from heart to hands to table

Grilled Halibut with Charred Baby Bok Choi and Brown Butter

Recently we re-vamped our backyard. We have planted more than 300 square feet of garden space and we are growing a huge assortment of things, we found a sweet little picnic table with 4 detached benches on Craigslist and painted them a cheery vintage aqua colour, we made a patio, flanked by trellises covered in peas and beans, but if you ask my husband what he is most excited about, he will likely say it’s the new barbecue.  I can’t say I disagree. Transforming the yard was a ton of work, an insurmountable project had it not been for 4 of our friends who wanted in on the action, and it is incredibly rewarding to be growing our own vegetables, learning about gardening and actively composting. However, the immediate gratification that comes from a kick ass barbecue should not be over looked.

How un-committed to cooking would I sound if I said that I don’t like cooking fish because it makes the house smell fishy? How shallow! But I do love fish, and living in Vancouver we are spoiled for choice when it comes to fresh seafood and fish. That’s the beauty of grilled fish – the fast, high heat perfectly compliments the delicate nature of almost all fish and there is no stinky clean up or lingering smell. So, when a very large slab of halibut came home from our grocery shopping today, it was easy to get excited and fire up the ‘cue. Ten or so minutes later, we dressed it with some browned butter and dinner was on the table.

Grilled Halibut with Charred Baby Bok Choi and Brown Butter

For the fish:

Cut the fish into serving portions, season on both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on high heat until opaque (about 5 inutes per side, based on pieces 1-1/2 inches thick), turning only once.

For the Charred Baby Bok Choi:

Once the fish is half cooked and has been turned, place freshly washed and still wet whole baby bok choi bulbs on the grill over medium heat. Allow to cook for 5 -7 minutes or until wilted and slightly charred. To serve, place the baby bok choi under the fish before finishing with the brown butter.

For the Brown Butter:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter per portion of fish in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to separate and the milk solids to brown. This will take about 5 minutes. The butter with froth and foam. Remove from the heat once you can smell its toasted, nutty smell and it has turned an appetizing medium brown. Be careful not to burn it! Add to it 1 small hot chilli, minced, a clove of crushed garlic and the zest of a 3rd of a lemon. Steep the aromatics in the hot butter and drizzle over the fish when serving.

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