We celebrated Craig's birthday on Sunday. We decided to stay home, make a great meal, consume some wine and not worry about the need for a designated driver. The menu was the birthday boy's choice and he requested halibut. However, since Craig is a master with seafood, I asked that he prepare the house seafood specialty. Normally this preparation is done with salmon or scallops.
Off I went on Sunday morning to pick up the halibut and run a few other errands. First stop was the local natural foods co-op. My plan was to stop at the Japanese food market for the halibut, but laziness started to creep in and I almost bought the halibut at the co-op. I decided to stay with my plan. Good think I did! When I got to Oto's, the halibut was $10.00 off a pound...normally in these parts, fresh wild halibut is $24.00 a pound and I got this for $14.00 a pound...awesome! Since I saved so much on the halibut, I decided to pick up some sashimi grade tuna to make an appetizer that would pair perfectly with a glass of bubbly.
Before Craig headed out on his birthday bike ride, he prepared the halibut. The preparation consists of garlic and ginger put through a garlic press, one thinly sliced dried Thai chili, fresh basil, lemon zest, kalbi marinade and a sprinkling of brown sugar. We let that rest on the fish until we were ready to grill.
While he was out, I made the appetizer; Tuna Tartartinis with Avocado.
We placed the halibut on a disposable vented aluminum pan and roasted in our gas BBQ on low heat with the middle burner off. The piece of halibut that we had was approximately one and a half pounds and took about 20 minutes to cook. We served it with brown rice...and of course, more wine. All and all, a great birthday!
Tuna-tinis with Avocado
3 tablespoons of Ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
3/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 green onion finely chopped
8 ounces of sashimi grade tuna cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1 avocado, halved, pitted and cut into 1/3 inch cubes
black sesame seeds
green onion stalks
Mix the first five ingredients into a bowl to blend. Add tuna and avocado and gently fold into the dressing to completely coat. This can be done 2 hours ahead. Spoon into serving dishes or chilled martini glasses and garnish with sesame seeds and onion stalks.