An early Christmas gift, a crate of fresh California oranges, arrived just before the winter freeze set in. Shipped from my aunt in Pasadena, these bright orange orbs of vitamin C are a welcome treat.
We are enjoying them with abandon; as fresh juice, in smoothies, and slices for the lunch box, grated over sautéed greens, wedges in salads with poppy seed dressing and now as a sauce for grilled Maine halibut.
In addition to my hoard of beautiful oranges, the inspiration for this recipe comes from a 1999 Gourmet magazine. The original dish was quite tropical, and featured mahi mahi over a mound of crushed potatoes. The photo was so stunning that I had to go cook.
As a true Mainer, I love anything with potatoes. Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, hash browns, and potato cakes: you make them, I’ll eat them. In crushed potatoes, I particularly enjoy the subtle allium flavors that come from sautéing the leeks or scallions in oil, and then “crushing” in the cooked potatoes.
After studying the fish recipe, I knew the preparation would also be delicious with any firm-flesh fish besides halibut, like salmon, tuna or shark. Steamed carrots and red pepper slivers along with orange slices complete our “tropical” Maine meal, a wonderful Christmas gift!
Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected]
Grilled Halibut with Orange Sauce
Makes six servings
1½ lbs. halibut steaks or fillets
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
1 tsp. green curry paste (available in Asian sections of large supermarkets)
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. olive oil
½ tsp. chili pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste
To prepare the orange sauce, whisk together the fresh orange juice, orange zest, green curry paste, lime juice and olive oil. Add the chili pepper flakes and a dash of sea salt. Pour the sauce over the fish and let marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Heat a well-seasoned grill or grill pan and spray with cooking spray. Grill the fish, basting with the orange sauce, 3 minutes on one side. Turn and grill for about 4-5 minutes on the other side, basting with orange sauce.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 179 calories, 24 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, 75 mg. sodium, .5 grams fiber.