Grilled Halibut with Orange Fennel Salad and Grilled Peaches

It’s still grill season! This recipe might look a bit long, bit it’s honestly super easy. Just throw together a salad and put peaches and fish on your grill and you’ve got a healthy dinner which will definitely impress! (Don’t forget to use Seafood Watch to choose the best halibut.) (P.S. You can watch me grill this on TV for a segment I did for Seattle Refined to educate people about the Seafood Watch App and how easy and impactful it is to choose sustainable seafood.)

LYON Halibut2

Yields: 4 servings

Orange Fennel Salad:

1 large orange, supremed*

3 small fennel bulbs (buy fennel bulbs with stalks and fronds still attached)

¼ cup picked fennel fronds (from the fennel bulbs)

Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, diced small (2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the supremed orange)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

*Cut the ends off the orange. Next, cut the peel and pith off the orange. Then, segment the orange by cutting between the membranes. Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette. Set aside segmented orange pieces for the salad.

Cut off the bottom and the stalks of the fennel. Sit the fennel upright and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the core as needed. Lay each half flat on a cutting board and very thinly slice the fennel width-wise. You should have about 3 cups of thinly sliced fennel.

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Combine all ingredients (orange segments, fennel, fronds) plus the vinaigrette into a medium bowl and toss to mix.

 

Peaches:

4 yellow peaches, cut in half and pits removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in olive oil oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Coat the peaches (all sides) with olive oil. Place peaches on the grill flesh side down. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook peaches skin side down for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and once cool enough to handle, cut each peach half into thirds. Set aside until ready to eat.

 

Halibut:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1½ pounds halibut, 1½ inches thick, skin on, cut into 4 equal pieces

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 3 lemons), grated on a Microplane, chopped finely (reserve the lemon for the salad)

¼ cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely

 

Pat the halibut dry (all sides). Next, coat the halibut with the olive oil, then season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Finally, season the flesh side with the lemon zest and chopped herbs.

With the grill on medium-high, place the halibut on the grill skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip halibut and continue cooking until fish just begins to flake at the thickest point, approximately 1 minute. Remove fish from the grill.

To serve, evenly divide the salad onto plates, add some grilled peaches and top with the halibut fillets.

Herb Grilled Rockfish with Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Memorial Day is coming, so fire up that grill because this is one heck of a recipe and it’s using one of my favorite sustainable seafoods – rockfish! The resurgence of (West Coast) rockfish is the ultimate success story when it comes to sustainable seafood. You can read all about how local government and conservation groups brought this fishery back to life so we can now enjoy this delicious fish! Use Seafood Watch  (download the app on your smartphone) to locate the best choice for rockfish at your local grocery store / fish market and grill away! (P.S. You can watch me cook this on TV in a spot I did with Seattle Refined to educate people about the Seafood Watch App)

LYON RockfishLYON Raw PotatoesLYON Cooked Potatoes

Herb Grilled Rockfish with Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Yields: 4 servings

 

Lemon Garlic Potatoes:

1½ pounds peewee or small fingerling potatoes

6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

7 sprigs fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

5 ¼-inch slices of lemon (reserve leftover lemon for grilling)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill

 

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in olive oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss to combine. Place potatoes in the center of a large sheet of aluminum foil. Create a well sealed pouch ensuring that the potatoes are laying flat and not stacked on top of each other so they all cook evenly.

Place on the grill and cook for 20 minutes, shaking the bag every 5 minutes.

Remove from grill and open pouch carefully (hot!). Use a fork to test potatoes for doneness (fork should pierce through the potato easily). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

 

Rockfish:

1½ pounds rockfish, pin bones removed, cut into 4 equal sized pieces

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the lemons

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 3 lemons), grated on a Microplane, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh Italian parlsey leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely

2 lemons (plus the remaining lemon from the potato recipe), halved

 

Pat the rockfish dry (all sides). Next, coat the rockfish with olive oil (all sides), then season both sides with salt and pepper. Finally, season the fish (all sides) with the lemon zest and chopped herbs.

