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Succulent Seared Halibut and Veggie Flatbread Recipe

By Molly Ancel
Source: Jenn Reviews

One of the perks of being with an outdoorsman is that when the fishing is good, there’s always food in the freezer. This year the halibut have been so abundant that I’ve been working overtime on new and fresh ways to prepare and pair it with other dishes.

Halibut is one of my favorite fish – it’s meaty, clean, and takes to different flavors easily. I love the classic baked halibut with lemon just as much as the next person, but I wanted something that would be exciting to the palette. Enter the addition of a fresh dill topping sauce to drizzle liberally over the halibut. The sauce adheres to my personal cooking motto: easy, low stress, healthy. It’s light and flavorful without erasing the brilliance of a well cooked halibut.

As a compliment I wanted a side dish that would be hearty without taking away the lightness of the halibut. I love cooking with masa, otherwise known as finely ground corn flour, because it’s forgiving and allows for lots of creativity. It also cooks well in a cast iron, my favorite cooking tool. All roads led me to a California-inspired veggie flatbread.

This corn flatbread is guaranteed to impress even the pickiest of eaters, and can use any vegetables that are locally in season for you. Adding to its allure is that although halibut can be expensive depending on where you live, masa flour and local vegetables are almost always incredibly affordable! I love when a nourishing, beautiful meal doesn’t break the break, don’t you?

A quick note before we get started – as with cooking any meat, you want your halibut fillets to be room temperature before you cook them for the best taste and consistency. Set out the halibut fillets before starting these steps, so by the time you get to them they’ll be ready to go.

Without further ado, go forth and bring pleasure to your taste buds with this delicious recipe!

Succulent Seared Halibut and Veggie Flatbread Recipe

 Course Main Course
 Cuisine French
 Prep Time 30 minutes
 Cook Time 40 minutes
 Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
 Servings 4

Ingredients

Flatbread:

  • 2 cups of masa flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ sweet onion
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 poblano peppers
  • 1/4 pound of shiitake mushrooms

Halibut:

  • 2 large halibut fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Topping Sauce:

  • One small tomato
  • 1/2 bundle of fresh dill
  • 1 cup of plain whole milk yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Dash of pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop three cloves of garlic, heat up a medium skillet and add three tablespoons of olive oil

  2. Prepare the masa dough for vegetable flatbread. Add the masa, spices and water to a large mixing bowl. Press the dough into the skillet

  3. Pop the flatbread into the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.

  4. Prepare the veggies for topping

  5. When the whole flatbread is liberally covered in veggies salt the top lightly, and pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Add 3 minutes under the broiler at the end to brown up the veggies on top.

  6. While your flatbread is baking to fresh perfection prepare the halibut fillets for searing. Dry them off with a paper towel, and then lightly salt and pepper them on both sides.

  7. Grab the medium skillet you sauteed the garlic oil in, and give it a quick wipe down with a paper towel. Add a tablespoon of butter and set the skillet over medium heat.

    When the butter is hot and bubbly, add the fillets. Let the fillets sit for about two minutes on each side depending on their size.

  8. Create the dill topping sauce

  9. Serve and enjoy

STEP ONE – GARLIC OIL


Set the oven to 375°. While it’s preheating, chop up three cloves of garlic.

Heat up a medium skillet and add three tablespoons of olive oil to along with your chopped garlic. Saute until the garlic is browned and scrumptious looking. Pour the garlic oil into a small bowl and set aside.

STEP TWO – FLATBREAD DOUGH

Next, prepare the masa dough for vegetable flatbread. Add the masa, spices and water to a large mixing bowl.


Knead with your hands until the consistency is firm, but not dry. Your hands should not look like sticky dough monsters. At the right consistency the dough should easily come off your hands.


Next, prepare a medium cast iron sauce pan with a tablespoon of baking oil. Make sure to oil the edges and sides!

Plop your dough right in the middle of the pan.

Press the dough into the skillet, working from the middle all the way to the edges – think a thicker pie crust.

When your everything looks good, grab your sauteed garlic oil from the previous step and paint the top of the dough with it using a brush or the back of a spoon.

When the oven is ready, pop the flatbread into the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.

STEP THREE – PREPARE THE VEGGIES

While your flatbread is baking, prepare the veggies for topping by thinly slicing them. I’m using tomato, onion, poblano pepper, and shiitake mushrooms. Feel free to use whatever veggies are locally in season, or in your fridge.

STEP FOUR – COOK THE FLATBREAD

Remove your flatbread from the oven and up your oven to 425°. Start laying those veggies on! When the whole flatbread is liberally covered in veggies salt the top lightly, and pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Add 3 minutes under the broiler at the end to brown up the veggies on top.

STEP FIVE – SEAR THE HALIBUT

While your flatbread is baking to fresh perfection prepare the halibut fillets for searing. Dry them off with a paper towel, and then lightly salt and pepper them on both sides. Simple is best when it comes to this fish.


(Your flatbread will probably go off right in the middle of this step. Remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.)


Grab the medium skillet you sauteed the garlic oil in, and give it a quick wipe down with a paper towel. Add a tablespoon of butter and set the skillet over medium heat.

When the butter is hot and bubbly, add the fillets. Let the fillets sit for about two minutes on each side depending on their size.


They cook fast! You should see the meat turn from translucent white to opaque white, a sign of succulent halibut readiness. Transfer the halibut to a serving dish and set aside while you whip up the topping sauce.

STEP SIX – CREATE THE DILL TOPPING SAUCE

Finely chop dill and tomato then add them to a cup of plain whole milk yogurt.

Add a half teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper, and a half teaspoon of garlic powder. Last but not least – squeeze the juice of half a lemon in. Mix and taste. Adjust it to your liking and set aside.

STEP SEVEN – SERVE AND ENJOY

We’re almost ready to eat. Use a pizza cutter to cut the veggie flatbread into rectangles and transfer to a serving dish. Portion out the halibut and use the sauce as a topping for both the fish and flatbread. Happy feasting!



I make a variation of this meal many times throughout the spring as different vegetables become locally available. The dill topping sauce is another place that can be open to interpretation. I can imagine using rosemary, thyme, or another strong herb as an anchor for the sauce.

My favorite way to serve this meal is outside when the weather gets nice, in which case you can grill the halibut over a BBQ instead of searing it. I love stacking my fish and topping sauce on top of a piece of flatbread and enjoying it like California halibut pizza.

Let me know how it turned out for you in the comments below – what veggies did you use, how did you eat it, did you grill or sear?

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