Story last updated at 8/6/2014 - 10:25 pm
July is a hectic month for me. My day job keeps me hopping, managing 130 volunteers who assist the thousands of visitors coming into our welcome centers for information. I also try to help Grant with some of his paperwork for his business and - of course - I'm working on recipes and cooking classes for Meals with Midgi. In the middle of the month I attend Rollercon in Las Vegas, which is an additional layer of hectic. After 10 days of volunteering at an event with more than 6,000 attendees, it is nice to come home.
Grant met me at the airport with flowers and a warm hug. It was nice to be home. Then it happened. He uttered the question that has become a taunt in our home. At 9 p.m. on a Monday, after 12 hours of travel I hear, "What's for dinner?"
I'm sure he's joking, right? He can't actually mean I'm going to cook something. I quickly responded, "Whatever you can find," and went to bed.
The next evening, I was feeling a tiny bit more rested and decided to cook him a real dinner. I'm sure after me being gone 10 days, he was hungry. He brought home some fresh halibut filets and in his caveman-like manner said, "halibut for dinner." I complied.
I know many will roll their eyes in disgust, but I actually thought "Halibut. Again?"
I eat salmon and halibut a lot. I enjoy it and love to cook it, but sometimes a girl needs something a little different. Not tonight, though. Tonight halibut was on the menu. I hadn't gone grocery shopping since my return and didn't feel like preparing a list and heading out. This is when a recipe really comes together. It's created from whatever is in your refrigerator or pantry. I tend to keep quite a few things like sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, onions and pickles in my 'fridge. I always have canned crushed tomatoes, black beans and red beans in my pantry. I can make just about anything with those few items. Oh, and there's always some sort of cheese.
Looking in my seasonings, I had my favorite ancho chili powder and some Sriracha, which is basically a party in a bottle. Oh, yes, I had the makings of a great dinner. I decided on zesty halibut sliders.
I seasoned the fish with the chili powder, salt and pepper and lightly dredged it in flour seasoned with the same spices. The kicker was the Sriracha tartar sauce. This is where experimenting in the kitchen is so fun. It's a process of a little this ... a little of that. I started with a bowl, added a cup of mayo, some sour cream, lemon juice, minced pickles, and Sriracha, then I kept tasting until I got the flavor I wanted. I also added in a couple of teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, I use Konriko, and wow did that make it even zippier!
In about 30 minutes, I had a quick dinner on the table that was fresh and flavorful. Now, if I wanted to really invest a bit of time, I could have made some fresh tortilla chips with homemade guacamole, but I didn't have an avocado and that would have meant a visit to the grocery store.
This week I present a quick and fun take on fish sandwich: Zesty Halibut Sliders with Sriracha Tartar Sauce. If you happen to make it to the grocery store, a little avocado would be a nice touch.
Until next time ...
Eat and enjoy,
Zesty Halibut Sliders
2 halibut filets, cut in half
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper
½ cup four
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup shredded lettuce
2 slices Jarlsberg cheese (pepper jack would be great too) cut in half
Melt butter and oil together in small pan and bring to medium high heat.
Generously season fish on both sides with chili powder, salt and pepper. Add remaining seasonings to flour, mix well. Lightly dredge fish in the flour.
Place fish in oil and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Turn and cook additional 3 - 5 minutes, again until golden brown. Time may vary according to thickness of the fish. It should be firm and not clear in the center. If pan over heats, turn down to medium.
Siracha Tartar Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
Juice from ½ lemon
4 tablespoons minced dill pickles
2 teaspoons Cajun seasonings
2 teaspoons Siracha (more if you like)
Combine all ingredients adding Siracha last in ½ teaspoon increments until you get the desired heat and flavor you enjoy.
To plate, place fish on open bun and top with cheese. Place in oven, preheated to 375¿ and toast until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with lettuce and Siracha tartar sauce.
(If you have leftover tartar sauce, use it as a coleslaw dressing and top a burger or BBQ sandwich with it.)