Fishing….I’ve been a hardcore fisherman since the age of 12, spending day after day walking the banks of local rivers and mill ponds in Norfolk, England in search of the next big catch.
So here in Canada a trip to the lake usually ends up as a long fishing excursion for me rather than sitting on the beach baking under the sun.
This long weekend was much the same and after emptying the kayak of the gallons of rain water from the previous day I loaded up my gear and hit the water.
I always hope to catch Pickerel like most people but for some reason this wasn’t to be and the fish of the trip was going to be pike and lots of them!
I ended up losing count but I’m guessing around 30 of these voracious fish in varying sizes and level of aggression ended up in my hands and then released back into the water, I did catch a couple of keepers but I wanted pickerel!
Pretty much on the last day I managed to get one decent sized pickerel but that was soon eaten as fresh is always best when fish is concerned.
Once we returned back to Saskatoon I still had the urge to cook up some fish so off to Charlies seafood market we went.
There was no pickerel in the counter so I opted for some big fat gleaming silky halibut fillet and back home we went.
Now I’m not ashamed to say I can cook fish extremely well, after working with some of the best fish and seafood available in the UK for the past 20 years you never lose the “feel” for it.
Halibut lends it self to roasting, grilling, broiling and can take large bold flavours with no fuss so I opted to use a curry powder to start the dish, nothing hot just flavoursome, you can of course use a “hot” curry powder if you want a kick.
I tapped curry powder into some canola oil and mixed it well, then placed the fat halibut fillet in and rolled it around smothering the fillet.
After allowing the fillet to sit awhile to suck up the curry I seasoned with sea salt and fresh black pepper ready for the pan.
Now for the rest of the dish I hit the garden, big juicy tomato, fresh basil, mint and arugula, lovely!
Slicing some tomato as thin as possible I made a bed for the fish, next I turned the rest of the tomato into a salsa by dicing it into perfect little squares, then I’m thinking about the curry and what would work well….fresh orange, mint and parsley! Into the tomato I added diced orange, finely sliced mint and basil, chopped parsley and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil….taste….pinch of salt and a splash of red wine vinegar for some acidity.
My salsa now add the perfect balance of sweet,sour and salty with fresh herbs bursting through, time to cook the fish.
Heat the dry pan and once good and hot gently place the fish in and sear on the presentation side for a good 3 minutes, very important to not sneak a peek at this point to allow the crust to develop.
Searing will allow the curry spices to begin to toast and release even more flavours as well as creating the stunning colour which appeals to the eye.
I then added a good chunk of soft butter to the pan and a slice of fresh orange and placed the pan into the oven (350f) for about 8 minutes depending how thick a piece of fish you have.
Removing the halibut and allowing it to sit and “rest” while I assemble my ingredients will allow the residual heat to carry through to the center of the halibut giving an even cook but keeping it moist.
Fish slice in hand I gently placed the fillet onto the tomato salad and tipped the zesty salsa over the halibut, Strategically placed a few leaves of roquet (arugula) on the top and drizzled with some of the salsa juices and there she was……roast curried halibut fillet with orange and tomato salsa, a perfect dish for a hot day, light, meaty and full of flavour!
Pickerel you will be mine……….

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