Pan Seared Halibut with Mango Pineapple Salsa

Blu halibutJust last week, Brian from Blu Seafood came rushing over to announce that Halibut was back in season, and that I should head over to his booth to get a good picture. I didn’t realize how large halibut could be, and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to hold up a fish as large as the one this picture – wow! Halibut is in season from late March to September, and comes from the North Pacific. These large flatfish are a highly sought after food fish. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to take some home and cook it up for the market blog.

I asked Brian for recipe suggestions, and he directed me to his cookbook, “Keep it Simple Seafood” (which you can pick up at his booth here at the market). The title speaks the truth. Not having much experience with cooking halibut (or seafood in general), I can confidently say that this is a great fish to cook for any beginners out there. He suggested adapting the Pan Seared Mahi Mahi (p. 82) recipe for halibut which worked out wonderfully.

halibut filletMarket Sourced Ingredients:

2 fillet of halibut from Blu Seafood

Juice of ½ a lime from The Cherry Pit

Package of Mango Salsa from The Cherry Pit

Package of pre-cut Pineapple from The Cherry Pit

2 tbsp oil (I used Persian Lime Olive Oil from Soffrito)

Balsamic vinegar (I used Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar from Soffrito)

Other Ingredients:

Couscous (or any other grain that you would prefer like rice, quinoa etc.)

Salt and pepperhalibut 1

halibut fillet cookingMethod (from Brian Plunkett’s book, “Keep it Simple Seafood”)

  • Pat dry the fish fillets
  • Season with sea salt, ground black pepper and the juice from ½ a lime
  • Heat frying pan, add the oil
  • Place the seasoned fillets of halibut in the hot pan and sear on both sides until golden brown and firm to touch – approximately 5 minutes
  • Serve over Mango Pineapple Salsa
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar

halibut finished 2I also cooked up some Israeli couscous (directions on how to cook it can be found here), but you could easily substitute this for whatever grain you prefer or have on hand. The original recipe was drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction, but I just substituted the grapefruit white balsamic vinegar from Soffrito straight up, and drizzled it over the whole plate before diving in. The wonderful thing about picking up oil and vinegar from Soffrito is that you can just tell them what you’re cooking, and they will make a variety of suggestions, allow you to sample the pairings, and then you can choose your favourite. I loved the bright citrus flavour of the Persian lime and grapefruit together and thought it would complement the mango pineapple salsa well.

I should also note that while Brian has a great recipe for salsa in his book, I cheated. The Cherry Pit makes an amazing mango salsa, but I didn’t want to leave out the pineapple! Fortunately they also have pineapple peeled, sliced and ready to go, so I just diced it up and added it to the salsa. All in all, this meal only took about 15 minutes to prepare, and couldn’t have been any more delicious, fresh or healthy – fast food at its best!

So next time you’re craving fish, be sure to head over to Blu Seafood. You can pick up all your ingredients, Thursday – Sunday, 9pm – 5pm at the Calgary Farmers’ Market!


halibut recipe

Love: Scampi Style

We’re very lucky to be featured on CTV Morning Live every month, dishing up some great things from healthy meals to events at the market.  Today, we learned ways to woo your loved one this Valentine’s Day from Chef Brain Plunkett from Blu Seafood.  He shared a dead simple, delicious recipe to impress your sweetheart that can be whipped together in less than 10 minutes.

Scampi

Market Sourced Ingredients

1 lb. (454 g)  Scampi  from Blu Seafood

1 cup tomatoes, diced from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 tbsp. shallots, finely diced from Cherry Pit

1 clove garlic, crushed from Cherry Pit

½ cup basil, chopped from The Cucumber Man

1 tbsp, olive oil from Soffritto

1 oz. butter

2 oz. white Wine

Start by splitting the scampi tails to de-vein (here’s an easy how-to video) and season with salt and pepper.  Add olive oil to a sauté pan and heat until almost smoking.  Add the butter and the scampi and quickly turning so to prevent overcooking.  Add the shallots, garlic and tomato; cook fro 2 minutes, add the basil and white wine, cook 1 minute more.  Remove the scampi then simmer the sauce for 1 minute and pour over the scampi. Serve and enjoy!

