August 21, 2012

Grilled Halibut with Roasted Pineapple Habenero Salsa

Our family recently took a day trip up to northern Arizona for a break from the oppressive heat here in Phoenix. We went to a small local zoo and then stopped for dinner on the way home in my husband's old college town, Flagstaff. We had heard good things about a Mexican restaurant called Salsa Brava and decided to try it. Oh man, was it good! They had a unique salsa bar, and all the food that we had was pretty awesome. My favorite menu item by far was their Pineapple Habenero salsa, which blew my mind. I knew I would have to try and duplicate it, because I could not stop thinking about it. We found out when we got to the restaurant that they were featured on a Food Network show called Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I did some investigating and found this recipe based on the original at the restaurant. While it's not identical to what we had at Salsa Brava, it's a pretty close facsimile. I still want to do some more tweaking to see if I can get more of a match, but in the meantime, this will work just fine!

I decided to pair my fruity-spicy salsa with this grilled fish recipe I found on the Cooking Light website. The original recipe has a peach and pepper salsa paired with the halibut, but I thought my pineapple habenero salsa would work just as well. I was right! This. was. fantastic.

Grilled Halibut with Roasted Pineapple Habenero Salsa

For the salsa:

Roasted Pineapple Habenero Salsa
Adapted From: More Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives by Guy Fieri

4 Roma tomatoes
4 jalapenos, seeded and stems removed
1 habeneros, seeded and stems removed
1/2 medium red onion
1 20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, with juice.
1 cup cilantro
salt to taste

1. broil the jalapenos and onion for 5-10 minutes on each side or until skin is blackened. When charred and caramelized on both sides then remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes in a bowl with a tight fitting lid.

Add all the roasted veggies, tomatoes,and raw habenero (SEE NOTE BELOW), and pineapple and pulse in the food processor. Add the cilantro and pulse. Add salt to taste. I also added a few tablespoons of olive oil. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

NOTE: The habenero pepper is extremely spicy. Start by adding a quarter or a half of the pepper and taste. If your palette can handle it, add the whole thing from there...just taste as you go!

For the fish:

Grilled Halibut
Adapted From: Cooking Light magazine, Jeanne Kelley, JUNE 2010 issue

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice $
4 teaspoons olive oil $
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
To prepare fish, combine 4 teaspoons juice, oil, paprika, and 1 garlic clove in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk (I just combined everything in a large, zip top bag). Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with 3/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Serve fish with topped with desired amount of salsa.

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