We’ve had a few changes to the old menu already this week and it is only Tuesday. On Sunday night, we (my husband) opted out of halibut in favor of Kings’ playoff hockey at the local watering hole. I went with a pretty tasty turkey club and the Kings won. I’m sure the two are connected. We moved our lovely halibut to Monday night, thinking we would push everything on the menu back by a night, only to find that our oldest daughter, freshly back from college and entertaining a visiting friend, will be joining us for dinner tonight. I just can’t see serving lo-mein as planned. I think we might go with the fajitas.
More on whatever we serve tonight in tomorrow’s post. For now, let’s move on to the halibut. This recipe for halibut with olive dressing, asparagus, and smashed potatoes comes from the Williams Sonoma blog, Taste, which I have mentioned before is outstanding. The photography is beautiful – I want to make everything on this site even if I don’t care for the ingredients. Each time I check out Taste, I see something new that I want to make. Salted caramel ice cream, anyone? Tacolicious party?
This halibut was no exception. As always, we did a bit of modification because you know by now that I can’t leave well enough alone. My husband, fresh from the Kings’ victory, was ready to step into the kitchen last night and insisted that we could make this recipe on the grill. He was right. Everything but the potatoes was prepared outside, and the potatoes were smashed at the last minute, ready to be served.
This recipe calls for steaming the potatoes but I went ahead and boiled them because I couldn’t find my steamer. I’m sure either works great. This can be done in advance because you’ll be heating up the potatoes in hot oil with herbs right before serving anyway. After prepping and boiling the potatoes, we made the olive dressing. There were only four of us eating last night and we had about a half a pound less fish than called for so I think we made too much sauce. If you are really into sauce, stick with the proportions given because this sauce is delicious on the fish. Otherwise, if you are cutting back the recipe, I’d definitely reduce the sauce too.
Rob salted and peppered the fish and set it onto a tinfoil pan with a bit of sauce for grilling. The asparagus we prepared as directed (olive oil, salt, pepper) then grilled over direct heat. The grill was at about 500° and the fish took about 12-14 minutes. Though the recipe suggested starting the asparagus first then adding the fish (at 450° in the oven), I think this depends on how thick your fish is cut. We had a pretty thick cut of fish. Our asparagus was definitely done before our fish.
While Rob grilled, I turned the potatoes out into a pan of hot olive oil and smashed them just a bit with a potato masher. Do not try to smash your potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or with salad tongs. This will result in splattered oil all over your kitchen and you screaming at the potatoes to stay. God invented potato mashers for a reason. Remember that you have one. This idiot’s guide to cooking brought to you by personal experience.
The trick to these potatoes (other than the obvious challenge of smashing them) seemed to be to let them rest in the oil un-harassed for long enough to brown before stirring or flipping. How long? Good question. About as long as it take you to set the table maybe? Give them time to get a nice brown crust, then add your herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, and basil because that’s what I have in the garden at the moment) and season up, then flip. I never added the chicken stock and frankly didn’t see the point. The potatoes were excellent just browned up and seasoned.
Overall, this was an outstanding dinner. Three votes of confidence for the fish with one abstention. (Théa was in no mood to even try fish yesterday. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know she had quite a day.) There were also three votes of confidence and one abstention on the potatoes (Gus doesn’t like potatoes unless they are in tot form), two votes of confidence from the only olive sauce eaters, and everyone loves grilled asparagus. Please do yourself a favor and go get some halibut. This is delicious and is definitely a doable weeknight meal. As always, let me know what you think!