Grey Cup Grub

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, even though our local Stampeders weren’t able to pull out a win last weekend, that we’re all pretty excited for the Grey Cup around here.  Call us football fans or food fans or… both!

Whether you’re hosting your friends or heading to a party, you wouldn’t want to fumble on the opening kickoff and show up without food, right?  And with everyone else rushing to the frozen snack aisle like a possessed linebacker… *ahem* we mean flocking to the grocery stores last minute to stand in long lines, we’d like to share some of the incredible (and tasty) things you can find right here in one stop.  Ready?  Huddle up, we’ll be your Grey Cup party quarterback.

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Whether your guests have the appetite of an offensive lineman or punter, who doesn’t like a meatball sub?  With Spragg’s Meat Shop carrying some of the best ready-to-go meatballs around, this is an easy throw-’em-in-the-crockpot and slap-’em-in-a-bun (from Yum Bakery of course) meal for the game.

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Looking for something a little on the lighter side for a delicate wide receiver?  Prawns with cocktail sauce is a huge crowd pleaser and Blu Seafood has some incredible treats from the sea.  In addition to the best tasting prawns we’ve had (in our land-locked region), they also have some excellent crab cakes, salmon burgers, and seafood brochettes that are party-ready with very little prep.

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More of a meat-lover, kill-the-running-back, kind of defensive lineman?  Silver Sage Beef prepares a killer burger (slider and full-sized), they do up a damn good chili, and if you prefer beef in your subs, they also have prepped meatballs.  Not a bad selection.

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And what’s a Canadian party without a Caeser? Edgar Farms (part of Innisfail Growers Co-operative) is famous for their asparagus; we wait, not-so-patiently, for it to arrive on the shelves every June and Elna Edgar makes some mean pickles.  What’s better than a spear of pickled asparagus poking out of the signature drink Canadians love so much?  Nothin’.

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We know not everyone who has ever dawned shoulder pads and a helmet is a big ol’ meat lover, so why not offer them a lighter, equally delicious option?  Kin Sushi has a great selection of ready-made combos and they take larger orders for platter.  They also make a killer miso soup to warm everyone up.

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While we’re talking about healthy alternatives to your Grey Cup party, Cherry Pit has an impressive, and tasty, selection of ready-made salads, roasting vegetables, and made-to-order platters that will suit just about anyone’s dietary preferences or restrictions.

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You may be hosting friends and family in your home for the big game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some great bar-style snacks at their fingertips.  Going Nuts has a massive selection of nuts of all kinds and flavors that will keep them coming back for more.

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We’re not sure we’ve ever been to a party of any kind that doesn’t have at least one dip as part of the snack/appetizer buffet.  The Stock & Sauce Co. has a vast and varied selection of dips from pâté  to pesto, tapenade to tasty dips, even a chocolate mousse that’s incredible on strawberries, these certainly won’t disappoint your guests.

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If you want a more traditional party spread, nachos or as mainstay as you can get when it comes to sporting events.  Los Chilitos Taqueria makes salsa and chips fresh daily and are quite addictive if we do say so ourselves.

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We’re on a dip roll, we’re not stopping now!  2 Greek Gals has you covered for bruschetta, antipasto, traditional Greek fare like melitzanosalata and tzatziki and some pretty martini-perfect olives for the women that are watching the game with the men.

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Martinis for the women, wings for the men?  Not a bad trade.  Wild Fire Wings has an extensive menu of hot-to-take-home or take-and-bake wings from the common buffalo to the not-so-common dill pickle or garlic & parm.  They use organic Sunworks Farms chicken and they have a buy 3lbs, get 1lb free deal.  Say wha?!  Touchdown!

Meat & Cheese Collage

If you’re hosting a slightly more sophisticated crowd that prefers wine and cheese with their long bombs and 50 yards running plays, Fresh DELIcious offers a selection of import and local cheese and meat that could give any large deli a run for its money.  And they often have Thursday deals, so don’t count them out of your Grey Cup shopping.

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And while we’re challenging you not to leave any market stone unturned… we think you should try to slip in these vegan spare ribs from Hearts Choices.  Lighter than a full meat platter, and just as tasty, we think most people would be hard pressed to point out the vegan option in your party spread.

So there you have it!  A dozen quick and easy, one-stop shopping pick ups right here at the market and a drink garnish too!  So whaddya say?  Skip the long grocery lines and visit our vendors for a Grey Cup party that’s unlike all the rest.

