Easter is upon us and with that comes Good Friday. Many Christians and even some non-Christians continue to observe the tradition of eating fish on Good Friday. This stems from the Catholic Church, which fasts on Good Friday – not a full day fast, but allowing one full meal (smaller than a regular meal), and particularly abstaining from eating meat.
We’re still riding high from the Maple Syrup Festival a couple of weekends ago and continuing to find ways to experiment with the local delicacy, which is why we’re sharing this Good Friday “fish fry” recipe for pan seared halibut with a maple-ginger tamarind sauce, and saffron cardamom rice on the side. Fish Friday doesn’t have to be the same old battered or other more traditional variety – consider spicing it up this Easter!
Pan Seared Halibut with Maple-Ginger Tamarind Sauce
- 3 tbsp. clarified butter
- salt and pepper
- leeks, quartered from end to stem, lengthwise
- Portion the halibut into individual portions and dry with paper towel.
- Place clarified butter in pan; once it’s hot, place the halibut flesh side down.
- Sear and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Blanch leeks that have been washed in boiling water for 4 minutes and shock in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Drain well and season, wrap around the fish like a “belt”.
Maple-Ginger Tamarind Sauce
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste
- 1.5 tbsp. tamari or soya sauce
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. local honey
- Fresh ginger, the size of half a thumb, chopped finely
- 1 clove of chopped garlic
- Combine tamarind with hot water, strain and mash through strainer; discard the solids in the strainer.
- Add soya sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, honey, garlic and ginger.
- Drizzle the sauce on the halibut and bake in oven at 375˚F for approximately 12-15 minutes.
Saffron Cardamom Rice
- 3 tsp. butter
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 4 tbsp. dried cranberries
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. crumbled saffron threads
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas (hulled vpumpkin seeds)
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice and stir 2 minutes.
- Add water, cranberries, syrup, salt, saffron, cinnamon and cardamom. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat; let stand covered 10 minutes. Stir in pepitas.
Enjoy! Happy Easter from our kitchen to yours!