This dish is an adventure for your taste buds, it’s the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, and the contrast of the Cajun rub on the fish and spice of the dirty rice with the sweetness of the praline sauce is divine. And of course, since we’re talking about Halibut, I have to tell you all about the best Halibut I have ever had. It was in my second favorite city (next to San Diego of course), Seattle.  Seattle is a foodie heaven, and this particular halibut that I still dream about came from, of course, the foodie Mecca……

One of my very best friends Kerry was living in Seattle and I went to visit her right at the peak of Halibut season.  We picked up a couple filets at Pike’s Place Market, sprinkled a little salt and pepper on them, and baked them in the oven to perfection.  That was it! No fancy sauce or complicated cooking method, just fresh as can be fish.

You’ll also find these beauties at the Market:

Okay enough with the pictures, I promise I’m not being paid by the Seattle board of Tourism. Here’s the Recipe:

Ingredients:

For the Rice:

  • 1 link Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup long grain white rice
  • 1½ cups chicken or veggie broth
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup chopped scallions/green onions

For the Praline Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 TB Butter at room temperature
  • 1 TB Whiskey (or more if you’re feeling Frisky)

For the Fish:

  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 1 TB Paprika
  • 2 TB Fresh Lemon
  • 2 TB Fresh Thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 halibut filets

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

2. To make the dirty rice, crumble the sausage into a skillet or large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until it starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Stir in the olive oil, diced onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook until just softened, about 2-3 minutes more.  Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute.

4. Mix in the chicken or veggie broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper (be careful with the cayenne!).  

5. Stir in the scallions/green onions. When you’re ready to assemble the meal, fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

6. Toast the pecans in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to burn them!  Transfer the pecans to a plate and set aside.  Return the pan to medium heat.  Combine the sugar and water, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.

7.  Stir in the toasted pecans and salt, and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and whiskey until smooth. Take a shot of whiskey. The sauce may thicken upon standing, but can be rewarmed over low heat.

8. Now onto the fish: combine the oil, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to blend.  Gently rub the mixture on both sides of the fish

9. Grease the grill with cooking spray or whatever you like to use.  Grill until the fish is cooked through and the fillets release easily, about 3 minutes per side.  (If your grill has a tendency of food sticking to it you can place the halibut on a piece of foil coated with cooking spray before placing on the grill). Serve over the dirty rice and top with the warm praline sauce.    

ENJOY!!

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats

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