Pan Seared Halibut Fillet with Cajun Parmesan Grits
My wife and I just made a trip to Alaska. We visited some of my favorite places when I lived and worked there. After 20 years as a helicopter mechanic in the bush of Alaska I have sen most of the state or at least much of it. Most of my time was in the bush living in a tent or remote fishing lodge all summer. This allowed me the ability to fish many unnamed streams throughout the Last Frontier with my fly rod. However, I did live on a boat for 2 years and enjoyed pan seared halibut and grits often. The cajun spices and parmesan cheese elevates this recipe into greatness.
My Alaskan journey began in Juneau where I lived on a boat and with 2 weeks off a month throughout the summer I spent many weeks on the ocean on my boat. I rowed into streams to fish for Dollies and salmon and I trolled for salmon in the area. I also fished for halibut as well. Halibut is my favorite fish to eat and while preparing fresh halibut on my boat I learned many ways to prepare it. This pan seared halibut and grits recipe with cajun parmesan grits was and still is one of my favorites.
I was able to fish for some salmon on the Kasilof River but the run was slow at the time. I did see a few Coho caught but wasn’t able to get one myself. Thankfully I was given a few fillets to bring home for the smoker. We rented a boat out of Homer Alaska. The “Halibut Capitol of the World.” I hadn’t ever fished the area. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to locate or catch any halibut. After a couple conversations in the Salty Dawg Saloon and one on the docks, I had enough information. At least to get me to the fringes of where most of the halibut lived. I searched the charts for a hump and made my way about 17 miles out and anchored in 200 feet of water.
Thankfully it was the right hump and within 30 minutes we had our limit of 4 small halibut. I released several halibut to try for a big one for more meat. Unfortunately the seas got up and broke the anchor loose and we started drifting off our spot. Thankfully as we drifted into deeper water I maintained bottom with the bait and picked up our 4th halibut that was about 25 pounds and a little bigger than the others. If we could have stayed hooked up longer I feel like we could have got a larger halibut to wrap it up, but I was happy with what we had. I was actually unable to bait the second rod because the halibut was biting so good.
I have always hunted and fished for the adventure and the meat. All I could do is think about recipes I would try with the great halibut fillets in the box. Of course frying them came to mind. Hard to beat panko breaded halibut. Soon my thoughts went to pan seared halibut with cajun parmesan grits and I couldn’t wait to fix it. I love to cook and I can’t emphasis enough the importance and ability to Enjoy The Harvest and how much more it adds to the outdoor lifestyle. This pan seared halibut recipe is delicious and if you have never had grits with your fish I suggest you give it a try.
Pan Seared Halibut with Cajun Parmesan Grits
This delicious halibut recipe ventures beyond the typical fried halibut.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 pound halibut Fillet
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil (needs to be high smoke point)
- 2 tbsp butter (add near end of cook)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper (add after cooked)
- Allow halibut to reach room temperature
- Heat oil in cast iron skillet on high
- Place skinless halibut fillet into heated pan
- Sizzle fillet until golden brown
- Turn heat to medium high and add butter
- Spoon hot butter over top of fillet continuously
Cajun Parmesan Grits
- Follow instructions for cooking the grits
- Add cajun spices
- Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese per cup of grits
- Be sure to get the oil real hot before adding the fish. It will smoke a little but will soon cool as it cooks the fish. Turn the heat down to medium high and cook the halibut for a few minutes before adding the butter. The butter has a low smoke point so you don’t want to add it too early. Move the butter around so it doesn’t scorch as it melts. When the butter is completely melted but still bubbling from heat tilt the skillet so the butter goodness pools. Use a spoon to dip the hot butter and pour it over the fillet to cook the top. The fillet will cook most of the way from the searing process, the butter finishes it off. You will see the fish turn white as the butter finishes it off.
- Place the finished fillet on top of your cajun parmesan grits and enjoy.
- Add sriracha sauce or tarter if you like but it’s pretty good without the sauce.