Halibut is wonderful fish served in countless ways…broiled, grilled, baked, sautéed, it’s all good. Recently I cooked Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce, and of course there’s a story behind it. I think the best halibut I’ve ever had was in Newport, Oregon. Normally, we would buy fresh seafood right off the boats. Newport has a great fishing fleet that goes out at dusk so they reach the perfect fishing spots and then fish all night returning back to the docks early the next morning where they put up signs such as Fresh Crab, Chelsea Rose, Dock 3. You can’t get fresher seafood than that.
Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce
And if you ask, the fishermen will pack them in ice and will even clean and filet them for you. We’ve been fortunate to get fresh tuna, salmon, halibut, lingcod, flounder, rockfish, mussels, pink shrimp and the sweetest crab anywhere. Our anniversary was coming up and we were on the hunt for halibut. Unfortunately no one brought in Halibut that morning so we turned to our other favorite seafood source. There is a restaurant/fish market there right by the docks by the name of Local Ocean Seafoods.
Their restaurant is great and their food is spot on perfect, but they also have a fish market that is the freshest anywhere. I love going to a fish market where all you can smell is the clean fresh breeze of the sea. The fisherman of Newport keep the market well supplied. But Local Ocean Seafoods also has a connection with Alaska fishermen who daily air freight fish from Alaskan waters. That morning they received a beautiful supply of halibut. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. So we found the perfect pure white, almost 2” thick filet. The chefs there are so helpful and when I asked, they gave me exact instructions on preparation.
I still cook halibut that way. Normally I don’t serve it with sauce because fresh halibut simply served is darn near perfect. But this time I thought a sauce would be interesting. Maybe a lemon sauce, lightened up with a bit of creme Fraiche – just a bit for a creamy lemon flavor. And maybe some fresh dill to finish it off. What can be better?
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Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce is rich, moist and creamy. The sauce with a touch of fresh dill compliments the tender flakiness of the halibut.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Salt and pepper both sides of Halibut filets and set aside.
Add oil to ovenproof saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add Halibut filets and allow to cook, skin side up, 3-4 minutes until browned on bottom. Flip filets over and immediately place in oven and continue to cook 5-6 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven and place on serving plate. Cover the filets with foil to keep warm
In same saute pan you cooked halibut, melt butter and then add flour. Stir 1 minute. Add lemon juice and creme fraiche and stir to thicken.
Top halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce and add fresh dill.