Pan-Seared Halibut with Citrus-Jalapeño Salsa

January 6, 2015 | | | |

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pan-seared-halibut-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa#NEWYEARNEWYOU mania is in full force right now, and it’s a little stressful, no?

I’ve mentioned many times before that I don’t like to make New Year’s resolutions (I crack under the pressure), but I do try to take a little time every January to reflect on the past 12 months, make some general goals, and adopt the best possible attitude for the year ahead. It’s all very sunshine-y and zen.

Last year I started the practice of “emptying the nets,” a cathartic exercise that involves writing out the year’s highs and lows in the hope of embracing the positives and letting the negatives float away into the universe. I know that sounds touchy-feely and mildly uncomfortable (because it is), but it’s also kind of fun. And after making my list last week, I feel spiritually lighter (is that a thing?) and Logan-style PSYCHED to tackle the year ahead.

Because I love you, I thought I’d share the internet-friendly version of my highs and lows with you today. We’re starting with the lows, people. Brace yourself.

pan-seared-halibut-recipe-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa-22014 Lows:

1. Not posing for Maxim (in a classy way), writing a cookbook, or starring in my own television show. These lofty goals for 2014 were carryovers from 2013 (and 2012 before that), and although I’m disappointed that I have yet to accomplish them, I shall continue the pursuit this year. Patience is a virtue.

2. Anxiety. There was a lot of self-doubt, “Are you on the right path?” internal debates, and a generalized fear of what the future holds for yours truly in 2014. While this anxiety sometimes bolstered productivity, it mostly prevented me from enjoying/appreciating the present. This year, I’m going to try my very best to “let it go” like Adele Dazeem and focus on living in the moment.

3. Girlfriend got lonely. There are many fabulous things about self-employment (naked breakfast in bed! Ludacris Pandora! Kardashian lunch break!), but working from home can also be incredibly isolating. I often felt like I was creating in a vacuum, and there were a lot of days where I craved simple human interaction just to get out of my own head. To avoid continuing down the “self-employed shut-in” path, this kid is going to pursue more collaborative endeavors in 2015. Wish me luck.

4. Continuing to live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Last year, I went to the gym three times, attended one yoga class, one SoulCycle ride, one hour of ModelFit torture, and one Zumba dance-off. While that was actually an improvement on 2013’s exercise regimen, it is still very sad, and I am appropriately embarrassed.

5. Overcooking my Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t really want to talk about it, but I felt like I should come clean.

pan-seared-halibut-recipe-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa-32014 Highs:

1. Chatting with Martha Stewart on the radio. We talked about all my favorite things: Martha Stewart, The Dude Diet, cooking and myself. I did not swear, and she laughed at my jokes, so it was basically the best 45 minutes of my year/life.

2. My roommate getting a badass new job. Logan was kinda miserable at his last job, so I couldn’t be happier that he is now doing something he loves. I’m still not sure exactly what he does on a day-to-day basis (I mostly just picture him on a 90s-style landline screaming “BUY! SELL!!!!”), but he is very busy and important, and I couldn’t be more proud.

3. Making my television debut. I spent at least 7 seconds talking about these chia meatballs on The Dr. Oz Show, and it was magical. 

4. Becoming friends with insanely wonderful and talented bloggers. Getting to know Phoebe, Anna, and several other kickass women in food has been pretty inspirational, and I’m ridiculously grateful to have found some peeps to talk shop/commiserate with. (As much as my girl group loves me, I’m pretty sure I’d be kicked out if I tried to discuss SEO or mobile-friendly WordPress updates over dinner.)

pan-seared-halibut-recipe-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa-45. Giving my “salad talk.” This past summer, I gave a presentation at Beech Hill Farm in Southwest Harbor, Maine, in which I mostly covered my love of fresh produce and my tips for making better salads. While the subject matter may not seem overly titillating, the experience was quite a rush. I love me an audience.

