Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Recipe Favorites: Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce

Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce
It's a holiday in Utah; today is Pioneer Day, celebrating the day the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after their trek across the United States with covered wagons and handcarts. This year I'm not really properly celebrating; I'm actually very busy getting ready to go to the Blogher Conference in Chicago on Thursday. I'll be in Chicago from Thursday to Monday and I'm really looking forward to meeting more food bloggers in person like I did last year, not to mention learning a lot of new things about blogging.

It may not be a holiday where you are, but if you're in the northern hemisphere, it's definitely grilling weather, and this recipe is a favorite for fish on the grill. I made this when cilantro had just been chosen the favorite herb for the one year anniversary of Weekend Herb blogging, and I got this recipe from the mother of a student. This has turned out to be one of my favorite ways to cook halibut on the grill; give it a try if you like cilantro at all. If you're not a cilantro fan, click through to the recipe for more great ways to cook halibut.

Grilled Halibut with Garlic-Cilantro Sauce(enough sauce for six pieces of halibut, recipe from Jordynn's mom, with very minor adaptations by Ms. Denny)

halibut filets or steaks, 1 per person
Sauce Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup chicken stock (or use a combination of chicken stock and white wine)
2 tsp. lime zest (from 2 limes)
juice of 2 limes (2-3 T or more)
4 T olive oil
3 T very finely chopped fresh cilantro (or more, I used about 1/4 cup)

Saute garlic in a small amount of olive oil for two minutes. Add chicken stock and lime zest and simmer about ten minutes, until stock is slightly reduced. Stir in lime juice and olive oil and heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and cook 1 minute more.

Brush fish on both sides with sauce and let marinate 15 minutes while you pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. (For fish, I spray my grill with nonstick spray before I start heating it.) Grill fish until firm, but not hard, to the touch, not more than 5 minutes per side.

To get nice grill marks, lay fish on grill slats on a diagonal, then rotate after about 3 minutes cooking time on the first side. Serve fish hot with additional sauce spooned over each piece.

Other grilled fish I think would taste great with this include Sea Bass, Mahi Mahi, and Swordfish. You could also serve it with Tilapia, Red Snapper, or Sole, which I would probably bake or saute in a pan, since they're rather delicate for the grill.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, this would be great with Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley and Mary's Perfect Salad. For phase two or three, skip the salad and add Tabbouli with Almonds.

More Great Ways to Cook Halibut
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)
Grilled Garlic Basil Halibut
Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime
Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette
Poached Halibut with Cilantro Cream and Oranges from Beyond Salmon
Hot and Sour Poached Halibut from 28 Cooks
Poached Halibut with Best Black Beans from Christine Cooks
Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut from Je Mange la Ville
Halibut in Acqua Pazza ai Carciofi from Hedonia
Blackened Halibut with Crab Sauce from Alaska Cooks
Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn-Coriander Salsa from Stephen Cooks
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More to Chew On:


  1. Kalyn, I used a similar marinade on tuna last evening. It called for lemon juice, cumin, garlic, cayenne, shallot, cilantro, olive oil and salt. It was the best seafood marinade I have ever had. I think it would be equally good on salmon. MUST TRY TO EAT MORE SEAFOOD!!! SB recommends 2x a week!

  2. Cilantro is one of my favorites but I can never finish a whole bunch before it goes bad. Thanks for the tip and happy Pioneer Day!

  3. Ahem, I think I need me some halibut! Right now fish on the grill is just about the best. I'd want to plan some leftovers of this for spring rolls.
    Have a wonderful time in Chicago. Love that city.

  4. Cyn, if you post your recipe, come back and leave the link here. I'm also trying to eat more seafood.

    Kelly, I do know what you mean. Lately my cilantro is lasting a bit better. No idea why!

    Tanna, I plan to have a great time. Really looking forward to it.

  5. I love fish and am looking for new ways to prepare it. And it's great to see others who love cilantro as much as I do!

  6. Another great healthy recipe. Love it, especially with cilantro sauce!

  7. Halibut is one of my favorite types of fish and the cilantro and lime marinade sounds really tasty. (Interesting, I didn't used to like cilantro and now I am really enjoying it.)

  8. Thanks for mentioning the Blogher conference. I'm sad that its too late to sign up for this year (since I live in Chicago), but it looks like a great conference and a really interesting organization. thanks for all your hard work!

    By the way, about the cilantro: I often use whatever I need for the recipes I have planned, but then I blend the rest of it in my small food processor (2 cup vol) and freeze it in an ice-cube tray. It holds up pretty well for at least 2 weeks and even retains its bright green color. Its particularly useful if you like to use it in soups, like chicken tortilla soup.

  9. Thanks Kalyn, this is so simple but yet so good. I've been doing a lot of fish lately. Hey, you'll be hosting WHB soon right? I'll be planning on participating. Would lemon zest count as an "herb" :)

  10. Nirmala, love to hear from another cilantro lover! This is a great way to use it.

    Anh, me too!

    Kevin, glad to hear you have been converted. Some people never develop a taste for it. Some scientists actually think the love or hate for cilantro is in the genes.

    Skinny Gourmet, I didn't know that registration was closed, but it was close to being sold out the last time I checked. Blogher is great; I'm proud to be a part of it. Good tip about freezing the cilantro. I'm going to try it.

    Kel, any herb, plant, vegetable, or flower is great for WHB, so lemon zest is perfect!

  11. Everytime I see a recipe with cilantro & lime my mouth waters!

  12. What a great place to have the conference. I love Chicago!

    Of course, that halibut with the cilantro is exerting it's influence on me!


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