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Create a Hawaiian taste with halibut covered in mango-papaya salsa

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Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 3:01 pm

Once or twice a year, my ministerial responsibilities take me to Hawaii to teach. (Hey – somebody has to do it!) This involves living with local friends, from whom I’ve learned of the island cuisine and ingredients. This recipe is the fruit of these travels.

When in Hawaii, we’d go to the fish markets to buy the freshest, best fish available. So, often, this dish would be made with local fish, like wahoo or opakapaka, but since these fish are not generally available here in California, I’ve substituted halibut in this recipe. Any firm, fresh white-fleshed fish fillet can be used with equally “ono” (Hawaiian for good) results.

So often we equate “salsa” with the Mexican version, based on tomatoes, onions and chilies, but this fruit-based salsa is milder, gentler and full of great flavor to compliment the fish.

Macadamia crusted halibut with mango-papaya salsa

Fresh halibut fillet (about 6 ounces per portion)

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs — made from two slices white or sourdough bread or a sandwich roll, pulverized in a blender, then toasted on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rub the fish fillets with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet. Combine bread crumbs, butter, macadamia nuts & parsley. Pat this mixture over the fish.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust starts to brown and the fish is white colored through and through.

Serve with the mango-papaya salsa.

Mango-papaya salsa

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

Pinch cumin

1 small papaya, peeled, seeded & diced

1 cup mango, peeled and diced

1/2 small red onion, diced

3 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons cilantro chopped

Mix vinegar, sugar, chili flakes and cumin until sugar dissolves. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Doug Seed was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and has lived in Morada since 1984. He is a non-denominational clergyman, specializing in research and teaching of the Bible and is also co-owner of A Moveable Feast, a Lodi-based food truck. He is married to Carole and they have four sons. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing bridge and golfing.

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