Last week was a great week for two reasons- I made Mr.S. and I the most wonderful dinner on Thursday night (yep, I'm tootin' my own horn) and then on Friday night we saw a fantastic play at the Sacramento Theatre Company. I'm going to take a moment to gush here a bit...if you haven't seen STC's production of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold...and the boys," get your butt off the sofa and go buy your tickets now! This is the second time I've seen this play (I saw it the first time when I was in college) and I have to say this version was amazing. Michael J. Asberry's performance as Sam was so moving that at times I forgot we were watching a play and felt transported to the St. George's Park Tea Room in South Africa. The play takes place in 1950 (during the apartheid era) and tells the story of a 17-year old white boy (Hally) and two black waiters (Sam and Willie) during a rainy afternoon. This timely story of Fugard's does a phenomenal job of discussing oppression and compassion on a large scale (universally) and also on a smaller scale (in our own lives). The content is quite poignant and thought-provoking and the ending will haunt your mind for days afterward (especially when you find out that the play is based on a personal account of Fugard's).

There's a great review in the Bee, if you're interested in finding out more : Master Harold...and the boys. (Btw, this production is not suitable for young children.)

Photo Source: Sacramento Theatre Company

Ok, now back to our regular programming...the awesome dinner I made Thursday night was: pan-fried halibut cheeks accompanied by Israeli couscous mixed with fresh asparagus and mushrooms. Mmm! Simple but super delicious. If you've never had halibut cheeks before, you should definitely try it. It's the sweetest most tender part of the halibut. The cheeks kind of remind me of scallops but flakier.

Now I had never cooked halibut cheeks at home before so I asked one of the friendly fishmongers at Sunh Fish for some direction, his call- just gently pan-fry them. I'm so glad I followed his suggestion  because this is seafood that definitely does not need any futzing. I also made some Israeli couscous to go with it but these cheeks would have been just as good on a bed of sautéed greens.

(If you're unfamiliar with Israeli couscous, it's a wheat-based pasta that's rolled into tiny balls that resemble Nerf pellets. It has a nice nutty taste when toasted.)

Pan-Fried Halibut Cheeks


1 lb. fresh halibut cheeks
2 tablespoons AP flour
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1. Gently pat your halibut cheeks dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Spread the 2 tablespoons of flour on a plate then very, very LIGHTLY dredge the cheeks through the flour. Set aside.

3. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Place your halibut cheeks on the skillet. Space them out a bit so that they do not touch each other. Let them cook for 2 minutes.  Then using a spatula flip them over. Allow to cook for another minute to a minute and a half.  (Be careful not to overcook the cheeks.)

4. Repeat with remaining butter and fish.

3. Plate. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley (optional).

Israeli Couscous with Fresh Asparagus and Mushrooms


1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus (woody stems removed, sliced into 1-inch pieces)
1 8-oz. package of crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet onion, diced
3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. In a medium sized pan , heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add couscous. Over medium heat, toast the couscous until it's lightly browned.

2. Add 1 3/4 cup of boiling water to the saucepan and couscous. Stir well to combine. Bring the whole lot to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed). Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a separate pan, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add garlic and onions. Cook until onions begin to slightly soften, then add asparagus and mushrooms. Cook 6-8 minutes (depending on how crisp you like your asparagus). Stir occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Add veggie mixture to cooked couscous. Add grated Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss. Serve.
0 Responses

Post a Comment