderful Easter, Ruth.

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  33. Why does the Italian name sound so much better than in english? Love the broth idea. And don’t forget, once you use those veggies, you can compost them!

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    • Somewhere, David, my Grandparents are nodding in agreement for your comment about Italian sounding better than English. Truth be told, though, they would have said it sounds better than all other languages. 🙂

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  34. Such an easy but really great sounding meal. Our market has a sustainable seafood policy which I think is a great move. I may not always be able to get the fish that I was looking for but at least I know that they have done their part to help in this area.
    Oh do I love the look of that combination of mushrooms (but I’ll have to admit, I just have to rinse my mushrooms – can’t help myself).

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    • Thanks, Diane. We’ere total agreement about buying fish. I go to the fishmonger wanting to buy something but will readily change my mind depending upon what is available and how it was harvested.
      And as far as rinsing versus wiping mushrooms. I say do whatever you feel comfortable doing. In this case, the oyster and Maritake mushrooms were hydroponically grown. There was nothing to wash. 🙂

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  35. This looks lovely, toothy halibut with meaty mushrooms. Yum. Will have to snag one of the halibut fillets next time they pop up at the fishmonger. Thanks for sharing!

    I think you would be like a kid in a candy shop if you walked into my fishmonger’s little store, all sustainable with 1/3 of the stock never frozen and the rest flash frozen as soon as they’re caught 🙂

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    • I’m glas you like the recipe enough to try it, Cam. And oh, yeah! I’d love to enter a fishmonger’s store in the Pacific Northwest. Heck! I’d be there every day of my stay, taking full advantage of it. Of course, GreenPeace would probably follow me around with a megaphone, warning fishmongers to close shop as I approach. (I hate when that happens!) 🙂

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  36. I always feel like I’m at a gourmet cooking class when I visit you, John.. your recipes, the ease with which you share information about your ingredients, the flavors.. it’s all a magical escape! I’m a big fan of the more exotic mushrooms, I think it’s their fun shapes that attract me the most. (I have to admit.. I do rinse them under the tap.. I just can’t seem to get them clean otherwise?) I can’t wait to see what that Coke recipe.. that looks fun!! xx

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    • Thank you, Barb. With these mushrooms, the Maritake and oysters were both hydroponically grown. There’s really nothing to clean. Even so, if you feel better washing the, then by all means wash them. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I’m just trying to demystify preparing fish a bit. Too many people fear cooking it. As for the cocktail, I threw a lot of bourbon on that ham. It was my turn to have a little ham in my bourbon. Fair is fair! 🙂

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  37. Your posts are always so interesting and you write so well. I didn’t know any of that about this fish apart from the fact we should always find out how the fish has been sourced. And this would be a wonderful meal with those mushrooms. Happy Easter to you and your family, John xx

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    • That’s very kind of your to say, Charlie, and I really do appreciate your words. I don’t know whether fresh halibut is available in “your neck of the woods” but I hope so. It is such a great bit of seafood. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter, Charlie.

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  38. Any fish monger or butcher should be proud to tell you where there stock originates from. Sadly I’ve often heard the “wrong” words coming out of their mouths. Like In Wyoming I asked a butcher where they sourced their meat from and they said slaughterhouses in Iowa/Nebraska(!). Nothing grass feed/organic from WY?? Nope that is real difficult to come by. Ha!

    Anyways love the idea of broiling the halibut and of course the collection of fungi spoke to my gluttonous heart…til I saw that drink which nearly made me jump into the computer screen.

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    • TImes sure have changed, Jed. When Wyoming doesn’t have grass fed cattle, we’ve really lost our way. I have a hard time looking at a fish counter and seeing fillets of fish that I know to be in trouble. What are we doing?
      I knew a few would get a kick out of today’s cocktail, Jed, and your reaction did not disappoint. 🙂

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  39. Hands down, this is my favorite whitefish and I am loving the preparation because you give it its lightness of being. And the mushrooms beautifully prepared – just highlight it.

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    • Home already? That went by fast. Your herb crusted fish sounds wonderful, Elaine. I certainly would have ordered it had I been there.
      Welcome home and I hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter.

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  40. John, your “broiling tips” are great. The ovens in the United States are much more complicated than in Italy and I have to admit that I struggle a little bit with the broil function. Yesterday I cooked salmon for Stefano. As you know, fish is not my thing. Well, I used the broil function and…the fish was cooked only on the top (inside was completely raw). I’ll try again and I’ll follow your directions.
    Happy Easter to you and your family.

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    • Francesca – And I had trouble using my appliances – including the oven – when I lived in the tiny island country of Malta. Of course, the temperature was in Celsius – so I had both the Celsius and Farenheit temps. written down and pasted inside a cupboard. Both my refrigerator and stove were really small. In fact, I burned myself more than once getting things out of the oven – and I still have the scars to prove it!!

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    • Yes, no matter what boiler I’ve ever had, it took a few uses to learn its “temperament”. I’ve burned a few dishes — and set a couple on fire — learning how to use them. Even now, I stay next to the stove when there’s something under the broiler.
      Wishing you, Stefano, and all whom you hold dear a wonderful Easter, Francesca. Buona Pasqua!

