Food Exploring :: Lemon Breaded Halibut Fillets on Orzo

I’ve got a ton of work to do before the holidays hit, so what better time to go do a little food exploring? The Food Exploring series is a way to revisit adventures I’ve been on around the world that have opened my eyes, inspired me to think in different ways, and often left a serious food impression! This week, I’m taking you to my own home town of San Luis Obispo, California.


Jump to Recipe!

To this day, my dad is still my favorite chef {sorry, Chef Ramsay}. I love watching him work in the kitchen. Because while he researches his recipes like crazy before it’s time to make them, when he’s actually in the kitchen, he just goes with the flow.

A dash of this here, a handful of this there, poking and prodding to get the right feel for a thing when it’s done where I would need to break out my meat thermometer.

The kitchen is his happy place, and he treats a meal like he’s not only making art, but he’s making a gift for the people who have come to enjoy that meal with him.

And Dad made an absolutely beautiful meal out of that gorgeous halibut fillet we picked up at Olde Port Fish Market!

I managed to follow him around closely enough to make a recipe out of the handfuls and pinches, close enough to recreate at home. Scott and I enjoyed our own version the other day. It’s fresh, it’s comforting, and it’s downright delicious.


Lemon Breaded Halibut Fillets

Serves 6.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 halibut fillets
  • Santa Barbara Seasoning {garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and white pepper}
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • Olive oil {about 2 tbsp}
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups cooked saffron rice, yellow rice, or orzo
  • Cooked andouille sausage {optional}

How to Make It:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Then prep a large oven-safe casserole dish by pouring in a little olive oil and lining it with the slices of lemon.

2. Slice the fillets into your desired portion size and brush lightly with olive oil. Season each piece with Santa Barbara Seasoning and then dredge through the bread crumbs until coated.

3. Place the fillets in the pan and sprinkle over with what remaining bread crumbs you have.

4. Bake the fillets for 35-45 minutes, or until the fish is nice and opaque, and flakes easily when you press it with a fork.

5. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Mix the rice with the andouille sausage in the pan just long enough to make sure it’s warmed through. Then plate up the rice mixture and serve a fillet over the top.

This fish is more than hearty enough to hold its own against a nice glass of the mellow California pinot noir my Dad enjoys {we both love Talley Vineyards‘ pinot, pictured here}. I haven’t found a white wine to pair with it that I like nearly as well.

If I’ve learned anything from cooking with my dad, it’s that there’s no substitute for fresh and quality ingredients. You really don’t need a lot to bring out their flavor, and you almost want to minimize what you add, they’re so good.

I’m so glad that Dad and I have a chance to cook together when I was home, and that I get to bring back a delicious recipe as a reminder. Recipes are my favorite souvenirs.

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