This could be the one of the better ways to cook fish – and avoid overcooking it. A creamy, tangy blanket of yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream and fresh dill goes on after these halibut fillets spend some oven time on their own.
If you want to cook this fish (or other white-fleshed fillets of a similar size) from an almost-frozen state, allow for a longer initial time in the oven and look for that same degree of white at the center before going on to add the sauce.
This is a refreshingly simple, clean-tasting and very quick way to keep fish moist, and to minimize its aromatic effect as it cooks in your kitchen.
Serve with small boiled potatoes or sautéed haricots verts (thin French green beans).
Adapted from “Homestead Kitchen: Stories and Recipes From Our Hearth to Yours,” by Eve and Eivin Kilcher (Pam Krauss Books, 2016).
2 6- to 8-ounce skinned, frozen/defrosted halibut fillets, preferably about 1 inch thick (may substitute another similarly thick, white-fleshed fish)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 stem fresh dill
1 small clove garlic
1/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)
1/4 cup regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly season the fish all over with salt and then the 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Place the fillets skinned side down in a shallow baking dish or ovenproof skillet that’s just big enough to accommodate the fish and some sauce; bake for 5 to 7 minutes or just until opaque at the center.
Meanwhile, chop the dill fronds and mince the garlic, placing them both in a medium bowl. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise and sour cream, whisking to incorporate. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Remove the fillets from the oven and spoon the sauce over them, making sure to coat them completely. Bake for 5 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fish. (Cook just until it flakes.)
Serve warm, with the sauce. Makes 2 servings.
– Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post