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  41. John, last night I was up late working on my blog. About 1:00 a.m. I start hearing “dink, dink, dink”.. meaning emails were arriving. I’m thinking, “Who the hell is emailing me at 1:00”? Then I thought, “It’s gotta be John – replying to his comments”. I didn’t get to bed until two hours later – and my email was still going off.. Wow – you have so many people to reply to – it’s like a part-time job !! As my grandfather used to say, “It’s hell to be popular!”

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  42. I had no idea how big halibut could get until one year when we were in Alaska I walked by a pickup truck and the entire bed was covered with ONE halibut! It was HUGE! Aside from salmon, halibut is my favorite fish and I’m always looking for new recipes for it. We can actually get it here in the high desert once in a while, so I’m looking forward to giving your recipe a try. I love mushrooms and I can’t imagine that this combination of flavors and textures wouldn’t be fantastic!

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    • Thank you so much, MJ. I’ve never seen a really large one but have heard they can be quite large. That one you saw must have been something to see! Halibut is a favorite of mine, too, but it’s really getting expensive now. Well, if the price keeps them off of the endangered list, I really don’t mind. Rather that than it be inexpensive and then gone forever.

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  43. As you might remember, I lived for a while in the tiny island country of Malta. One of my good friends from there moved to Austalia, and she posted a photo of a beautiful Easter table which was decorated by her “zia”… I asked her if “zia” meant “aunt”… and learned that it does. Do you always call your aunt “zia”? What is her actual name? And what was your mother’s name?

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  44. It’s been far too long since I had the pleasure of sitting at your kitchen table talking and watching you cook – and what a perfect, simple meal you’ve prepared for us tonight (well, it’s this morning here actually, but I felt it was last night, while I was reading).

    Easter greetings to you and the family – I wonder what you’re cooking for lunch today?

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    • Well, you’ve certainly been missed but you’ve got so much on your plate right now. Thank you for choosing to spend some of your valuable time here.
      Traditionally, I cook a ham for Easter but this year I’ve been invited to a friend’s for dinner. I made my ham earlier. I need that hambone for split pea soup! 🙂

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  45. Bonjourno John,
    Wishing you a very happy and blessed Easter. Gorgeous little dish and halibut is one of those fish that can stand up to the stronger flavors of the earthy mushrooms. I am still chucking regarding your remark that you ought to learn how to use the broiler before your try it on your expensive halibut. I would also recommend that you stay in the kitchen to patrol the dish as it cooks faster then you think.. Take care, BAM

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    • Buona notte, BAM! Yes, I have burned — and even set on fire — enough food under a broiler to know better than to leave the kitchen while something is in there. I think I’d cry if I saw my halibut fillets on fire.
      I hope you and your family shared a very happy Easter, BAM.

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    • Thanks, Greg. I feel the same about your Sunday Supper series. They not only show you skill at menu planning but they draw our attention to some of your older posts. Now, that’s genius. I hope you and Katherine are having a wonderful Easter.

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  46. I’ve loved your seafood entries. This one I think is my favorite. It was a surprise to see mushrooms with it and when I showed my daughter it, she agreed it was a good one. She loves mushrooms, so she will be making this dish for us. So you see you now have a new student. Every Wednesday I will email your blog post to her.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  47. Can’t wait to see that Bourbon and Coke soaked ham. That picture is awesome! 🙂 This recipe looks good too. I do like halibut and I do like mushrooms. I’ve just never thought to put them together. We’re eating fish at least once a week and I’m always looking for new recipes, so this is a nice one to add to the mix. It will be hard to hide the mushrooms from the kids though. 😉 (I’ve been getting them to eat them hidden in various dishes for weeks now!)

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    • Yes, you’re right, Kristy. It will be hard to hide the mushrooms in this dish. Still, halibut is such a nice fish, a lemon butter sauce would be enough for it. I think it’s great that the SousChefs eat as much fish as they do. I’ve friends for whom fish is a bridge too far. I’ve a feeling your two will come around to eating mushrooms one day — probably sooner than you think. 🙂

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  48. Hi John! LOVE the halibut. I do like halibut a lot and you have it prepared so simply, I love it. I never think to pair mushrooms with fish, but I don’t see why not….they look so good here. I can’t wait for the farmers markets to start up this summer, we have a great little stall that sells exotic mushrooms that are to die for, they would be perfect for this dish.

    Nazneen

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    • Thank you so much, Nazneen. We too have a mushroom vendor but nothing nearly so exotic. Our climate just won’t support them. Still, I’ve a grocery with a rather large assortment and I should be thankful for what I have. 🙂
      If you do make this dish, please come back here to tell us what mushrooms you used. I’d love to find out.

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    • Thank you so much. I feel the same about your posts and beer reviews, Lilly Sue. When I get some more time, I’d like to pin those from this part of the country so that I search for them when I buying beer and wine. I know of two places in particular that pride themselves on their beer supplies. We’ll just see about that! 🙂

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  49. I don’t know if you’ve used it before, but the website for the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a search feature that allows you to check how sustainable the seafood you’re about to buy/order is. It’s pretty cool! I recently heard they have an app now, too, but I haven’t checked that out yet. The search is at the right of the screen:
    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

    Also, I’m crazy about mushrooms right now… this sounds deeeelicious!

    Like

  50. Pingback: Grilled Mushrooms Recipe | FlexibleVegan

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