Grilled Halibut in Cedar Wraps

Grilled halibut in cedar wrap with sweet corn and salad

A new and easy way to make halibut– Grilled Halibut in Cedar Wraps. A big thank you to Fire & Flavor for providing me with cedar wraps to experiment with for Cook Love Heal. This is the first recipe I’ve created using the wraps and I thought it was amazing. Cedar wraps are really easy to use and impart the most delicious flavor.

Here are the steps to making grilled halibut in cedar wraps.

grilled halibut in cedar wraps
Place halibut on cedar wrap and season with vinaigrette.

 

grilled halibut in cedar wraps
Tie wrap with kitchen twine (provided with cedar wraps).

 

grilled halibut in cedar wraps
Place cedar wrapped halibut on grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.
grilled halibut in cedar wraps
Remove from grill onto a clean plate and garnish with fresh basil.

 

Grilled Halibut in Cedar Wraps
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cedar wraps with kitchen twine (Fire & Flavor brand recommended)
  • 4 4 to 6-ounce halibut fillets
  • unrefined sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass mint white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a few sprigs Thai basil
Instructions
  1. Place cedar wraps in a glass baking dish or bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Preheat grill to about 350 degrees.
  3. Lightly rinse halibut fillets and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Sprinkle fillets generously with sea salt.
  5. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together vinegar and oil with a pinch of salt.
  6. Place cedar wraps on a sheet pan or cutting board and wipe dry with a cloth. Place each fillet on a cedar wrap and drizzle each one with vinaigrette.
  7. Fold wrap over fish and tie closed with kitchen twine.
  8. Place wraps on the grill seam-side down first, and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  9. Immediately transfer to a clean plate to catch the juices, which you can pour over the top after it is served.
Serving suggestions
  1. Serve with fresh corn on the cob and an arugula salad.

grilled halibut in cedar wraps
Enjoy!

Baked Wild Salmon with Rosemary and Garlic

photo of baked wild salmon with rosemary and garlic

Baked Wild Salmon with Fresh Rosemary and Garlic is my go-to recipe for dinner parties and weeknight meals, as it is both easy to prepare and kind of gourmet. Make some basmati or jasmine rice, some vegetables and/or a salad to go with the salmon and you’ve got a complete meal! Besides being more flavorful and fresh-tasting than farm-raised varieties, wild salmon has a lot of health benefits because it contains vitamin B12, taurine, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, and is high in protein.

Bake wild salmon at lower temperature to avoid drying out

My favorite way to make wild-caught salmon (like Coho or Sockeye) is to drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, then bake it at low temperature (about 320° F) until just barely cooked through (about 10-12 minutes for a 1-lb fillet). Wild salmon is lower in fat than farm-raised salmon (such as Atlantic or Norwegian) and seems to stay moisture by baking at lower temperature rather than roasting or grilling.

Wild salmon keeps well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator

Make a little extra wild salmon so that you can use it the next few days to top salads or add to homemade sushi rolls. Store in a covered glass container in the refrigerator so that it will stay fresh. As long as the fish has been salted, it should stay fresh for up to 2-3 days depending on the temperature of your refrigerator. Just check the salmon before you use it to make sure it still smells fresh (should not be overly fishy or bad smelling).

Use different toppings on wild salmon for variety

This recipe tops the wild salmon with sautéed garlic, rosemary, maple syrup, and sea salt. Get creative and use different toppings the next time you make salmon. Try making a fresh basil pesto (I make mine without cheese) and spread on the wild salmon after it is baked. Another super delicious topping is a “sesame butter” from The New Basics Cookbook which has toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, unsalted butter, tamari or soy sauce, and scallion. What other toppings have you tried?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Wild Salmon with Rosemary and Garlic
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Entrée
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
Salmon
  • 1 lb. fillet wild-caught salmon (such as coho or sockeye)
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • unrefined sea salt
Topping
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  • a few pinches unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 320° F.
  2. Prepare topping ingredients first so it can be cooked while salmon is baking.
  3. Keep skin on salmon. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
  4. Place salmon fillet in glass or metal baking dish.
  5. Coat both sides of salmon with a thin layer of olive oil, then sprinkle both sides with sea salt (about a teaspoon).
  6. Bake until white albumin protein show on the outside of the fish, or until cooked almost through when flaked with a fork.
  7. Remove from the oven and cover with foil until topping is ready.
  8. While salmon is baking, prepare topping.
  9. Heat up olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, small skillet or saucepan until shimmery. Turn to low and add garlic, rosemary, and sea salt. When garlic softens, turn off heat and add maple syrup. Whisk to combine and pour over cooked salmon. Return to the oven, if desired, for a minute or two or serve as is.

