Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grilled Halibut Fajitas; Ay, There's the Rub*

August. Hazy, humid. As the temperature rises, the thinking slows. Days turn sweltering and bright, while people become cloyingly dull.

Lawns and their owners, grizzled and scorched, turn a lifeless brown. After each rain, people test the air like bloodhounds hoping for the scent of relief. Relief that's still a month away.

Early August is the toughest cooking time. Late enough in the summer that light meals have lost their interest, yet too hot to move to heavier feasts. Nothing seems right. Nobody ever seems truly hungry.
In August, cooking inspiration comes from desperation. It's time to try a new approach, it's time to spice things up.

Here's a recipe that's done on the grill employing a fajita style rub. I suggest making a larger batch of the rub and then using smaller amounts that you can adjust to suit a particular meal. For example, add some chili powder to create a southwestern rub for steak, or maybe add some star anise to give an Asian feel to pork; you get the idea, inspiration from desperation.

Grilled Halibut Fajitas
by Crabby
serves 4

(4) 1/3 lbs halibut fillets (swordfish, snapper and mahi-mahi also work well)
1 TBSP cooking oil
1 lime, quartered
1 lime, halved

1 large yellow onion, sliced in rings
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 TBSP cooking oil
Salt & Pepper

Fajita Rub

1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Preheat grill over high heat. Remove halibut from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Rinse and pat dry the fish. Lightly rub both sides of the fillets with oil. Season both sides with the fajita rub; cover and set aside.

Prepare two foil trays, (see Grilled Swordfish with Tomato Relish for details), oil or use cooking spray on each.

Transfer the halibut to one of the trays.

Place the sliced onions and peppers into a medium bowl and drizzle with oil. Use your hands to toss the vegetables. Transfer to the other foil tray; salt and pepper to taste.

When the grill is ready, place both trays on the grates, cover and turn heat down to medium. Depending upon thickness, the halibut will take 4 - 5 minutes per side. The vegetables need to be turned every 3 - 5 minutes to combat burning.

When done, remove the fish from the grill and cover lightly with foil. Allow the vegetables to grill for an additional five minutes, or until they reach your desired doneness.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Place the fish on top of the vegetables,then squeeze the two half limes over all. Garnish with remaining lime wedges (and cilantro sprigs if you have some) and serve.

WWBob suggests Screaming Jack Viognier from California ($10-$15), a low acid, fruity white wine to accompany this meal.

There you go crablings. I'm off to the back deck with a gin & tonic and a few cooking magazines to find some inspiration. Until next time, use your sunscreen and remember, you can do it, you can cook.


* Crabby Quiz: The title uses the phrase, "Ay, there's the rub", name the Shakespearean play and the famous moment when it's used.


Anonymous said...

Hamlet, of course, when wondering whether to depart the earth ... but wait: when equating death with sleep, one wonders "what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil" (if memory serves me -- it's been more than 20 years since I had to memorize the "To Be or Not To Be" speech for Professor David Gullette's class). "Ay, there's the rub" -- perhaps those dreams in death may be worse than what's happening here in life. And if what's happening here in life are some grilled halibut fajitas for dinner, maybe one should stick around. said...

Wow, talk about a quick response time! Exactly correct, maybe I should have titled this post Grilled Hamlet Fajitas!?

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Perhaps August should be deemed the cruelest month?

The grilled halibut looks great!

RecipeGirl said...

I'm totally loving this recipe. We're big fish taco fans, and this looks like a way to do them that we haven't yet tried. Thanks for a great idea!

test it comm said...

Halibut fajitas sound great!

Anonymous said...

wow, these look amazing! i'll definitely give that rub a go! thanks for posting. i'm a sucker for halibut recipes. =)

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Looks great. How about a light sour cream sauce to go with it?

Anonymous said...

Citrusy flavors on food are not a perfect foil for wine. This dish works nicely with a Vinho Verde from Portugal. Cheap, slightly spritzy and low in alcohol, it handles falling to the bottom of the cooler and the icy cold water just fine.