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How to turn local and sustainable fish into a delicious, crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Summer’s not over yet—as the days slowly begin to get longer, now is the ideal time to ramp up your backyard dinner parties. In order to take advantage of the sweet, sweet August sun, we reached out to chef Robert Clark from Organic Ocean who gave us his top summer recipe: wild Pacific halibut cakes. They’re sustainable, easily prepped ahead of time, highly adaptable (eat as a burger, or make mini cakes for cocktail hour) and perfect for a crowd—this hearty recipe will satisfy even as the dog days of summer turn into cool autumn nights.
Makes 6 Wild Pacific Halibut cakes that will serve 6 people as an appetizer or 3 people as an entrée.
500 grams Wild Pacific Halibut
salted water (enough cold water to cover Wild Pacific Halibut completely mixed with 1 tsp salt)
2 large potatoes, Kennebec or Yukon Gold
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 lemon zest and juice
1 Tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil for frying
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cook the Wild Pacific Halibut by placing the fish in a shallow pan, covering with salted water, and bringing it up to a simmer over high heat. Turn off the heat and let it poach gently for a couple of minutes. Drain and allow the halibut to cool.
Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove the potatoes from the foil and cut each in half to allow the steam to escape. When they are still very hot, remove the flesh from the skins and rice or mash. Set aside in a large bowl to cool.
In a frypan over medium heat, sauté the diced onion with the butter until translucent, pour the onions and butter over the mashed, still warm potatoes.
When the potatoes and onions are cooler but still warm, add the halibut, sour cream, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, nutmeg, mustard and seasonings.
Gently mix by hand until the mixture comes together well. Form into cakes about 100 grams each, and place onto a tray of flour and coat both sides of the cakes well with flour.
Add vegetable oil to a frypan and over medium heat, fry the halibut cakes until they are golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve with a fresh arugula salad.
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