Halibut Mac and Cheese

Halibut Mac and Cheese

Halibut Mac and Cheese

The monkeys tumbled in the door tonight after practice. “I smell dinner! I smell meat.” “No, that’s fish.” They were so ready for some hardiness that they crowded into the kitchen, hunting around like the wolves they are. “Oooh, are we going to have fish?” “What’s this extra piece here?”  I shooed them out with banana bread in hand and they left me to tuck the pan in the oven for the last few minutes of warming. It. was. sooo. good.

This recipe is channeling both Lisa Schroeder’s and David Mork’s versions of Mac and Cheese.  (Though my favorite dish at Mother’s is her Salmon Hash…)

Halibut Macaroni and Cheese

  1. 3 Halibut Steaks, 1/2″ thick
  2. salt and pepper
  3. 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  4. 13.25 oz rotini whole grain pasta noodles
  5. 1 Tbls butter
  6. 1 cup heavy cream
  7. 1 cup milk
  8. 5 oz Tillamook Colby Jack cheese
  9. 2.5 oz Fontina
  10. 2 oz. Parmesan
  11. 3.5 oz Gruyere
  12. 1/2 loaf French baguette
  13. 1/2 cup chives for garnish

Bring a medium (6-8 quart) pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously (it should taste like the sea). Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package directions.  Drain (but don’t rinse, or you’ll rinse away starches that will help thicken the sauce) and return to the empty pot.

Meanwhile, bring vegetable oil to a medium high heat in a skillet.  Sprinkle a dinner plate with the 1/4 cup of flour, salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of fish on both sides and fry in oil. (about 3 minutes per side)  Set cooked fish aside to cool slightly.

Add the tablespoon of butter, heavy cream, and milk to the skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the cream is reduced slightly, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.

Turn the broiler on in the oven, slice the French baguette and toast the slices on a baking sheet, until well toasted, about 5 minutes.

Grate the cheeses in a food processor and chop the chives for garnish. Heat the oven to bake at 375.

Add the cheeses to the cream and stir gently until thickened. Pour sauce into pot with pasta and stir gently again.

Butter 9×13 baking dish. Pulse toasts in food processor to make small chunky crumbs.

Pour 1/2 of the noodles into the baking dish. Break the halibut into bite sized chunks and spread over the whole dish.  Cover with the second half of the pasta.  Top with the bread crumbs and place in oven.

Bake for about 10 minutes to reheat the halibut through.  Serve with the chives garnishing the top of each dish.

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