Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Arugula, Butternut Squash, Spicy Vinaigrette and Bella Mushrooms

Okay, last one for today.  I had a bit of a backlog of recipes I wanted to post :) This one's a bit different from what I usually post.  It was somewhat involved, but so crazy easy, and even crazier delicious!

Rob had thawed out some of the halibut he had caught on a recent fishing trip to Alaska, and I had some butternut squash I wanted to use (I'm on a major squash kick right now).

Enter: technology.

I Googled "halibut and butternut squash" not actually thinking something would jump out at me, and lo and behold, I found this recipe!  I had to make a few substitutions, but nothing major.  I also included mushrooms.  I felt like having mushrooms :)  The flavors all worked together really well!

2 halibut filets (approximately 6-7 ounces each)
1 large butternut squash, diced
Arugula (as much as you want to use!  I used more since there were three of us dining)
1/4 red onion, shaved or sliced very thin
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar (and a splash of rice vinegar!)
1 oz extra virgin olive oil
1/3 tsp of spicy brown mustard
1/3 tsp of honey
Sea salt and pepper
One package sliced Bella mushrooms, rinsed; sauté to liking in a small pan with olive oil; sprinkle with parmesan cheese on plate.
1. Make the vinaigrette by mixing the vinegar, mustard, honey, and 1 oz of extra virgin olive oil
2. Sear the halibut in a hot pan with olive oil
3. Once the halibut is browned on one side, flip the filets, turn down the heat just a bit, and continue until cooked through
4. While the halibut is cooking, in a separate pan sauté the diced butternut squash in butter until golden brown (make sure the squash is not over cooked and mushy)
5. In a mixing bowl, toss the arugula and onions with the vinaigrette (hold back a portion of the vinaigrette to spoon over the top of the halibut)
6. To plate, place the arugula salad mixture in the center of the plate and top with the halibut filet
7. Dress the top of the fish with a spoonful of the sherry vinaigrette, and then the butternut squash

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I'm on a roll.  So roll with me.

Something savory, now something sweet (as that is what I love best)!

I found the below recipe HERE and it was so perfect that I didn't change anything.  Oh, except for the amount of oatmeal.  I reduced it from 3 cups to 2 would have been too dry.

These are SO GOOD.  Much lighter than a cookie somehow (even though they are just as sinfully awesome).  I suggest topping a fresh-from-the-oven square with a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream (or vanilla, if that's your gig) and enjoying immediately.  

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 cups rolled ("old-fashioned") oats
12 ounces (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I also sprinkled extra on top...that's how I roll)

1. Cream butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla with electric mixer on high.
2. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda, all at the same time. Stir in oats. Last, add chocolate chips and stir them in (or use clean hands, if the dough is too stiff).
3. Press cookie dough into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Dough should be somewhat flattened, but it's okay for some cracks to remain. :)
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and cookies are set in the middle.
5. Cool for 20 minutes; cut into squares (the original recipe said it would yield 24 squares, but, c'mon, that would have made them tiny so my pan yielded 12 squares, Paige Size :))


Cheesy Spaghetti Bake

Who's ready for some cheese???

This chick is, I know that for sure!  If it were even somewhat advisable to live off of nothing but cheese, I would.  Or sushi.  That one I could do without issue.  Nothing but cheese might...back things up.


I asked Geof what he felt like for dinner last night, and he said, "something with cheese."  So that's what I did.  I found the following great recipe online and tweaked it to my liking.  No, it's not exactly healthy, but it sure is fantastic comfort food, and easy to make.  It was met with rave reviews.  If you want it to be a little heartier, I suggest adding the beef (as in the original recipe) or something cool like tofu, tempeh, chicken sausage, etc.

Now, kick back, relax, and imagine yourself in a cozy (well insulated) log cabin with the snow falling outside the window (which looks out onto an enormous pasture at the foot of the mountains), a fire going in the fireplace, plenty of fleece and/or flannel, and perhaps a glass of vino.  Then read the below recipe...and also try it.  It's delish!

    • 1 16oz package spaghetti1/2 red onion, finely chopped16 ounces spaghetti sauceSalt & Pepper, to taste2 tablespoons butter2 tablespoons whole wheat flour12 ounces evaporated milk1 cup shredded parmesan cheese1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, DIVIDED1 teaspoon oregano


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside.  (I forgot to grease the glass baking dish, and it was fine.  Not sure it would be so in a metal dish, however.  So, get greasy with it.)
  2. Boil spaghetti noodles to al dente according to package; drain.
  3. While spaghetti is boiling, brown the onion in a skillet. Add the spaghetti sauce to the skillet.
  4. Add the hot, cooked, drained spaghetti to the skillet; stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  5. In a saucepan, melt butter; add the flour, stirring constantly to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk.
  6. Turn heat to low and stir in the parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup only of the mozzarella. stir constantly until melted and smooth.
  7. Pour the cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti in the 13 x 9 dish.
  8. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of parmesan cheese and then the oregano.
     9. Bake; uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly/starting to brown on top.