Friday, June 7, 2013

Coconut Dukkah Crusted Halibut with Zucchini Salad

If you are fortunate to live near a Trader Joe's you need to run there and get their amazing Dukkah!  This delicious nut and spice blend has become a staple in my pantry.  I have done everything with it from simply dipping a crusty bread and veggies in it, to adding it to my salads for a little extra crunch, to this wonderful crusted halibut.  I think next I'm going to try it on some sliced peaches with one of my favorite cheeses, halloumi!

If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, you can easily make your own dukkah.  While the Trader Joe's Dukkah is made with almonds as the main ingredient, I have decided to use hazelnuts instead to pair with the toasted coconut while keeping the other spices the same.  The toasted coconut is a little something I added just for this fish recipe, however I may decide to continue making it this way since it was so delicious.  

So for all my readers, especially my sister, here is my summer fish recipe with a delightfully light salad to go with it.

Coconut Dukkah

1 cup coconut
1 cup hazelnuts or almonds
1/2 cup sesame seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1/2 tablespoon anise seed
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Place hazelnuts on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for about 7-10 minutes, until fragrant.    On a separate foil lined baking sheet spread the coconut out evenly and toast in oven for about 5 minutes, carefully watching so not to burn.  Stir the coconut about halfway through toasting.

Remove both the hazelnuts and coconut from the oven and allow to cool.  Place the coconut in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle place them in a tea towel and rub the nuts between the towel to remove the skins.  Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse to finely chop.  Be careful not to over process or you will end up with hazelnut butter.  Remove the hazelnuts from the food processor and add them to the mixing bowl with the toasted coconut.

In a small dry non-stick pan, roast the coriander and fennel seeds over medium heat, about 2 minutes.  Let them cool slightly then pour them into the food processor.  Grind until the fennel seeds are broken and coriander is completely ground.  Add the ground seeds to the mixing bowl.  

Add the sesame seeds, anise seeds and sea salt to the mixing bowl of toasted coconut, roasted hazelnuts, coriander seeds and fennel seeds.  Stir to thoroughly mix.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

Coconut Dukkah Crusted Halibut

4 halibut fillets (about 1-1/2 pounds), skin removed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups Coconut Dukkah
1/4 cup olive oil

Carefully remove the skin off the halibut and set aside.  Set up your dredge station with 3 shallow bowls.  One bowl with the flour, salt and pepper well combined, the second with the eggs gently beaten, and the third with the Coconut Dukkah.

Dredge each fillet first in the flour mixture, then the egg and lastly the Coconut Dukkah.  Make sure to completely cover the entire fillet.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Carefully place the prepared halibut in the pan.  Cook on all four sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes each.  Remove the halibut from the pan and let it rest on a paper towel lined plate for about 2-3 minutes.  Serve with zucchini salad.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Salad with Honey-Lemon Dressing

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups shredded green cabbage

In a small mixing bowl whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, sea salt and ground pepper.  Set the dressing aside.  

In a medium mixing bowl place the sliced zucchini, red onion and cabbage.  Drizzle with the Honey-Lemon Dressing and serve.   

Notes: Substitute cod or mahi mahi to make these into yummy fish sticks for kids.  Also, feel free to use different nuts and spices for your Dukkah!