Grilled Apple, Bacon, & Cheddar Sandwich

It’s that time of year… the sun is rising a little later to crisp, cool temperatures, the kids are moaning to stay in bed a little longer, and your blissful sunny summer vacation is starting to feel just a little too far away already.  But with the warm days of summer slipping through or chilly fingers, beautiful gourds, greenhouse-treasures, and apples! are gracing our shelves.  There’s something really comforting about cozying up in a sweater with one of your favorite meals; ours is a grilled cheese.  Yes, you may say it’s just a sandwich…. but it doesn’t have to be.  With seasonal tart apples, smoky bacon, and oozy sharp cheddar, this isn’t just a sandwich… it’s a warm hug on a cold day, a nostalgic mainstay, a damn good quick dinner.  And if you don’t like apples or bacon (you might be a little crazy), but you can throw just about anything between two slices of fresh bread and make a hearty, kid-friendly, speedy dinner for those nights when you’re running out the door to soccer practice or piano lessons or just need a little piece of cheesy heaven.

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Market Sourced Ingredients

2 slices whole wheat bread from Yum Bakery

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp from Spragg’s Meat Shop

4 slices Farm House Cheddar (we chose 8 years for it’s deliciously strong flavor) from Sylvan Star Cheese

1/2 Honeycrisp apple, cored, sliced thin from Souto Farms

*Brassica Whole Grain mustard from Blu Seafood

Butter

*This can be substituted nicely with the Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Onion Jam from La Cucina

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Preheat a seasoned grill pan or griddle over low to medium heat.  Assemble this sandwich just as you would a traditional grilled cheese sandwich: spread 1 slice of bread with some whole grain mustard, then top with cheddar (you can go as little or a lot as you like; we covered most parts of the bread with thin slices of cheese), the bacon, the apple slices, finishing with another mustard-slathered slice of bread.  We chose to use the Honeycrisp apple instead of say, Granny Smith, because it’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet that compliments the rich, sharp aged cheddar.  Unlike Granny Smith that are really quite sour, these may just be the perfect apple.

Butter the outsides of the bread generously and transfer to the pan. Grill about 3 minutes per side until golden. Remove to a cutting board and cut the sandwich in half on the diagonal to serve.  And if it’s a particularly crisp evening and you’re yearning for a hot bowl of soup to dip your ooey-gooey salty, sweet sandwich in, check out The Stock & Sauce Co. for a wide array of hearty, healthy soups.

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Honey Thyme Glazed Trout

If you’re a fish-lover, there are few things more beautiful than fresh, wild Steelhead trout or a deep red Ahi steak or a glistening halibut filet….. *ahem*  we may be fans of the beauties showcased at Blu Seafood.  There’s nothing quite like perfectly crisped-skin trout fillets; with a flavor so delicate that they really don’t need much to make a delicious (and healthy) dinner.  This recipe is dead simple with only four main ingredients:  a squeeze of orange, and a dollop of honey, and fresh sprigs of thyme, it lets the trout shine and takes all of 12 minutes.  And, with the outstanding selection of ready-made salads and grilling vegetables from Cherry Pit, a complete meal can be whipped together in less time than calling for take-out.

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Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 Steelhead Trout Fillet from Blu Seafood

2 tbsp Honey from Buzz Honey

Fresh Thyme from Terra Farms

Juice of half an Orange from Cherry Pit

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Your Choice of Prepared Salad or Vegetable Sauté from Cherry Pit

Cherry Pit Salads

Quickly whisk together a mixture of orange juice, honey, fresh thyme, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Rub the salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in hot pan, skin side down, approximately 6-8 minutes.

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Gently flip and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.  Flip back onto skin side and brush the tops of the fillets with a few remaining minutes of cook time.  *Do not brush skin side of fish with the honey-thyme glaze as this will cause it to burn terribly.  Take care not to overcook the fish.

Serve skin side up over whatever incredibly easy (and yummy) Cherry Pit side you chose to enjoy; serve the remaining glaze on the side.

Trout Collage

Alternatively, if you’re more of a grillin’ kinda gal or guy, this trout can be done on the grill (just be sure to oil the skin well to prevent it sticking to the grates).

Trout