Grilled Halibut Sandwiches with Jalapeno-Grilled Pineapple Slaw
MUSIC PAIRING: Otis Redding, The Dock Of The Bay
Ok, so that title is a lie. These were supposed to be grilled halibut sandwiches but since the halibut was one million dollars per pound, we got cod instead. I left the title as such though because the recipe I used called for halibut and frankly, these sandwiches really would’ve been better with it. Anyway…
I spent Labor Day weekend in Baltimore with one of my best friends and her family. I’ve told you about Amanda before so you know she’s my soul sister. Damn, if we don’t have the most fun together. We laughed enough over the weekend to make my abs sore. A good thing considering I sure was martini drinking instead of exercising.
This trip was really great because I got a night out with Amanda in addition to our normal routine of cooking at home. She took me to a couple of fantastic spots where we wined and dined on champagne and oysters at Nickel Taphouse and martinis and charcuterie at Birroteca. #ballers She patiently put up with me exclaiming no less than one thousand times that these martinis are only SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!. You can’t even breathe the air in NYC for seven dollars. Would you like a roommate in Baltimore, Amanda?
I love visiting Amanda and Jay because I almost always get a nice taste of Baltimore in addition to relaxing at home. They like me coming because I will cook for them. And you know what? It’s a pleasure to do so because I can actually turn around in their kitchen without touching all four walls like I do in mine. Because we were rather indulgent over the weekend, my body was craving something light and fresh for Labor Day which brought to mind Sara’s recipe for grilled halibut sandwiches. I’d been wanting to make these so badly but alas, a grill pan simply is not the same as an actual grill. Yes, I used Amanda and Jay for their grill. I have no shame.
Once again, I realized that I tweaked this recipe quite a bit but didn’t write down my changes. Man, if I’m gonna do this food blogging thing, I really need to focus and write down what I do. I say this because my slaw dressing was quite different than Sara’s and it was dang delicious. I promise I will be more diligent going forward. I can say that I marinated the fish in good olive oil, lime zest and salt and pepper so there’s an easy thing you can do that’s not in the recipe. I also drank Otter Creek’s Fresh Slice because that’s just always a good idea.
I was going to make a big salad along with our sandwiches but I vetoed myself in order to soak in as much grill as possible. Instead, I tossed some broccoli, onions and eggplant in olive oil, threw them on the grill with some fresh corn and called it a day. We also put Jay to work stuffing olives with blue cheese for martinis. He added bacon to them because he’s a genius and because bacon and blue cheese stuffed olives are freaking delicious, FYI.
After a quick toasting of the buns in butter, we were ready to eat. I can confidently say that my body was grateful for something green.
I sincerely hope each of you has had a Summer full of all the grilled food, plenty of martinis and most importantly, friends like Amanda and Jay.
Why Otis Redding? Truth be told, we weren’t actually listening to Otis while I cooked. However, my mind goes only one place when I think of the kind of lazy, carefree, non-clock-watching Summer day that we were having: sittin’ on the dock of the bay. That song evokes such emotion for me. I think of sitting side by side with my love on a muggy Summer evening, sipping an iced tea, getting bit by a mosquito or two and watching the sun go down. The entire Dock of the Bay album evokes emotion like that so get on some Otis listening, folks.
Recipe by: Sprouted Kitchen
- 10-12 ounces fresh halibut filet (or 6 ounce portions of cod which is what we used)
- grapeseed or sesame oil, for cooking
- 1/2 head small green cabbage
- 1/2 a small red onion
- 1 jalapeno, some seeds removed unless you like it really spicy
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise (or similar alternative)
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. cane sugar
- 2 buns of choice (brioche, gluten free etc.)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- sea salt and pepper, as needed
- Cut the filet in half so you have two square pieces. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and rub it generously with grapeseed oil. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
- To make the slaw, set the slicer blade in your food processor (alternatively you can use a mandoline or careful knife skills). Slice the cabbage extra thin. Do the same with the onion and jalapeno. Collect them in a mixing bowl and add the cilantro. Into the bowl, add the mayo, grapeseed oil, rice vinegar, sugar and a few pinches each of salt and pepper and toss well to dress. Set aside in the fridge.
- Clean your grill and oil the grates. Grill the fish for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your filet. It should feel like the meat of your thumb joint when cooked medium which is perfect here. Brush the buns with oil and grill them just to warm through.
- To assemble the sandwich, cover the bottom bun with avocado slices, then the fish filet and a healthy amount of slaw on top.
- I listed the directions exactly as Sara does on her site. However, as mentioned, I marinated my fish and toasted my buns in butter on the stovetop.
- For the slaw, my dressing was very different and I wish I'd written it down for you but alas, I am a bad food blogger. I also grilled about 5 rings of pineapple and chopped them up small which was an awesome addition here.