Cooking in Langley: Grill up Creole halibut pouches for mom

Creole halibut pouched for BBQ

Spring is always an indicator of halibut season, and this recipe is one of our favorite halibut recipes for the grill.

The ground cayenne pepper is optional, to eliminate spiciness.

The butter is also optional, to eliminate added fat.

There will be enough juices in the pouch to keep the fish moist and generate enough steam without the butter – but the pat of butter adds richness to the dish.

The halibut can also be substituted with any white fish.


Creole Halibut BBQ Pouches

(makes 4 portions)

“The holy trinity of bell pepper, celery and onion; along with garlic, tomatoes, thyme, sweet smoked paprika and cayenne, give this seafood dish delicious Creole flavour.”

4 halibut filets, 200-250g each

Salt & pepper

12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 stalk celery, sliced thin

1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into small short strips

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 thin slices onion

12 fresh thyme sprigs

2 tsp smoked sweet paprika

Ground cayenne pepper, optional

1 tsp sugar

4 tbsp cold butter

1 lemon

Preheat BBQ grill with high heat.

Cut eight pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil – 12 inches x 18 inches. Lay two pieces of foil on top of each other to make four separate double-layer foil bases.

Place each filet, skin side down, in the centre of one half of each of the foil bases, and season each filet liberally with salt and pepper.

Top each filet evenly with three quartered tomatoes, equal amounts of celery, equal amounts of bell pepper, one minced garlic clove, two thin slices of onion, three sprigs of thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, a pinch of cayenne, 1/4 tsp sugar, and season with more salt and pepper.

Top each mound with a tbsp of butter.

Seal the pouches by folding over the foil in half lengthwise over the vegetable-covered fish. Starting at one end, fold in and crimp the edges of the foil tightly and work around the whole open side of the foil to form a semi-circle pouch. It must be tightly sealed to keep all the steam and juices in the pouch.

Place the pouches on the hot BBQ grill, and reduce heat to medium low. Be careful not to pierce the pouches. Close the lid and cook for approximately 12 to 15 minutes while trying to maintain a cooking temperature of 375ºF on your BBQ’s built-in gauge. The pouches should be puffed up like a balloon when done.

Remove pouches from the grill and let sit for five minutes before opening. The internal temperature of the fish should be 140-150ºF.

Carefully cut open each pouch (steam will be hot), squeeze over a bit of fresh lemon juice, and serve immediately. It is fun to let your guests open their own pouches themselves, and eat right out of the pouch.

This recipe and more than 100 more are available in my cookbook: Chef Dez on Cooking Volume 3. Enjoy!

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