Watch this how-to video I made with Dr. Jonathan Shultz of Family First Chiropractic (Austin, TX) about making Baked Wild Salmon with Fresh Rosemary and Garlic:

Baked Salmon Video

 

Related recipes on my blog:

Crusted halibut with caper white wine sauce

 

Upcoming Classes and Workshops:

I’m teaching the kids’ cooking classes at Con’ Olio Oils and Vinegars shop in the Arboretum (NW Austin) this summer! Please check out the schedule here.

For the schedule of classes at my home in SW Austin, click here.

For private and group classes, click here.

Corporate team building workshops centered around cooking and wellness:

Check out my web site for corporate team building and contact me if you have a group interested in doing a workshop with me!

Make Your Own Sushi Dinner Party!

One of my favorite meals to make with friends and family is make your own sushi. Everyone enjoys choosing their own fillings, being creative, and making their own custom rolls! Kids especially appreciate being able to build their own sushi roll because they know exactly what it is in it. So make your next gathering into a make your own sushi dinner party!

Step 1. Make your sushi rice.

I prefer white sushi rice, as it is lighter and goes with all fillings, although once in a while I make pressure-cooked brown rice for more hearty vegetarian rolls. Here is my fool-proof recipe for making sushi rice without sugar! Make sure the rice is not still hot when making a roll, so it doesn’t “melt” the nori sheet or making the fillings warm.

Step 2. Prepare your fillings.

I like to fold a nori sheet in half (with stripes going vertically) and cut filling ingredients to the length of the half sheet width. I usually slice ingredients fairly thinly so that I can put multiple fillings into each roll. Almost anything can go into a sushi roll, but you might try:

  • cucumber (deseeded)
  • spring mix (no need to slice)
  • carrots (raw, blanched, or sauteed)
  • sweet potato (sautéed)
  • avocado
  • edible flowers
  • red bell pepper (raw or roasted and peeled)
  • snap peas
  • fresh herbs- mint, cilantro, basil, shiso
  • mushrooms- shiitake, oyster, portobello (sautéed and seasoned)
  • tofu or tempeh (pan-fried and seasoned with shoyu or tamari)
  • pickles (red or green sauerkraut, red radish pickles, daikon pickles, etc.)
  • umeboshi paste
  • condiments- shiso powder, gomashio, ao nori flakes
  • toasted sesame seeds- tan and/or black
  • Dijon or whole grain mustard

Step 3. Prepare an awesome dipping sauce.

There are all kinds of sauces that go well with sushi, such as shoyu-ginger, wasabi mayo, and various spicy sauces. Try this simple and delicious recipe my husband created called insanely delicious miso dipping sauce or my sweet and savory almond butter dipping sauce.

Step 4. Make a 5-minute miso soup.

Use my basic vegetable miso soup recipe to make a delicious start to the meal. The soup can be warmed up at the last minute and garnished after serving in individual bowls.

Step 5. Prepare your sushi rolling station and roll your sushi!

If making hand rolls, you can all sit around a table and make one at a time from your seat. Watch my Facebook video for tips on making regular nori rolls and inside out rolls.

Each person will need:

  • A sushi mat and a little space to roll
  • A bowl of water to dip hands in and a hand towel
  • A plate to set their finished rolls

Have accessible for everyone to share:

  • A platter or two of fillings, pickles, condiments, and sauces
  • A stack of nori sheets (I usually use half sheets that I half myself) and/or soy wrappers
  • A cutting board and sharp knife for slicing sushi (link to Japanese veg knife)
  • Platters for displaying sliced sushi

For making a basic nori roll, lay the sheet of nori (i usually use a half sheet but you can also use a whole sheet) on a dry bamboo mat with lines on nori sheet going vertically. Wet hands in bowl of water and shake off excess. Take a handful of sushi rice (about 1/2-3/4 cup) and very gently spread out over the lower 2/3 of the nori sheet, all the way out to the edges. Do not put pressure on rice, as it can tear the nori sheet. The sushi rice will easily stick to the nori sheet without any pressing. Take several fillings and place horizontally over the rice on the lower 1/4 of the sheet (almost to the bottom). Start rolling the nori from the bottom, enclosing the fillings into the first turn. Keep rolling, using the bamboo mat for support, until you reach the part of the nori without rice. Dip your index finger into the water bowl and wet the edge of the nori to help seal the roll. Keep the roll intact until ready to serve. Slice just before serving.

Step 6. Set a beautiful table.

Place sushi platters on table and garnish with fresh herbs or edible flowers. Serve up miso soup into individual bowls and garnish with thinly sliced scallions or some fresh herbs. Have an assortment of drinks off to the side to sample such as green tea, iced green tea, warm or cold sake, or a crisp, dry white wine. Give everyone a plate, dipping sauce bowl, and chopsticks.