Rub the flesh side of the lemons with enough olive oil to coat.

With the grill on medium-high, place the lemons, flesh side down on the grill. Cook for approximately 4 minutes (this will time out perfectly while cooking the rockfish).

Place the rockfish on the grill. Cook until the edges of the fish begin to turn opaque, approximately 2 minutes. Flip rockfish and continue cooking for 1½ to 2 minutes, until fish just begins to flake at the thickest point.

Remove fish and lemons from the grill.

To serve, evenly divide the potatoes onto plates, top with the grilled rockfish and add a grilled lemon half to each plate.

Grilled Zucchini with Pumpkin Seed Romesco and Crostini

We are heading into the time of year when zucchini becomes the front runner of produce – bursting from backyard gardens and farmers’ fields.

With its versatile use, from raw salads to baked casseroles, zucchini offers a lot. One of my favorite preparations/cooking methods for zucchini is grilling. Getting those nice grill marks lends a depth of flavor that you don’t normally get when sauteing or baking.

For this recipe, another drought friendly one, Super Sous and I are grilling the zucchini and serving them with crositini and pumpkin seed romesco. Romesco is a sauce often made with almonds, but since the drought, we are exploring alternative nut/seed options, which makes pumpkin seeds, which take little water to produce, a great alternative. Taste wise, you won’t miss the almonds and price wise you’ll be happy too!

Enjoy this recipe and let us know what you think. Happy cooking!

Zucc slice

1/4-inch slices

Zucc Grilled

On the grill

Zucc and Crostini

Grilled crostini and zucchini

Zucc Final Crostini

Grilled Zucchini with Pumpkin Seed Romesco and Crostini

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

 

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

4 medium-sized zucchini, sliced lengthwise in ¼-inch slices using a mandoline or vegetable peeler

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 lemon, cut in half

Homemade Grilled Crostini (recipe below)

Pumpkin Seed Romesco (recipe below)

6 medium-sized fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and sliced very thinly (chiffonade)

 

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in grapeseed oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil over the sliced zucchini. Using your hands, coat each piece evenly with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Taste a piece to see if it needs more seasoning, adding more to taste.

Grill the zucchini with the cover closed until nicely colored, 5 minutes per side. Do not move the zucchini slices for the first few minutes.

Once nicely caramelized, flip each piece and continue cooking until equally caramelized on the second side. Put your lemon, flesh side down, on the grill now.

Transfer the cooked zucchini and grilled lemon onto a plate until ready to assemble. Once the lemon is cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice over the zucchini.

To serve, top the crostini with some romesco sauce and then a few slices of the grilled zucchini, finish with the basil.

 

Homemade Grilled Crostini

1 loaf fresh bread, such as French baguette, sourdough, or ciabatta

Grapeseed oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Set your grill to high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in grapeseed oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using a bread knife, slice the loaf on a 25- to 45-degree angle (the greater the angle, the higher the surface area) half an inch thick.

Lay each piece, side by side, on the sheet pan in one layer, drizzle grapeseed oil over each piece, then season them evenly with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Arrange the slices on the grill and grill until lightly toasted with grill marks.

Flip the pieces and repeat.

Remove from the oven and transfer the crostini to a plate until needed.

Note: If using a round loaf of bread, be sure to cut the loaf in half first. Then, with the flat (cut) side facing down, starting from one side, cut straight down, making even slices. This method of slicing bread will prevent your slices from being smushed as you slice them.

 

Pumpkin Seed Romesco Sauce

Yield: 2 cups

 

5 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon red chile flakes

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes

1 roasted red bell pepper, diced medium

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

2¼ teaspoons sherry vinegar

¼ cup grapeseed oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and the onion to a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the garlic, chile flakes and paprika, stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and bell pepper, stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost all reduced, approximately, 7 to 10 minutes.

Carefully transfer ingredients from sauté pan to a food processor and add the pumpkin seeds and sherry vinegar.

Process until well combined, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.

