A New Halibut Burger for Labor Day Celebrations

My son, Mike, a talented and creative cook, called recently to tell me about a new burger he had fashioned from his weekly seafood share. “Mom, there were some nice halibut fillets in my haul, and I turned them into burgers!” He went on to explain how he prepared them, and by the end of the conversation my mouth was watering!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made these “halibut” burgers often, fine-tuning the cooking times and adjusting the ingredients. I used halibut first, but also tried them with cod fillets. The halibut is marinated in lime juice along with olive oil and red pepper flakes for a hint of heat. The fillets can be sautéed or grilled, and then are drizzled with honey and lime. Arranged on toasted buns, these fish burgers are topped with tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and with mashed avocado seasoned with lime and salt. A recipe serves two but can be doubled easily.

My husband, a tried and true carnivore, confessed that the halibut burgers were indeed delicious! However, for those who want to stick with a traditional beef burger, here are the links to two such recipes, both of which have interesting garnishes. Just click on the names to go to the recipe—Hamburgers with Mahon Cheese, Avocados, Chipotle Mayo
Cheeseburgers with Roasted Jalapenos

Happy Labor Day, and may everyone stay safe and well!




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Mike’s Halibut Burgers With Tomatoes and Mashed Avocado

Two 4- to 5- ounce skinless halibut fillets 1/2 - to 3/4 - inch thick (See market tip)
2 to 3 limes juiced to yield about 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for sautéing or grilling the fish
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Several grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 ripe medium avocado
2 good quality hamburger buns, lightly toasted
4 thin tomato slices
Very thinly sliced red onion

1.Place halibut fillets in a shallow nonreactive dish or pan. Whisk together 11/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and several grinds of black pepper. Pour marinade over the fillets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 11/2 hours, turning once or twice. Bring to room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before cooking.

2.While fish is marinating, in a small bowl whisk the honey and 2 teaspoons of lime juice together and set aside for glazing the fish after cooking. Also peel and seed the avocado and mash it with a fork adding 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and if needed add extra lime juice and salt. Cover and set aside at cool room temperature.

3.Place a medium large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with a thin film of olive oil. When oil is quite hot, pat fillets dry with paper towels, salt and pepper on one side, and add to the pan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes and turn. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more or less until flesh is white and flakes easily. Salt fillets lightly again and drizzle each one with some of the honey lime glaze. You can also grill the fish. See cooking note that follows.

4. To assemble, place halibut fillets on bottom buns, then top with 2 tomato slices, and some red onion slices. Spread underside of top buns with avocado mash, then place on halibut burgers. Serve warm. Serves 2.

Market tip: Ask the fishmonger to cut the halibut fillets from the thinner part nearer the tail, ideally 1/2 inch thick but no more than 3/4 inch if possible. Similar size cod fillets will work too, but because cod is not as firm as halibut, they are best sautéed rather than grilled.

Cooking note: You can also grill the halibut fillets. Oil rack well and prepare grill for a medium hot fire or medium high temperature. Salt and pepper fillets on one side, and grill until they are opaque all the way through and flake easily, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Watch carefully as cooking times can vary depending on the thickness of the fish. When done, salt lightly again, and drizzle honey/lime glaze over the fillets.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2020

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