Enjoy your meal… Itadakimasu!  いただきます!


Maple Roasted Wild Caught Salmon with Fresh Rosemary

We make this dish at home when salmon is in season and we want something easy, hearty, and delicious. It is also great for a large dinner party because it can be cooked at the last minute after everyone has arrived. This recipe is quite simple; it has only 6 ingredients, including olive oil and sea salt! There are many variations on this recipe, but one of our favorites is to add toasted pecans.

When selecting your salmon fillet, make sure it is wild caught, as the taste of wild caught salmon is unparalleled, and is higher in minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron than its farm-raised counterpart. Wild caught salmon contains about half the fat as farm-raised salmon, so it is important to cook it with some oil if baking or roasting in the oven.

Some ideas for completing your menu:

  • Salmon with basmati, jasmine, or sushi rice and a green vegetable.
  • Salmon on top of your favorite salad.
  • Salmon with Niçoise Salad.
  • Salmon with sushi hand roll fixings like cucumber, carrot, avocado, toasted nori, and a dipping sauce.

Maple Roasted Wild Caught Salmon with Fresh Rosemary
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb. wild caught salmon fillet (coho, sockeye, or king)
  • sea salt
  • about ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly oil a 9" X 9" glass baking dish or roasting pan with a thin coating of olive oil.
  3. Cut salmon into 4 equal pieces. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Place salmon pieces in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with sea salt (a few large pinches). Alternatively, leave the salmon fillet whole to have a nice presentation the table.
  4. Roast salmon in the oven for 8 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, sauté garlic in olive oil until garlic is soft but not browned. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary, maple syrup, and a large pinch of salt.
  6. After salmon has roasted for 8 minutes, remove from oven and spoon garlic-rosemary oil over each fillet. Return salmon to the oven and roast for another 3 minutes, and then check for doneness.
  7. Serve with a fresh salad, sauteed greens or broccolini, or other vegetable side dish.
Variations
  1. Maple-pecan version: Toast up to 1 cup pecan pieces with the garlic until fragrant, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Keep the rest of the recipe the same, or omit the rosemary for a pure maple-pecan flavor. This variation is especially good in the fall and early winter when pecans are fresh.
  2. Maple-balsamic version: Add 2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction) to the garlic-olive oil mixture. Omit rosemary.
Note
  1. To check for doneness, plunge a small sharp knife all the way through the thickest part of one of the fillets and hold it there for 5 seconds. Pull it out and carefully touch the flat side of the knife to your lower lip, which is very sensitive to temperature. If it feels warm, the fish is just cooked through and ready to serve. If the knife is still cold or cool, the fish needs more time.
  2. Another way to gauge doneness is to watch for the appearance of a white substance that starts forming on the outside of the salmon. Usually this indicates the salmon is close to being done.

maple-roasted-salmon-6

Salmon with sushi rice, toasted nori, and steamed green beans.

Salade Niçoise with Dijon Vinaigrette

photo of nicoise salad

This vibrant and delicious Salade niçoise was originally introduced to me by my mother Louise, who is an amazing cook and liked to teach me things from her French heritage. We first made this salad together for a holiday celebration at my school French class around 1987. I rediscovered this timeless salad several years ago, and enjoy making it a little differently each time. The dressing is a very basic vinaigrette that gets its distinctive taste from Dijon mustard. Check out the variations in the recipe and photos for more ideas.

Apparently, there are very strong feelings about what should or should not be included in a Salade niçoise. See the commentary on wikipedia for a run down of the “rules” if you want to be a “traditionalist” when it comes to making this salad! For instance, some defend that there should be no cooked vegetables in this salad. And it should have anchovies and eggs. I say, make it however you like it, and enjoy it! And maybe you can just call it “my favorite salad” if someone criticizes you for not making the authentic niçoise. 

Salade Niçoise
 
This beautiful composed salad is a meal in itself, especially if you add some large white beans, quinoa, or tuna. You can arrange the salad onto ndividual plates or one large platter.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
Salad
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 4 cups mixed field greens or 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, sliced in half
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced or 1 cup baby tomatoes
  • ½ cup kalamata or niçoise olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar or lemon juice with mustard. Add a few pinches of salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil with a few pinches of sea salt. Add green beans and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain green beans and spread them out on a plate or platter to cool.
  3. Scrub potatoes and peel away any blemishes. Place potatoes and a few pinches of sea salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and place into a bowl. When cool, slice large potatoes in half or into several pieces, if desired.
  4. Arrange lettuce on large platter or individual plates. Place green beans, potatoes, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes on top of lettuce in distinct rows or mounds. Sprinkle olives and capers over the top. Drizzle the entire salad with some of the dressing, then sprinkle chopped parsley over the top.
  5. Serve with roasted salmon or canned tuna packed in olive oil, if desired.
Note:
  1. If you are able to find colorful fingerling potatoes, such as red or purple varieties, these look very beautiful in the salad.
Variations:
  1. Add cooked white beans such as giant Peruvian limas or butter beans.
  2. Add quinoa or quinoa with chickpeas.
  3. Omit cucumbers if not in season.
  4. Add 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half.