While processing, begin slowly streaming in the grapeseed oil. Continue until is combined.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spring is in the Air

Flowers are blooming, peaches will soon be here, herbs are growing like weeds, farmers markets are overflowing with fresh produce and all around town the smell of roses, honeysuckle, and jasmine fills the air. Not to mention the thought of grilling and barbecuing is on everyone’s minds. In fact, Super-sous and I went to a barbecue get-together last night at a friend’s house and will be grilling again tonight as well.

Being on the road for that past 3 weeks,  the thing that we have missed the most, undoubtedly, is the Hollywood Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday from 8am to 1pm. Ever since we got back to L.A. last week we have been dreaming of, talking about and planning our Sunday at the market. Juicy strawberries, bunches of fresh kale, farm fresh eggs, pounds of sweet oranges, crisp asparagus… so much to enjoy in the few days before we take off again (for another 3 weeks of filming for my new show).

Last night, at our friend’s barbecue get-together and over a delicious raw kale salad (with delicious crisp apples and shaved almonds) that the hostess Julie made, we all got into a discussion about organic versus non-organic foods, local versus imported foods and the importance of asking questions to your local farmers when shopping at the farmers market. There are such markets in L.A. called uncertified farmers markets where (amongst local farmers) there are vendors selling produce from other countries (e.g. mangoes from Mexico). Also, not every farmers market sells organic produce. It is usually a mix. Another thing to add to the mix: many farmers follow organic farming practices, however cannot afford the certification process to be labelled organic. So, again, ask your local farmer questions about the produce they are selling, where they farm, etc. If you don’t get a clear answer, move on!

Today, Super-sous and I went to a small farmers market to get our fix with a few fruits and vegetables before our outing to the Hollywood market on Sunday. She wanted to buy organic strawberries, so I asked a farmer selling $5 baskets if their product was organic or not. Their response was, “no pesticides.” Super-sous and I looked at each other curiously. No pesticides? Well, organic or not, pesticides must be used for farming if you want to yield any produce (and therefore make a profit). Next question, “what exactly do you spray with?” His response, “we don’t spray with anything.” No spraying? No pesticides? It just didn’t make sense. Needless to say, we did not buy the strawberries. We would rather wait it out, knowing that non-organic strawberries take on some serious chemicals to be able to make it to the consumer. (Hence the reason it is at the top of Sunday’s list.)

Spring is in the air. The weekend is well underway and farmers markets around the country are popping up, opening for the season, and growing exponentially. So, my Latte loving friends, grab your shopping bags – I think I see an artichoke and some lemons with your name on it. Because when is the last time you had grilled artichokes brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice squeezed on top? Might I say, if you don’t have one in your hand right now, it’s probably been too long.

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Cooking for Solutions

Yesterday and today I have been doing some recipe testing for the Cooking For Solutions event that happens every year at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Being a Sustainable Seafood Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I will be cooking and speaking for the event (Saturday and Sunday followed by book signings for my brand spanking new cookbook, with the addition of competing in an Iron Chef style event on Saturday!). I am creating two recipes: one for grilled Alaska Salmon and one for grilled Alaska Snow Crab.

With the rains rolling in today, I’m taking a bit of a backseat on the grilling, but I did manage to play around a bit with a salmon marinade that includes fresh dill, mint, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil served with a tzatziki sauce; a cajun-style spice rub salmon; and a salt, pepper, lemon zest, thyme rub with grilled lemon zest asparagus. All are something to build on.

But, what about the crab? Is there anything more delicious than crab with garlic butter? If so, please let me know because I have not been able to find anything that rivals it. I have tried several different dipping sauces as well as an appetizer with marinated candy striped beets, avocado, a dollop of creme fraiche and arugula micro greens.

I also tried a spicy tomato gazpacho with avocado, crab, and the arugula micro greens.

Both were… well, alright,but… hey, it’s no garlic butter.

So, what are your favorite flavor combinations using grilled salmon, or snow crab?

(Now, if only Latte paired well with crab….)