Grilled Halibut with Corn Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes

If we’re paying attention, we have reasons to celebrate every day. Life is good, and taking a moment or two to acknowledge that fact in some little way can only make it better.

We typically celebrate traditional and expected things like holidays and anniversaries, but I don’t think we should have to wait for the calendar to give us permission to party. I believe we should celebrate things like… The weather.  Or, the fact that it’s Saturday. And my absolute favorite reason to celebrate: Just Because.

On occasions when, say, the weather happens to be exceptionally beautiful AND it’s Saturday, AND we just returned from our favorite seafood market with some gorgeous fresh halibut, it’s pretty much a given that we’re gonna celebrate that trifecta of fabulousness well into the night.

And this Grilled Halibut with Corn Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes is the ridiculously delicious little dish that we celebrated with. We love grilled halibut, and almost enlisted our favorite recipe once again, but decided to venture off in very different directions with flavors and ingredients. And I’m so glad we did.

My friends, this is the stuff that my cooking dreams are made of. I kid you not. It’s on my list of all-time favorites.

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

The number of ingredients may seem a little intimidating, and there are a few steps involved. But bear with it – it’s actually much easier than it seems at first, and the bright, rich, warm, colorful flavors in this dish will be worth every bit of preconceived effort. Each component of the dish can be prepared very quickly and/or ahead of time so you can just whip it together for dinner/guests when you want something extra-ordinary.

And, if you’re like me, you usually make a dish a couple of times before you make it for guests {O.K., to be totally honest, I’ve only recently learned this lesson…}, which means you’ll master the preparation at your own pace and you’ll come up with your own twists that make it deliciously your own, and you’ll be all the more delighted to serve it because you’ll know it like the back of your crafty little hand. And everyone will live happily ever after, because food this good is magic.

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

To start with, get the best fish you can. Call your favorite fish monger (or mine!) and order ahead of time to make sure they’ve got what you need when you need it. As with any seafood recipe, good quality fish makes all the difference!

Center cut halibut fillets are recommended (they’re easier to cook and serve because they’re generally more compact). A longer, “whole fish” fillet also works well and makes for a beautiful presentation, but it can be trickier to handle when cooking. Using two wide spatulas to finesse larger pieces of fish from one side to the other (versus just flipping a smaller piece) generally works better.

Get what you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to try different cuts or sizes of filets to see what you like best.

The original recipe calls for about two pounds of fish, but the amount of fish can easily be adjusted. If you follow “the rules,” a serving of fish is about three ounces, so two pounds of grilled halibut should serve about 10 people.

In our family, three ounces is an appetizer. Three ounces just gets the party started. Three ounces of something this good is just not enough. Do your own math for the servings that you want (keeping in mind the other things you’re serving with the fish), but in my experience 1½ – 2 pounds of fish happily serves 4 – 6 people.

Remember to cook the fish just until it becomes opaque. The thickness of your fillet(s) will determine whether or not you flip it while cooking, but generally, you’re going to want to plan on cooking it for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. HERE are some excellent guidelines to make sure your fish turns out perfectly.

Now about the Mesa Curry Powder… I had several curry powders on hand, and between the hot, the sweet, and the regular, I thought using a bit of each would be good enough. And I’m sure it would have been, but when I realized that this recipe included some wonderfully unique ingredients, I decided it was worth the extra effort to make it. And it really, really was. It adds a wonderful little kick of warmth and richness that I’m sure you’re going to love as much as we did!

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

The corn and tomatoes in this dish are both best when fresh and grilled. But I’ve also used frozen corn kernels (not grilled) with very good results, and if works better, you can just sauté the tomatoes on the stovetop and then add them to the sauce reduction.

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

Because of all the sauces, corn and tomatoes, I like to serve this dish “family style” on a big platter with everything layered over a beautiful bed of brown rice. That way everyone can take what they want, and not a drop of that gorgeous corn-coconut curry sauce is left behind.

And speaking of the sauce… It’s immensely delicious and the recipe makes a fair amount. If you have fewer people to serve, just keep any extra sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator. Spoon it over grilled chicken or sweet potatoes the next day or try something totally different with those fabulous flavors! It’s inspiring, to say the least.

