My sister Linda has a husband and two sons that like to eat game and fish. Perhaps because they hunt and fish a lot! The other weekend Linda mentioned a recipe where they use fish to make a cold salad that works well in sandwiches. I was intrigued. My P.S. had loved it when they hunted together last fall and I decided to give it a try.
It seemed simple enough: fry the fish in a little oil with a little butter added “to make it buttery”, Linda said. I love butter on my fish so I was all over that suggestion. The seasonings could vary depending on your mood.
Linda suggested I sprinkle the fish with a little Mrs Dash or Old Bay Seasoning. I don’t do Mrs Dash, but I adore Old Bay and had it in the cupboard. I cut the filets into more uniform thin slices and sprinkled the tops with Old Bay.
My nonstick skillet was preheated on medium high heat so I laid the halibut pieces seasoned side down in the pan then sprinkled more Old Bay on the second sides. I let them fry on the first side 2 or 3 minutes, until they were just beginning to brown.
I flipped the filets and fried them for another 2-3 minutes. The fish fry fast and are very flaky, I knew it would be easy to over-fry them and they’d end up rubbery from a past experience where I severely killed a salmon.
I removed the finished halibut filets into a bowl and let them cool. Linda said she thought they flaked better when warm but I had another recipe going so let them cool first. They flaked just fine when cool too.
With my mayo avoidance lately, I was reluctant to use it for the recipe but didn’t want to ruin my first attempt at the fish salad. I used about ½ cup of mayo and ½ cup of sour cream to compensate. You could use a full cup of mayo if you don’t have egg issues.
Next I added ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of dillweed. I added a teaspoon of ground horseradish. Linda had said she does different seasonings each time and it was an easy thing to play with. I played on the side of caution this first time.
I did add the jalapenos though, for a nice kick. I had about 2 tablespoons of chopped jalapenos frozen and thawed them in the microwave, drained the liquid off, then added them to the bowl.
I used a fork to mix the ingredients, trying not to make it into a mushy mess. The fish did flake apart a great deal more. Note to self: next time don’t bother to flake the fish first. It will fall apart when you mix the mayo, sour cream and seasonings. My mixture was ok, next time I will aim for better texture.
I covered the container of salad and set it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I stirred it to mix the flavors and tasted it. I was so surprised! I loved it! It had a bit of a bite to it, and not much of a fishy flavor. Not as strong as something like tuna, for example. It didn’t smell fishy either, which I really dislike. I had bought croissants the previous day so I sliced one open and spread the fish on it and took it to work for my lunch. It was incredibly good, I wanted more!
Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Preheat nonstick skillet with the olive oil and butter.
Season both sides of fish filets and place in skillet. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Do not overcook or they will become rubbery!
Place fish in a bowl and let cool.
Measure in rest of ingredients and use a fork to mash together. Make sure you don’t over mash; leave some chunks behind for texture.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to meld flavors. Spread on bread or crackers.