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Barbecue Secrets

Recipes of the Week: Halibut Two Ways

Jul 5, 2013

My friend Kosta the Fishmonger is the owner/operator of The Salmon Shop at North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. Kosta has been a regular on CKNW, and is one of the best cooks I know. On this week's podcast (coming out soon) I asked him to share one of his favourite seafood recipes. It’s about as simple, and as delicious, as it gets. 

Kosta’s Grilled Halibut

Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Make sure to scrape the grill before you put the halibut on. 

A nice piece of boneless, skinless halibut

Kosher salt or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Dried oregano leaves


Season the halibut with salt and pepper and drizzle a little oil on each side.

Just before you’re ready to cook, put some oil on a scrunched up paper towel and oil the cooking grates (be careful not to burn yourself). Place the halibut on the grill. As you put it on, use your tongs to move it back and forth along the cooking grate for the first few seconds to help avoid sticking. Turn it after just one or two minutes and close the grill. The halibut is done when it’s firm to the touch, or it reads 130F at its thickest part.

Remove the halibut from the grill, let it rest for a couple of minutes and finish it with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of oregano and a drizzle of oil.  Serve it garnished with a lemon wedge with some rice and grilled veggies.

Halibut and Morel Hobo Packs

Makes 4 individual portions

These hobo packs really pack a punch when it comes to flavour. The halibut and morel combination is a rich dish combining lots of complementary flavours and textures, and the aroma when you open up the pack on your plate is out of this world. Serve these with a simple green salad and some nice French bread to sop up all the rich juice.

You can, of course, adapt this recipe so you’re cooking all four pieces of halibut, or one bigger piece, at once, which is slightly less fussy (but still pretty fussy).

four 8 oz | 250 g halibut fillets

4 slices of double-smoked bacon

1 large white onion

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

1 lb | 500 g fresh morel mushrooms, trimmed, washed well, and patted dry (other kinds of mushrooms will do, but they won’t be as flavourful; if you use button mushrooms, thinly slice them)

¼ lb | 125 g butter

truffle oil

1 cup | 250 mL heavy cream

1/2 cup | 125 mL dry Riesling

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup | 60 mL chopped fresh chives

4 lemon wedges 

Cut the bacon slices in half and set them aside. Thinly slice the onion and the potatoes and set them aside. Slice the morels into 1/8 inch | 3 mm rounds and set them aside.

            Prepare 4 squares of doubled, wide aluminum foil (about 18 inches | 45 cm square). Lightly coat each square with butter, leaving about a 4 inch | 10 cm margin all the way around. Place two half slices of the bacon in the middle of each sheet of foil. Lay down a layer of onion slices on top of the bacon slices and give them a very light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put a layer of potato slices over the onions and give them a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper and place them on top of the potatoes. Divide the morels into four equal portions and place them on top of the halibut. Sprinkle some chopped parsley over each pack.

            Gather the corners of the foil and shape them around each fillet so that when you pour the cream and wine in it won’t spill out. Pour a splash of the wine and ¼ cup of the cream into each pack. Drizzle a few drops of the truffle oil over each one and place a small daub of butter on top. Tightly seal each pack, taking care not to spill any of its precious contents. 

            Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Place the hobo packs on the cooking grate and grill for 12–14 minutes. Remove one of the packs, open it, and test the potatoes for doneness. If they’re not quite tender yet, reseal the pack and put it back in the grill for another 3 or 4 minutes.

            Remove the packs from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes. Place them on serving plates and let your guests open them up and sprinkle the contents with chopped chives. Garnish with lemon wedges.

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