As I mentioned before, I was rather odd as a child. One example that comes to mind – with halibut as a punch line – was an overnight field trip to a wilderness campground around age 11.
I had taken karate before this trip, yet I stopped upon reaching the first belt (the yellow belt, which is a cowardly far cry from the ultimate: the famous black sash). However, I was happy with that rank and to have achieved one higher level; I really did not care for the martial arts. So I continued to wear my karate get-up – replete with the yellow belt – whenever possible.
During this particular trip, the fizzy candy which explodes in one’s mouth called, “Pop Rocks”, were all the rage. I had a variety of packets with me, which I shared with my friends. (This is the first of two-sort-of-but-not-really-directly-food-related references in this flashback). The karate outfit fortunately had pockets for hiding “Pop Rocks” and other candy.
After the dinner in the “mess hall”, which I definitely do not remember, we participated in skits. I was in a skit with another boy and it was a joke, the punchline of which was “I did it just for the halibut!” (if you were not paying attention, that is the second of the two food references, one which is supposed to be a play on words, albeit it childish). What I remember is that I did not deliver this line but had to fall down as if struck down by the painful pun – which I did during rehearsal.
However, during the skit when I was outfitted in my karate robe with yellow belt, I fell and knocked over the other boy. My pratfall was not the most graceful of stage falls, nor the most pleasant experience for my fellow actor, given that I was chubby at the time, as I had yet to start with my tennis fixation which began soon after this trip.
For the halibut recipe and more….
So, “just for the halibut,” here is another take on one of my favourite Pacific fish, which is in season right now. I found this in a marvelous British Columbia Cookbook I bought last summer, Whitewater Cooks At Home. This has nothing to do with the alleged Bill and Hillary Clinton scandal but rather is a well-regarded restaurant in Nelson, nestled in the beautiful Kootenay Mountains of B.C., and the cookbook has been justifiably a bestseller out here on Canada’s Wet Coast. This super quick version is voluptuously creamy yet sassy with its lime-ginger-cayenne sauce, which highlights yet does not overpower the rich firm flesh of the halibut. A fitting complement afterward could be my cayenne-cocoa cupcakes with citrus-cream-cheese icing, if you like a theme for your meal. This halibut dish might just have you swooning, too, after your first few tastes.
Halibut in Lime-Ginger-Cayenne Cream Sauce
(adapted from Whitewater Cooks at Home, by Shelley Adams)
- 1 piece of halibut (approximately 340 grams or 12 ounces)
- Zest and juice of one-half lime
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated finely
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder (the original recipe called for one jalapeno pepper, which was for the version serving six people, but I only had cayenne on hand which works well)
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix lime juice and zest, grated ginger (it is easiest to use a microplane for the ginger), cayenne, and black pepper with mayonnaise.
- Coat the halibut’s top and sides evenly with cream sauce and place in baking dish.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes or until just translucent and flaky.
- Serve with lime wedges and whatever else – just for the halibut.