Northern California is fortunate to have a robust local fishery, which booms from late spring through summer. At Handline, we source only from companies and fishermen who treat this fishery with respect and focus on sustainability reducing by-catch, and avoiding destruction of underwater eco-systems: that means no gill nets and no bottom trawlers. Handline’s Fish Market is our effort to further support the fishermen who steward our local waters. It gives the opportunity to purchase these spectacular fish and offer them to our community to take home and prepare so they have can the same quality fish at home that they have at Handline. This summer, we are spotlighting our local halibut and offering it in portions for two people to enjoy. Please support the local fishery and use this versatile, easy recipe, which works with any number of fish.
Handline’s Fish Market at Home
6 – 12 oz. local halibut
Grain Mustard Aioli:
2 árbol chiles, seeds and stem removed
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup aioli or mayonnaise*
⅓ cup whole grain mustard
Salt to taste
2 lemons cut into wedges
For those wanting to make their own aioli at home, try Serious Eats’ Two Minute Aioli.
Make the sauce:
Place the árbol chilis into a spice or coffee grinder to turn the whole chilies into a powder. If you don’t have a grinder, fine chop with a knife and set aside. Mix the lemon juice, aioli or mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, and salt to taste. Add the árbol powder a little at a time until you reach your desired level of spiciness. Refrigerate sauce to allow develop flavors.
The halibut should be removed from the fridge 15-20 minutes before cooking to temper.
For skillet roasting:
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet big enough for the whole filet, cut the filet in half to fit the pan. Season halibut generously with salt. Place your oven-safe skillet on the burner and add a few tablespoons of your favorite high-heat cooking oil. You’ll need a healthy amount of oil so the fish doesn’t stick or use a non-stick oven-safe skillet. Just before the oil starts to smoke, carefully place the halibut into the pan presentation side down. Turn the heat down to medium-high and sear the filet for 2 minutes or until golden brown and place the skillet into the oven. Roast for 3-4 minutes, using a fish spatula, carefully flip the filet and return to the oven for an additional 1-2 minutes.
For the grill:
Preheat grill to a medium-high heat. Season the halibut filet generously with salt and olive oil to cover. When the grill is hot (the grill grates have to be hot or the fish will be very difficult to release when flipping. Place the filet presentation side down. Do not move the fish for 4-5 minutes or until the fish unsticks from the grill grates and a nice char is formed. After flipping the filet, cook for another 2-3 minutes and then remove the fish to a serving tray.
After the halibut is cooked, place a few dollops of the sauce on the serving platter and serve the remainder on the side. Squeeze the lemon wedges and sprinkle a little more of the árbol chile powder on top to serve.
Craving more ways to use your Handline Fish Market daily catch? Try our Fisherman’s Stew!