Diced! – KC – Lemon-Breaded Halibut with Orzo, Vegetables, and White Sauce

Today we have an entrant for the second course of the Diced! competition. Contestants were instructed to create or find a recipe for an entree and any sides containing the following ingredients: White Fish, Cauliflower, white pepper and Brie Cheese. They were instructed to make their dish and create a blog post about it, including pictures. You can help determine who advances to the next round. After the last post, I will post a poll where you can vote for contestants to move on. Vote for the post you like the best. You can vote because of the inventiveness, the yummyness, the use of ingredients, the quality of the writing and pictures or for any other reason. The poll will be active for one week only. Check back and vote. In the event of a tie, the Ranting Chef will choose who advances. More information about Diced! can be found here.

Due to the generosity of the following companies, we have some really awesome products as a prize to the winner of this Diced! competition. In addition to the prizes below, I am working to secure additional ones. The winner will receive:

Today’s contestant, KC likes to cook and eat and occasionally rant. She also likes to take on new challenges and figure out new ways to motivate myself and the people she leads. In addition to being a cooking fanatic, she’s also a full time Army officer and consulting systems engineer, so KC has to fulfill her gourmet tastes with everyday ingredients, relying on quality combinations and the strength of simplicity to do the trick. Here’s KC…

Baked_Fish-0807 copy - Featured Size

I’m so excited to be participating in another round of “Diced!” I’m having so much fun pushing myself and my creativity, and I’ve created recipes that I know we’re going to want to have again and again in my house.

This latest round threw me a couple of curves, though. Not only were the ingredients ones I wouldn’t expect to pair – white fish, white pepper, brie cheese, and cauliflower – but I’d have to make this one in the middle of holiday travel.

However, with a little help from my dad tracking down some great ingredients, this proved to be actually a really lucky break. California’s Central Coast is full of some of the best organic farms and ranches around, and with the deep Pacific so nearby, getting absolutely beautiful fish fillets is no trouble at all.


One morning, we headed out to Avila  to visit the Olde Port Fish Market, and the guys there were nice enough to help us out with a few cuts of fresh fish, especially this absolutely beautiful halibut.


We ended up with the most beautiful halibut fillets I’ve ever seen.


Dad baked up most of them for a family lunch, but I made off with a couple of them to use in my entry for this round of “Diced” – a beautifully breaded halibut fillet served over fresh orzo and vegetables under a creamy white sauce.

I made enough for sampler platters for everyone in the family, and when a family of foodies pronounces your work delicious, it’s definitely a keeper. We’ll be making this again at my house!

Lemon-Breaded Halibut with Orzo, Vegetables, and White Sauce

Makes 6 servings. 


What you’ll need – for the main dish:

  • Olive oil
  • 6 Halibut Fillets
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • Santa Barbara style seasoning {garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and white pepper}
  • ½ cup {1 stick} butter
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ head fresh broccoli, chopped
  • ½ head fresh cauliflower, chopped

 What you’ll need – for the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • about ½ – ¾ cup brie cheese
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp salt

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then prep an oven-safe pan by pouring or spraying in a little olive oil and lining it with the slices of lemon.
  2. Slice the fillets if you need to. Season each piece by rubbing in the seasoning mix, and then dredge through the bread crumbs until coated.
  3. Place the fillets in the pan and sprinkle some more bread crumbs over them.
  4. Put in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
  5. While the fish is cooking, prep the orzo and the vegetables. For the orzo, sauté the pasta lightly in olive oil in a large sauce pan until coated. Then pour in the water and chicken stock and let it cook down until the water is absorbed and the pasta is nice and soft.
  6. For the vegetables, pan roast them lightly in about 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, and about ½ cup water until fork tender.
  7. When the veggies and the pasta are done, go ahead and plate them. Then focus in on making the white sauce.
  8. Start by melting the butter in a saucepan. Then sautee the garlic for a couple minutes. Add in the cheese and stir until melted. Add in the cream, brandy, white pepper, and salt, and stir together. If it’s too thick, add cream and brandy until it’s thin enough to pour.
  9. By this time, your fish should be done. Plate it over the orzo and veggies and drizzle with the sauce. I like putting a large dollop over the top of the fish so that it gets into the veggies and garnishing with a slice of lemon.

Baked_Fish-0807 copy - Featured Size

This dish might look complicated, but it actually comes together relatively simply, perfect for impressing your guests – and not busting your timetable – for a dinner party. The fish goes really well with a non-oaky chardonnay but with the cheese sauce, it can hold its own with a mild red {like a pinot} easily.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Alcohol, Baking3, Cheese3, Diced!, Guest, kosher, Main Dish 3, Pasta, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

13 Comments on “Diced! – KC – Lemon-Breaded Halibut with Orzo, Vegetables, and White Sauce”

  1. January 7, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Reblogged this on The Vampire Diet and commented:
    This sounds just delicious! From “The Ranting Chef” – a blog well worth the visit


    • January 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks so much! We thought it was pretty tasty 😀


  2. January 7, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    looks very yummy!


  3. nordyblogger
    January 8, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    This looks delicious 🙂


    • January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks! My family and I thought it was! 😀


      • nordyblogger
        January 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

        I love cooking, up until now I thought I was good cook when I saw what you cooked.
        Can you share some tips on how to get to your level 😉 ?


      • January 10, 2014 at 1:30 am #

        You’re too kind! I started cooking with my dad when I was a kid, so I knew the basics. Then I started cooking along with cooking shows and took cooking classes at a local cooking school. Then I took a few culinary classes. It just takes passion and a lot of time trying new things!


  4. January 8, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    That plate appears a bit small.


    • January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      I know, I probably should have used a larger plate – but I find that using smaller plates helps me with my portion control! 🙂


      • January 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

        My girlfriend says the same. I have yet to find such control 🙂



  1. Diced! Round 2 Voting Now Open! | KC Saling | Challenge Accepted - January 10, 2014

    […] friends! It’s voting time for the second round of Diced! Please check out my recipe here – it’s a tasty variation on this week’s lemon-breaded baked halibut recipe – and […]


  2. Sunday Currently 2014, vol. 2 | KC Saling | Challenge Accepted - January 12, 2014

    […] I’m in love with those first two, though, so watch for them soon! Also, please check out my entry in the Ranting Chef’s “Diced” competition, and please vote for me if you like it! […]


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