I'm not sure who started the rumor that tuna is chicken of the sea because in our house halibut holds the honor. Now there are tons of ways halibut can be cooked although I have to admit it is the one fish I have difficulty with because it goes from being barely cooked to tinder dry in less than a minute. Last night's creation is definitely going on our keeper list because it makes me look like I know what I'm doing.
Last week when Big Guy's buddy John was here crabbing I cooked up a mess of oven fried chicken to take to them on the boat for their dinner. It got me thinking how fabulous halibut would be treated to a buttermilk/hot sauce bath followed by a roll in equal parts crushed crackers and flour finished by a short trip in a saute pan.
I was right too. Don't you love when that happens? Moist and flaky meaty fish in a crisp but light coating - heck the 9 minutes cooking time was darn near perfect. It had Big Guy insisting we follow up with a repeat in the very near future. That's high praise from the guy that caught the fish in the first place.
Buttermilk Ritzy Halibut (an original from JBug's Kitchen Antics inspired by myrecipes.com)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Franks)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper
2 - 6 ounce pieces halibut - approx 1-1/2 inches thick
Whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour into a zip bag and add halibut pieces. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cracker crumbs (I used crushed Ritz)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together flour, cracker meal, salt and pepper in shallow bowl. Remove fish from marinade (discard marinade) and coat one piece of fish at a time with flour/cracker meal, shaking off excess. Place onto a wire rack and allow to sit for 10 minutes before continuing. Heat butter and oil in a large oven proof skillet. Add fish and cook until golden brown 3 of 4 sides over medium heat - about two minutes per side. Flip halibut onto 4th side and immediately place into preheated oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Remove from oven and allow to rest (uncovered) for a minute before serving.