Prepare to be delighted!

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The bright, rich, warm, colorful flavors in this dish are a feast for the senses. Served over a little brown rice, this is a meal worth celebrating (or celebrating with) anytime of the year!
Recipe from:
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
Mesa Curry Powder:
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet curry powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon hot curry powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Mesa Curry Powder
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1, 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups corn kernels - fresh/grilled (about 4 medium ears) or frozen
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Fish
  • 1½ - 2 pounds halibut - skin-on, preferably center cut
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sauced Cherry Tomatoes:
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if larger
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sauce Reduction:
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves (or parsley), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Brown Rice
  • ½ - 1 cup per person, cooked
Garnishes
  • A big handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley) leaves, chopped
  • A big handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Preparation
Mesa Curry Powder:
  1. Measure each of the spices into a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce:
  1. If you’re using fresh ears of corn: shuck them and brush very lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt, and grill until lightly charred. Allow grilled corn to cool to the touch, then cut the kernels off the cobs, place them in a bowl and set aside until you’re ready to add them to the sauce.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add the oil and heat over medium to high heat. Add the onions, apples and Mesa Curry Powder, and stir to combine well. Cook for about five minutes or just until the onions and apples begin to soften. Add the apple cider, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk and the corn kernels. Stir well to combine and allow sauce to simmer over low heat, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken a bit as it cooks. When done, add salt and pepper to taste, cover the corn sauce and set aside while you prepare the rice, tomatoes and fish.
Brown Rice
  1. Prepare about ½ - 1 cup per person. Cook according to directions on package. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired, and sprinkle in some chopped herbs to scent the rice. Keep covered and warm until served.
Cherry Tomato preparation:
  1. Prepare grill for medium heat.
  2. In a glass bowl, add the tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Pour the seasoned cherry tomatoes into a grill pan and grill for about 5 minutes until tomatoes are lightly cooked. Make sure to toss or stir the tomatoes a few times while cooking to avoid burning.
Sauce for the Tomatoes:
  1. In a small sauce pan, add the vinegar, brown sugar, and ground coriander and cumin, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes – stirring often – until sauce reduces to the consistency of a thick glaze. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, and then combine sauce and tomatoes in a bowl. Mash the tomatoes lightly while you stir to combine their juice and the sauce. Add the finely chopped cilantro (or parsley) and mint, stir well and season to taste.
Halibut:
  1. Prepare grill for medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Brush or rub both sides of the halibut with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place halibut skin-side up – on the grill for about five minutes or until fish begins to turn opaque. Then carefully turn the fish and finish cooking to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
To Serve:
  1. Prepare a large serving platter with a layer of cooked brown rice (½ - 1 cup per person). Place the halibut on top of the rice, and spoon plenty of corn-coconut curry sauce over the top. Sprinkle chopped herbs over the top of the sauce, and then spoon the sauced cherry tomatoes over the top of everything. Add a few more chopped herbs if you want, then stand back and admire the beautiful dish before you for a moment. Enjoy!
Cook's Notes:
*Prepare the Mesa Curry Powder ahead of time. Place it in a covered container, and keep it on hand for this recipe and others.
*Both the corn-coconut curry sauce and the sauced tomatoes can be prepared ahead of time. Just place in a covered bowl at room temperature for up to a few hours if serving the same day, or refrigerate overnight and warm to serve.
*To shorten the time needed to grill fresh ears of corn, place the ears on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them on High for about 5 minutes to begin the cooking process. Then, grill them for another 10 minutes or so, turning once or twice, until grilled/charred to taste.
*Prepare the fish and the rice just before serving for best flavor and texture.

 

This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay on Food Network. Thank you, Chef, for creating and sharing something so wonderful!

We’d love to hear how you enjoyed this recipe! Let us know in the comments below. We’d also enjoy getting social with you, so please hashtag #baconfatte or tag @baconfatte on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ when you try our recipes, too! Thanks for stopping by for a little BaconFatte love!

Grilled Halibut with Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes | BaconFatte.com

 

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