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Cajun Pacific: Recipe

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Cajun Pacific Restaurant & Catering: Recipe | restaurant info | reviews |

Recipe Chef: Charles "Chuck" Maddox
Recipe Name: Crab-Crusted Pacific Halibut with Bourbon Brown Butter Served with Gingered Cranberry Blue Lake Beans and Sweet Potato Gratin
Type of Cuisine: Cajun/Creole
Food Category: Main Course

Recipe Description:
A recipe for crab-crusted Pacific halibut with bourbon brown butter served with gingered cranberry blue lake beans and sweet potato gratin. This dinner combines Cajun techniques with available Pacific ingredients and a nod to tastes of the autumnal and winter seasons.

Serves: 4




2 lbs Pacific halibut filets, cut in four pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb lump blue crab meat
2 teaspoon Creole or other coarse-ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon sliced green onion tops
1 tablespoon parsley
5 dashes Crystal hot sauce
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 large egg
3 eggs for egg wash
1 cup flour
Olive oil


1. Season halibut to taste with salt and pepper on both sides.In a medium bowl, mix together the crab meat with mustard, garlic, shallots, green onion, parsley, and hot sauce. Mix in breadcrumbs.

2. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg until it foams; add the whisked egg to the crab mix and combine thoroughly.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together last 3 eggs to make an egg wash. Put flour in a wide separate bowl. Dredge one side of the halibut through the flour, one piece at a time. Dip the floured side in egg wash and quickly press the crab mix on top into a flat crust.

4. In a cast iron pan or heavy bottomed skillet over high heat, warm 1/4 inch of olive oil in the pan until it starts to smoke. Carefully place the halibut, one piece at a time, into the pan with the crab side down. Cook on high for one minute; reduce heat to medium high and cook until crispy and brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently turn over the crusted halibut being careful to not lose the crab crust. Return the heat to high and cook for 3 more minutes. Continue with each piece of halibut.

Blue Lake Beans


1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 lb Blue Lake beans
1 teaspooon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
Olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Soak cranberries in wine over night (or for at least 3 hours). Strain cranberries and reserve wine.

2. Trim stems from beans and blanch in boiling salted water until slightly softened. Strain and place in a bowl of ice water for three minutes and strain again.

3. In a skillet over high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the beans, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add cranberries and sauté for another minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved white wine and sauté for one minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Gratin


3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups shredded assorted cheese (Cajun Pacific prefers a cheddar and Grana Padano combo)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon Kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a shallow casserole dish or lasagna pan. The pan should be small enough so that the potatoes are at least one inch high when placed in it.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except 1/2 cup of the cheese. Pour potato mix into buttered pan and spread it out evenly. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake in oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and raise temperature to 400°. Bake until top is brown and crusty 15- 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for one hour to set. Warm through when ready to serve.

Note: This recipe can be done up to two days before and reheated in the oven prior to serving.

Beverage Suggestions:
A big white Burgundy, such as a Pouilly Fuisse or a red wine, such as Pinot Noir.

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