Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Parmesan-Pesto Crusted Halibut


Oh my, it is a whiny Wednesday! Do you ever have those days where you know you are just in a mood? To quote my dear, sweet, little mother, sometimes you just feel the need to "beech, beech, beeeeech, beech, beeech," - if not obvious, please infer that as the phonetic version of another word. First time she said this, mom made a cute little face, and in a high pitched voice that oddly sounds like an Italian accent, she squealed that little phrase to me and it stuck. Now we like to use it when we feel the need to "beeech" about things. So....

It is a stormy night and Mr. Max is stuck in OKC due to the weather. It took me over an hour to get home from work tonight. My camera battery is dead and a charge cord is no where to be found. I've had a sharp pain at the base of my neck for two weeks that really escalated today and I can't turn my head without sending sharp pains up and over. My left eye won't stop twitching from editing documents, working on lists and spreadsheets this week. I lost a favorite earring today.

Whooo. Done! Got anything you need to beeeech about? Go ahead, let it out! The rain and neck pain deterred me from going to yoga tonight where all this beeeeeching would have become much more subdued, so I'm going to partake in my other de-stress hobby and take it all out in the kitchen. Nothing a little glass of red wine, a Motown playlist and a cutting board can't cure.

Let's talk about tonight's delicious dish, shall we? You take a fish fillet and roast it until it's crispy and flaky, that's "mmm-mmm good" right there. You top it with some fresh basil pesto then dust with breadcrumbs and Parmesan, that is "quit your beeeeching" good. There aren't many times you can pair cheese with fish, but in this case, the Parmesan mirrors the breadcrumbs and helps to create a crispy, great tasting topping. To really take this dish and your taste buds to the next level, I like to saute some cherry tomato halves in just a smidge of balsamic vinegar and garlic. Allow them  to pucker from the heat and soak in the tang, creating a tomato-relish to serve over top. This recipe also works beautifully with chicken breast, which is how I originally started making it after a restaurant experience.

This is an easy under 30 minute meal. Click here to get the nutritional facts calculated at; 1 serving of halibut is equivalent to 8 WW points.

Grocery List:
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (especially with the fish, adds another flavor dimension that really complements natural flavors)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil pesto, divided
  • 2 halibut fillets (4-6 oz. each)
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
So mentioned above, I have no battery power in my camera and can't find the charger. I'm going to leave tonight's step by steps to Instagram pics which I have little to no experience with. To start, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat a baking dish with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine the panko, Parm, and the lemon zest in a bowl, mixing up with your hands.

With the pesto, evenly spread 1 tbsp. atop each fillet and set in the baking dish.

Lightly sprinkle the panko mixture onto the pesto and gently press down to help adhere to the top of the fillet. A little trick to assist in the browned breadcrumb top look is to lightly spray a bit of the cooking spray over the top. This is why I buy fat free spray :-) The lemon zest really stands out in this pic - it doesn't in real life.

Stick the fillets in the oven and let roast for about 10 minutes, or until the tops look slightly browned. While the fish is cooking, it's time to fix the topping. In a small skillet, begin to cook the minced garlic on medium heat in the olive oil until fragrant - about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and balsamic and cook until tomatoes pucker. Turn the heat down if needed to prevent the garlic from burning.

When the timer goes off, check the fish. If it flakes at the touch of a fork, it's ready! Remove from the oven and top with your tomato relish, serve and enjoy!

Tastefully yours, 



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