6. Decorating my apartment. It only took 18 months, but it finally feels like home. And there’s only one Widespread Panic poster!

7. Forming DOMESTICATE ME LLC. There was a lot of paperwork involved, but I am now a totally legit business lady. Movin’ on up.

8. Making Dude Diet Buffalo Chicken Fingies. You know how people whip out their phone to show you pictures of their kids because they’re just so damn proud? I do that with these beautiful babies. Hands down my favorite recipe of 2014.

9. Growing Domesticate ME! 2014 was a big year for this little site, and I’m thrilled to report that its readership more than tripled. I can’t tell you how much I love sharing recipes and forcing my life stories on you multiple times a week, and I’m shocked that you take the time to read my words and try my creations. Some of you even leave comments and send me hilarious emails, which never fail to make me feel like Beyoncé my day. Thank you.

pan-seared-halibut-recipe-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa-5Whelp, that’s all, folks. Nets emptied. As you can see, the year had significantly more highs than lows, and I plan to keep things on the up and up in 2015. January is off to a running start, and I’ve got some exciting projects in the works that I’ll be dropping on you as soon as I possibly can. Until then, let’s all sport “bitch, don’t kill my vibe” attitudes and make Pan-Seared Halibut with Grapefruit-Jalapeño Salsa.

pan-seared-halibut-recipe-with-citrus-jalapeno-salsa-6I feel like this is just the thing to kick off 2015, especially for those of you that have resolved to cook more and/or become clean-eating fitness junkies (Godspeed!). This light, fresh recipe is ready in 20 minutes, looks incredibly sexy, and packs a serious punch in the flavor department. It also dominates on the health front thanks to halibut’s lean protein and the metabolism-boosting wonders of citrus and jalapeño. Hallelujah.

(To those with fish-cooking phobia, be not afraid. All you need for perfectly cooked halibut is a good non-stick pan and 7 minutes. You got this.)

Happy New Year, friends! If you have any recipe/story requests for 2015, drop me a line.

Pan-Seared Halibut with Citrus-Jalapeño Salsa: (Serves 4)

1 large pink grapefruit
1 orange (I prefer cara cara)
½ lime, juiced
3 tablespoons minced red onion
½ small jalapeño, very thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 halibut filets (6-8 ounces each), skin and pin bones removed
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

Preparing your Pan-Seared Halibut with Citrus-jalapeño Salsa:

-Let’s start with the salsa. First, you’re going to need to segment that citrus. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the top and bottom from the grapefruit. Remove the peel and white pith from all around the grapefruit. (Don’t worry if it’s not perfect people.)

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-1-Working over a medium bowl, cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments into the bowl.

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-2-Repeat the peeling and segmenting process with the orange. Remove grapefruit and orange segments from the bowl and slice them crosswise into ½-inch pieces.

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-3-Return the citrus to the bowl and add the lime juice, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-4-Moving on to the halibut! Gently pat the halibut filets dry with paper towels. Season both sides of each filet generously with salt and pepper.

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-5-Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the filets and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on one side. Turn the filets and cook for another 3 minutes until opaque.

pan-seared-halibut-with-grapefruit-orange-jalapeno-salsa-step-6-Place halibut on a serving platter or plates and top with citrus-jalapeño salsa.



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  1. Nancy on January 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight, Serena. It was amazing! Had lots of Christmas gift basket grapefruit and oranges so it was a perfect time to use them up. Think it was one of your best recipes ever and Mason & I love them all. Keep ’em coming!

    • Serena_Wolf on January 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      AH, I’m so happy to hear this was such a hit!! Hope to see you both soon! xox

  2. Bethany Chandler on January 7, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Yum! Hoping 2015 is a great year for you!

    • Serena Wolf on January 9, 2015 at 9:01 am

      Thank you, Bethany! Happy New Year!

  3. Kate on January 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    This dish looks amazing and 2015 is going to be amazing!

    • Serena_Wolf on January 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Thank you, Kate, and Happy New Year!! xo

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