Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baked Halibut

Sometimes one person's misfortune ends up being another person's gain.  Nancy and I were on the "gain" side of that equation when one of my brother and sister-in-law's freezers quit a couple days ago.  Sara caught the food before it spoiled, but they brought a cooler of various kinds of meat and fish that needed to be used in a hurry to our family's Mother's Day dinner, and we were on the receiving end of two prime halibut steaks.

Now, I am not a huge fish eater.  This land-locked Iowa boy prefers meat and poultry over sea-dwelling creatures most any time.  However, my sister shared a recipe for baked halibut several years ago that is out of this world.  Of course, it is a recipe that has managed to make fish--a usually healthy entree on its own--into an artery-clogging joy that may indeed manage to send you out of this world into the next, but you might as well die happy, right?  Besides, I've only made it twice, and those two times have been five years apart.

The last time I made this was in the Qualified range, and we took that out of the kitchen in 2011.  Kevin and Sara had graciously shared some of the halibut that Kevin had caught on a fishing excursion with Sara's dad then, too.  After getting a taste of halibut prepared this way, I was hooked, so we looked for halibut in the grocery store and decided that it was definitely not in our grocery budget.  Therefore, you can kind of understand why I was excited to receive these beautiful halibut steaks.

You can find the recipe that my sister gave us here Taste of Home's website.

The halibut with the sour cream mixture on it.

After putting the sour cream mixture atop the fish and covering it, I slid it into the oven of the Margin Gem.  The oven was quite hot (probably around 450) because I had gotten a little over-zealous with small pieces of wood, trying to get the oven hot in a hurry.  The extra heat in the oven was no problem since our halibut steaks were much thicker than the one-inch ones listed in the recipe and because I think this recipe is pretty forgiving of a higher oven temperature.

The covered halibut in the oven of the Margin Gem.
I'm sorry about the blurriness of this picture; I didn't
have the camera set correctly.

Adding the paprika after the halibut is uncovered
for the last fifteen minutes of baking.

Once again I don't have a photograph of the finished product, but when it is finished, it doesn't look any different than what you see in the last photo, which was taken as it was uncovered before the last fifteen minutes of baking.  I'm sorry for my lack of a photo, but we were in a hurry because we had to get to a meeting.

I hope you enjoy this one.  You know I wouldn't have shared it if I didn't think it was delicious!


  1. I'm sure this must have been delicious. It reads like a first cousin to Julia Child's recipe, which I can say is absolutely delicious. I believe that even people who normally don't like fish would like it if it were cooked this way.

    On an unrelated note, I ran across some information that I thought might be of some interest to you. I recently bought a 1946 copy of the Joy of Cooking, which has a recipe for French Bread in it. The 1940s were a time of rapid transition from wood cooking to gas or electric. but unfortunately not all recipes work well in those new stoves. French Bread was singled out by the authoress as one of those dishes.

    The trouble, she opines, is that whereas wood cookstove cook from all directions, a gas or electric sends heat to the bread from just the bottom of the stove, making most French Bread recipes obsolete. She does offer one recipe that works as well as possible in a modern stove.

    With that thought in mind, it might be interesting to see how well your Marjorie could handle the difficult task of baking a good French Bread.

    Your faithful reader,


    1. Hi, George! Thanks for the comment.

      You're right on all accounts. I, too, have read several editorials about how baking in a wood-heated oven changes the results of some recipes either due to the heat-from-all-sides feature or the fact that the oven on a wood cookstove is not vented like modern ovens are. I have never made French bread, but it sounds like a challenge that I should tackle. Maybe this summer . . . .