Tonight’s dinner renewed my love of good food. Not that it ever went very far, but with my summer school classes keeping me busy, I haven’t had all that much time to make “gourmet” meals lately. Plus, I’ve been spending a good chunk of my “allotted cooking time” trying to perfect my bread recipe and making jam, so there hasn’t been much time left for fabulous dinners. Well, the streak ended tonight, and surprisingly enough, I have Costco to thank for it. That’s right, Costco. I was there yesterday to pick up a few random household items, when I stopped to check out their fish selection. I always check the seafood to see if they have anything that fits the “best choices” on my Seafood Watch list that I carry around in my wallet. This is basically a list of good, okay and poor choices if you want to make sure that you’re buying seafood from sustainable sources. For example, Salmon (wild-caught from AK) is under “best choices,” Salmon (wild-caught from CA, OR, WA) is under “good alternatives,” and Salmon (farmed, including Atlantic) is under “avoid.” The fish under the “avoid” category are there because they are “overfished and/or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.” Lately, Costco has only been carrying farmed Atlantic salmon. Still, I check the fish section each time I go just to make sure and yesterday I hit the seafood jackpot! Not only did they have wild-caught salmon, but they also had Pacific Halibut- both of which are in the best and good alternative categories. I bought one of each- the salmon to cut into smaller fillets to freeze, and the halibut for tonight’s dinner.
I don’t often buy halibut because it’s a fairly expensive fish. But at Costco prices, how could I resist? I brought my precious halibut home and started searching for recipes on how I would cook it. I’m not all that familiar with cooking fish. It’s something I would like to work on because I know how delicious and healthy fish can be. I ended up finding a recipe on Beyond Salmon– a blog primarily focused on cooking with fish. The recipe was for Seared Halibut with Potatoes and Tomatoes. I was a little bit skeptical about combining tomatoes and potatoes, but the combination turned out to be delicious! I also discovered a new appreciation for my mandoline, which had always lived at the bottom of my drawer. Since I had some extra potatoes, I ended up making a few ramekins of Gratin Dauphinois, which is a French sliced potato gratin.
- 1 lb. yukon potato, sliced very thin
- 1-2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 c. milk
Here is how I made the gratin dauphinois: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter two small ramekins and layer a few slices of potatoes in each. Add a little salt and pepper, and a little bit of milk. Then add another layer of potato, a few small bits of butter, and a tiny bit of milk. In a few of the layers, add a small pinch of nutmeg. Just a very small amount will do the trick- too much nutmeg can be overpowering. Continue until the ramekin is almost full. Don’t fill it completely, though, because the milk will likely boil in the oven and can overflow if it’s too full. The trick is to add just a small amount of milk after each layer of potatoes. You may be tempted to fill the ramekin with potatoes and then pour in the milk, but the milk would not be properly distributed. Bake the ramekins for about 25 minutes. The top should have a nice golden-brown color to them. Allow the dishes to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!