The best fish I ever remember eating growing up was from the nicest man we went to church with. He went on a huge fishing trip to Alaska and brought us home a freezer full of fish. It was our first real experience with fish and–confession–I ate it with ketchup. How embarrassing. Ketchup aside, we immediately fell in love with salmon, and it became one of the most requested holiday meals we enjoyed.
When I moved off to college, I began experimenting with other kinds of fish and grew to love it all–salmon, shrimp, halibut, cod–anything I could try.
From the get-go, I’ve wanted to include fish in our family’s diet. It’s a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and we love that the Alaskan fish we buy is sustainably sourced with strict conservation practices. I’ve found that the variety available (several varieties of salmon, whitefish, and shellfish) and the affordability is better than ever, which makes it a great addition to our weekly rotation.
As a family on a budget, we most often choose frozen fish. It’s quite cost-effective and it’s the best way to get the freshest fish in the desert! Plus, you can thaw a frozen fillet of fish in 10-15 minutes in a bowl of warm water which is great for last-minute dinner prep.
A good piece of fish can be seasoned to fit nearly any flavor profile and be completely delicious–cajun, tex-mex, French, Italian, Asian, Indian, southern homestyle… the possibilities are endless. As always, I’m a fan of simplicity. This is our favorite simple way to prepare white fish like cod or halibut. A simple but flavorful dredging in an arrowroot and seasoning blend, a quick pan-fry in a drizzle of avocado or olive oil, and a great topping. This fresh avocado, tomato, and basil salad is the perfect accompaniment to the light, crisp halibut. It’s light but full of flavor, and the whole meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
And if you’re thinking “my toddler wouldn’t eat that,” serve it up in pieces and they might just surprise you. We break new meals like this into tasting plates, where each component is separate. It allows Milo and Sophie to taste and blend on their own terms, which often makes it more likely that they’ll try something new. And, if all else fails, a little ketchup never hurt anyone 🙂
- Peach Salsa
- Smoky Chipotle Salsa
- Citrus Avocado Sauce
- Mango Chutney
- Guacamole – Any kind! (Plain, Mango, Pineapple)
- Your favorite tartar sauce
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
This recipe will work well with any white fish–halibut, cod, tilapia, etc. We find halibut and cod stay together best and have the most pleasing texture. As for the Tomato-Avocado salad, feel free to change it up by adding a bit of grilled corn or some crumbled bacon.
For the Halibut:
- 1 – 1 1/2 lb. halibut fillets, thawed if frozen and patted dry
- 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- avocado or olive oil
For the Avocado-Tomato Salad:
- 1 heaping cup diced tomatoes
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2–4 Tbsp fresh basil, minced or thinly sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil (about 1 tsp)
- balsamic vinegar (about 1 tsp)
- optional for variations: a bit of grilled corn or crumbled cooked bacon
For the halibut:
- Combine arrowroot, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika on a plate and stir with a fork until well combined. Pat halibut fillets dry with a paper towel. Lightly dredge each fillet in the flour mixture on both sides, shaking off any excess.
- Heat a big drizzle of oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add halibut (working in batches if necessary so you don’t overcrowd the pan). Cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through and opaque in the middle. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.
For the Avocado-Tomato Salad:
- gently stir together tomatoes, avocado, and basil with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide salad among the halibut fillets and serve immediately.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.