Here are some other variations of the salad I have tried in recent years.

With golden fingerling potatoes and baby San Marzano tomatoes:

photo of salade niçoise

With quinoa and chickpeas and roasted salmon:

photo of salade niçoise with quinoa, chickpeas, and salmon

Arranged in a radial pattern, with plenty of artichokes!

photo of salade niçoise

I hope you enjoy making this salad, and please let me know if you come up with some new and delicious versions!

White Bean and Tuna Salad (Insalata di Fagioli e Tonno)

We continue “Eat Your Way Through Summer” with a couple of tasty authentic Italian recipes by Monica Pesoli, owner of Like An Italian cooking and language school in Austin, Texas. If you haven’t met Monica yet, you must change that! For more information about her cooking classes, visit her Facebook page, Cook Like An Italian!

White Bean and Tuna Salad (Insalata di Fagioli e Tonno)
 
A hearty and flavorful side dish to be served with the second course, the meat course. Recipe is courtesy of Monica Pesoli, owner of "Like An Italian" cooking and language school in Austin, Texas. Monica recommends Montebello brand all organic olive oil and Cento brand tuna. Note: you must start this recipe the day before to allow the beans to soak overnight.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
Beans
  • ½ lb. dried cannellini or navy beans
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Salad
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5.5-ounce can tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Soak beans overnight. Drain soaking water.
  2. Finely chop the onion. In a 4 quart pot, heat ghee to medium. Add onion and sauté 3-5 minutes.
  3. Two minutes before onion is translucent add garlic, oregano and drained beans. Sauté another 2 minutes.
  4. Add water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until tender (45–50 min), stirring often to prevent beans from sticking to bottom of pot.
  5. Drain beans, reserving ¼ cup of cooked liquid.
  6. Whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  7. Combine vinegar mixture with beans and reserved cooked liquid; transfer to a serving bowl.
  8. Top chunks of tuna, sprinkle with parsley.

 

Brazilian Fish Stew (Mocqueca)

Brazilian fish stew (mocqueca)

This was the star of the show this Christmas Eve. I learned it from a friend who has been living part-time in Brazil for years. It contains red palm oil, a very unique ingredient from South America that you can easily buy now at local natural foods stores or online.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Brazilian Fish Stew (Mocqueca)
 
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This colorful Brazilian dish is super fresh and full of flavor. It goes well with jasmine rice and a crisp green salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Latin American
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs flaky white fish (such as Pacific cod)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, half diced and half thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, half diced and half thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, half diced and half thinly sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, half diced and half thinly sliced
  • 2 cups light vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined red palm oil
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
Instructions
  1. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Remove any skin, scales, or bones. Cut into 1½ inch chunks and place into glass bowl. Add lime juice and 4 cloves of minced garlic and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat fish and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add minced onion and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add diced peppers and the rest of the garlic and cook until soft.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and cook another few minutes.
  5. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, and palm oil and bring to a boil.
  6. Add fish along with sliced peppers and tomatoes. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in fresh cilantro and basil. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with lime wedges.

 

Crusted Halibut with Caper White Wine Sauce

Serve this easy fish dish with some basmati rice and some steamed green beans for an elegant evening meal.

Spend less time cooking and more time kissing!

Crusted Halibut with Caper White Wine Sauce
 
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Flaky Crusted Pan-Fried Halibut with Caper White Wine Sauce
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 oz halibut fillet
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • fresh basil, chiffonade, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish.
  2. Dredge halibut fillet on both sides in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour and hold on a plate.
  3. Heat heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high flame for about one minute.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and immediately place halibut in the pan, flesh side down. Turn heat down to medium-low. Cook for 3 minutes without disturbing the fish to allow a crust to form. Turn the fish over so it is skin side down and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove fillet onto a serving plate while making the sauce.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan with the capers. Sauté for about a minute, then add white wine. Let simmer until alcohol cooks off and sauce has reduced by at least one half. Add butter and stir until it is incorporated into the sauce.
  6. Pour sauce over the fish and garnish with fresh basil.