As a self-proclaimed "chef," there are a lot of things I don't want y'all to know about me. But I'm going to tell ya anyway. One of those things is that I used to be an incredibly picky eater. Picky as in pepperoni pizza only, chicken strips with BBQ sauce only, hamburgers and hot dogs plain unless they were chili-cheese coated, no salads because I hated dressing, no sandwiches unless they were on "sub" bread because regular bread grossed me out as did mayo and mustard, no cheese unless it was on pizza, and never ever in a million years get fish of any kind near me - no, not even sushi.
Ew, ew, ew. That was my response to nearly everything. But there was a reason I was so picky. There's only ONE reason for a picky eater: they refuse to try anything new. They claim to "not like" certain foods, but I bet if you ask them if they've ever tried what they're claiming to "not like," I bet 99% of the time they haven’t. Ultimately, they shut themselves off from an incredible food society. I mean, I understand that we all go through a time in our lives - as children - that certain foods gross us out, but the reality is, if we never try new foods, we will never recover from the picky eater stage. I recovered. Thank goodness.
I have a low tolerance for picky eaters and I don’t feel bad about it because I used to be one. If you’ve tried it and you don’t like it, then “ewwwww” away! I realize as humans there will always be one or two or several foods all of our taste buds just don’t comprehend. Mine is blue cheese. I don’t care how much someone tells me I will love blue cheese one day, I know deep down inside of my soul it will never happen. However, if you say ew to something and I ask you if you’ve ever tried it and you say no, I have nothing for you.
The purpose of the cooktale and how it even relates to this recipe is that seven years ago, I would’ve turned my nose up to just about every ingredient in this dish, but thanks to my husband, I will now eat anything (except blue cheese). He, the non-picky eater that he is, encouraged me to try new foods and brought me to some of my very favorites that I never in a million years thought I would like. I’m talking escargot, bone marrow, duck liver, sweet breads… I mean, let’s get real, if a set of eye balls are on a platter, presented beautifully and someone tells me they’re delicious, I will at least try them. Trying these new, adventurous foods led me to discover my inner chef. I truly thank my sweet husband for helping me discover my love of food. In my opinion, he is responsible for every recipe I have ever created. He’s the reason I spend hours in the kitchen with a smile on my face because I can’t think of a happier place to be, and he’s the reason this blog even exists.
- 1 small mango – cut into small cubes
- 1 small avocado – cut into small cubes
- 1 small jalapeno – seeded and chopped
- 1 green onion – chopped (white and green parts)
- 2 tbsp cilantro – chopped
- 1 lemon – zested and juiced
- Kosher salt
- 4 Halibut filets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp good quality, fruity olive oil
- 1 lb of brussel sprouts - sliced very thin
- Kosher salt
- 1 tsp of pink peppercorns – crushed (if you don’t have these, you can omit)
- ½ lemon – juiced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp agave nectar
1. Make the salsa by adding all the chopped ingredients to a bowl. Then add the lemon zest, juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir and set aside.
(Remember: Mangoes have a long flat seed in the middle, so you have to slice around it and also remove the skin. Also, avocados have a pit. The best way to cube these are to cut the avocado in half, take the pit out with your knife, then cut little rows in both directions of each half, creating squares, and scoop them all out with a spoon, directly into the bowl).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub each side of the halibut with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let bake for 10-12 minutes or until flaky.
3. Thinly slice the brussels. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add brussels with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss around and let cook for about 5-7 minutes or until a little bit brown on the edges. Set aside and let come to room temperature.
4. Make the dressing by crushing the peppercorns into a bowl. Then, add the lemon juice, vinegar, agave, salt, and pepper. Finally, whisk in the olive oil to combine.
Once the brussels are cooled, add the dressing and toss together. At this point, taste the brussels. It’s important to never serve until you have tasted – you may need to add more salt.
To plate: Put the brussels down first, put the fish atop the brussels and top the fish with the salsa.
CHEERS TO HAPPY EATING!!!