Lately, as you may have noticed from my lack of recipe posting, I've fallen into a bit of a dinner routine rut. The dinner routine rut is when you find yourself going through a rotation of the same or very similar meals each week. You rotate between beef, chicken, fish, pork, pasta, repeat, reaching for the same rubs, spices, seasonings, preparing everything in such a familiar way that you could very well make the entire meal with your eyes closed. It's at this point that the total lack of inspiration kicks in and you are officially deep within the dinner routine rut, and once you're in, it's mighty hard to fight your way back out again. Because food plays such a significant role in my life, when I find myself in the dinner routine rut everything else in my life seems to suffer along with it. Thankfully I am now aware of the role that food plays in my life, and in an effort to better my life and personal well being, I can now use food and the motivation that arrises from being inspired and excited about food to direct other aspects of my life in a positive direction.
It's easy to pull yourself out of the dinner routine rut once you know you're in it, all it takes is a step in an unfamiliar direction. Try a preparation you're unfamiliar with. Pull out a spice you've never used before. Close your eyes, open your fridge and touch three things, now turn those three things into a meal. The point is to challenge yourself, even if it's just a little bit. This week, to pull myself out of the dinner routine rut, I went outside of my own familiar repertoire of dinner recipes and picked up halibut steaks (something I have only cooked once before) instead of the salmon that always seems to be in my grocery cart. Sure it's a little step, but it one that completely pulled me out of the rut! I got excited about working with this new ingredient that I had hardly played with before, and in turn, I've been feeling that same excitement in everything that I've cooked with all week long, pushing me to go outside of my boundaries. Instead of looking up a recipe for halibut I followed my instincts, choosing simple, fresh flavours to simply enhance the natural flavours of the fish. A citrus marinade and sauce with just a touch of fresh dill was all the halibut needed to reach spectacular heights. I absolutely loved how the halibut turned down, as did my family! With such a simple preparation and such wonderful flavours, there's no doubt I will be making my Tangy Lemon Halibut again and again...I just hope its recurrence doesn't lead to yet another dinner routine rut!
2 halibut steaks
zest from 1 1/2 lemons
juice from 2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cold butter
salt and pepper, to season
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1. Place the halibut steaks in a shallow dish. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together the zest from 1 lemon, juice from 1 lemon, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, paprika, and a bit of salt to season. Pour over the halibut steaks and marinate for 15 minutes to an hour in the fridge.
3. While halibut is marinating, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, mix together the remaining lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and a bit of salt. Turn heat to low and cook until mixture starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. Add the butter and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Barbecue halibut on an oiled grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook. Serve with pan sauce overtop, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with dill.
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