Story last updated at 7/18/2013 - 1:26 pm
Recently Captain Grant took his crew out for a friends and crew fishing day. The sea was kind and bountiful and they each caught a 50-pound or larger halibut. The last thing Wyatt, one of our deckhands, said to Grant was “Let me know when Midgi is cooking that!”
What a great compliment. Wyatt and the crew have eaten at our home several times and it’s such a nice feeling to know they look forward to it. After a compliment like that I really wanted to do something special for them.
Grant cut up the halibut in to what could only be described as huge Alaskan-sized portions. These were at least two and half inches thick, some three, four to five inches long and four inches wide. Not a burger for the faint at heart. These were Alaskan sized burgers indeed.
There are about as many halibut burger recipes in this great state as there are salmon dip recipes. Every chef, restaurant, and home cook has their own special way to prepare a relatively easy dish. What could I do that was unique?
I debated with frying, searing with lemon and garlic, or grill with fresh herbs, what to do? Keep it simple. Let the deliciousness of the fish stand for itself. I didn’t want it to be dry so I made a simple cucumber herb sauce to go with it. I love sauces. I think they can make or break a dish. If the sauce is prepared just right it’s a beautiful enhancement to something really simple and plain. While I wouldn’t call halibut plain, it does need a little seasoning to kick it up a bit. Sour cream, a cucumber and some fresh herbs and in 10 minutes you have a sauce that is great with fish, as a dip with pita bread or as a spread on a cracker. I do so enjoy multipurpose foods. As a side, I whipped up some homemade potato chips. It was a quick and simple meal and fed a lot of people.
When I plated these monster sandwiches, my guests were amazed not only at how big they were but that I would serve such large portions. This is Alaska folks. We don’t do things small here. We’re not a petite state full of delicate little things. We are big, and loud and full of excitement and vigor and our food should reflect that. These babies definitely did the trick.
This week, I present a dish that reflects the vastness and yet simple life of Alaska: Halibut Burgers. We don’t live large, but we do live in the largest state with the best tasting seafood.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
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@
ALASKAN HALIBUT BURGERS
4 4-6 ounce halibut steaks
4 large rolls, not a hard crust
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped cucumber, peeled
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
Season fish liberally with Cajun seasoning. Preheat large non-stick skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place fish in hot skillet and sear for 3-5 minutes. Turn and sear other side. Cover and reduce heat to medium and cook additional 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Fish will be done when no longer translucent or milky in color.
Combine sour cream, cucumber, herbs and lime juice in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place seared halibut on roll and add generous serving of cucumber sauce. Add lettuce and thinly sliced red onion as garnish, if desired.