Recipe Spotlight: Salmon and Halibut Make Holiday Meals Extra Special

Ham and lamb often get the nod when people are thinking about what to put on the Easter holiday table, but Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice salmon and halibut offer some serious competition. Either will stand up well as a main dish.

I’ve selected two recipes that offer a unique presentation and will look beautiful on your holiday table and will leave your guests raving about the meal. Guests will remember these two dishes, whereas the ham they had last year may not be all that memorable.

They’re a nice choice going into spring when people want to get away from some of the heavier foods of winter. They’re both flavorful, but light.

Both dishes also present well. Shingle the fish on a nice white platter and garnish with colorful citrus and you’ll have a presentation that will be very aesthetically pleasing to your guests.


Poached Salmon with Pineapple Cucumber Raita

All you need:

Salmon

  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 9 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces

Pineapple Cucumber Raita

  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and grated
  • 3/4 cup small diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. In a large deep poaching pan, combine the vegetable stock, wine, vinegar, onion, carrot, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and 2 1/4 teaspoons  salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, pineapple, yogurt, garlic, mint and cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Add the salmon to the liquid in the pan and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until the fish is just barely done (it should still be translucent in the center), about 4 minutes for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Remove the pan from the heat and let the fish sit in the liquid for 2 minutes. Transfer to plates and, if you like, remove the skin. Serve the salmon warm, topped with the raita.

Halibut with Chimichurri

All you need:

Chimichurri

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Halibut

  • 4 halibut steaks
  • olive oil for brushing
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. In a food processor, place garlic, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes; pulse until herbs are coarsely ground. Add lemon zest and red wine vinegar; slowly drizzle in olive oil to create an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat an outdoor gas grill, or prepare coals for a charcoal grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush the cooking grates clean and oil the grill rack. Brush steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill halibut over direct heat 10 minutes, turning once, or until just opaque but still moist in the center.
  3. Spoon chimichurri over grilled halibut and serve with steamed rice or quinoa.