Story last updated at 6/26/2013 - 2:02 pm
This week I have had the pleasure and joy of having my dad and our family friend Roger visit us in Juneau. First I want to say thank you to the many tour operators, friends and locals in Juneau who have rolled out the red carpet and made them feel not only welcomed, but embraced into the community. So far we have gone to Taku Lodge, gold panning, the Mt. Roberts Tramway and fishing. Each excursion was exciting and thrilling, and most of all, fun.
Being married to a sport fishing charter captain definitely gives me an inside track to getting the Sunshine Boys out fishing. They arrived on Friday at 9 p.m. and went fishing Saturday at 8 a.m. Nothing was going to slow these guys down. After six hours on the water, Dad and Roger gleefully reported the success of their trip and presented the bounty of their catch: halibut. With eager eyes upon me, I agreed to cook their fresh catch and create a special recipe just for them.
Throughout the summer season we catch and freeze quite a lot of fish, but schedules get so hectic and busy, it’s not often I get to cook it freshly caught. What a difference! Frozen is delicious, but fresh is a whole new level of good. I wanted to protect the delicate nature and flavor of the halibut; therefore I chose to grill it. Grilling is quick and adds a wonderful smoky flavor. The question was how to season it. My go-to marinade is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and minced garlic. Baste it on the fish prior to cooking and immediately when you take it off the grill. The lemon garlic flavor seeps in the warm fish.
I was cooking for my dad, my favorite fella. I wanted to do something extra special that complimented the fish and offered a new and exciting flavor. I also wanted to give them the best memories I could, and the best way I know is to provide them a taste of Alaska. I chose to make a strawberry salsa to top the halibut. It was light and refreshing and paired perfectly with the fish. The key was keeping it fresh; fresh fish and fresh strawberries. The look of contentment on their faces when they ate their fish was heartwarming.
I am truly blessed. Not only do I live in the most beautiful place on earth, and have the most generous colleagues and coworkers, I have the privilege of sharing it with my dad and our friend.
This week I present a recipe that is easy, delicious and tastes like Alaska: Grilled Halibut with Strawberry Salsa.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
4 6 ounce halibut filets, cleaned and pat dry
½ cup olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 2 lemons
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill to 400 degrees or medium-high heat. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic in small bowl. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper and liberally baste with oil mixture. Place on grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until flaky white in the middle. Be careful to not overcook. Baste with oil mixture as soon as fish is removed from grill. Cover with foil to keep warm.
1½ cups strawberries, diced
¾ cups sweet red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, diced
¾ cups grape or baby heirloom tomatoes, diced
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in bowl and add salt and pepper according to your tastes. If berries are a bit too sour, add sugar in ½ teaspoon increments to get the desired sweetness.
Leftover salsa is great with chips the next day.
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@