Pasadena, Parrots and Halibut at Home

22 Feb

This past Saturday, my friend Heather, her two cherubs and I jumped into her car for a trip up to Pasadena and the Norton-Simon museum. I had not been there since I was about her oldest’s age, about 9, and have wanted to return ever since.

Pasadena is certainly not just up the road from South Orange County, but it didn’t take us too long to get there, and with only one “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. Pretty nice going, if you ask me. I left them at the entrance waiting to be collected for the craft event and swung into the main gallery. I asked one of the staff if it was true—could I really take photos? He said yes, but no flash ever. That I could handle.

I swooned through Degas, Picasso and two of my favorites, Kandinsky and Klee. I loves me some Bauhaus artists. I snapped a few pics then moved down to the Asian galleries downstairs, full of buddhas and shivas from the ancient past. I didn’t quite get to see Proof, the print exhibition, but I did have fun playing with my (still relatively new) camera.

After a walk through the museum’s lovely garden, we departed for some delicious Thai food before heading to South Pasadena to try to view the parrots. Yes, there’s a company of parrots that were once domesticated parrots who now fly free around South Pasadena, and come back to roost every night by the library there. They were loud and beautiful, but yet again the kids weren’t interested in what Mommy and Auntie wanted to see, and set about climbing any tree in their path.

We made it home with just a bit of traffic, and I got home in time to have a martini with The Husband before knocking up a quick meal of mushroom-covered halibut and salad.

The mushrooms were actually left over from the past two weeks of raw food that I quickly sautéed with the garlic that was missing from the original recipe. I also tossed in some leftover roasted Brussels sprouts, which gave it a great flavor with the added benefit of getting something else cleared out of the fridge.

This was a nice and quick dinner, but only because the mushrooms were already marinating in the fridge. Fresh mushrooms would also be nice to use with the same seasoning, so don’t let that stop you. We get halibut and salmon from A&H Fish Market from our farmers market every Saturday, so definitely use the freshest fish you can—if you can’t find halibut, black cod or seabass would work well.

Halibut with Mushrooms

Marinated mushrooms:

2 cups diced portobello mushrooms
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups maitake mushrooms
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 clove of minced or finely grated garlic
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the mushrooms in a bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight before using, either as is or sautéed.

Main recipe:

1.5 cups marinated mushrooms
6 small Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. piece of halibut

Heat up about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a high-sided frying pan (not non-stick). Use the oil from the mushrooms, if you can. Add the garlic then the Brussels sprouts after about  minute. Sauté for about three minutes, stirring often. Add the mushrooms using a slotted spoon to drain of a lot of the oil. Sauté for a further five minutes before taking off the heat and keeping warm.

Place a halibut fillet in a dish; coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill until just barely cooked through. Top the halibut portions with spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture. The Husband grilled ours to perfection, and even broke our pact to not have any wine this month and poured himself a glass—it was that good, he said.

Now, here’s some of my favorite shots from my trip yesterday:

Statue head detail

Statue detail

From India, circa 1000 BC

Henry Moore

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6 Responses to “Pasadena, Parrots and Halibut at Home”

  1. sweatlikemambo February 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Ahhh, I love the Norton Simon Museum, and haven’t been there since I was about 9 either! You just may inspire me to go soon… great pics!

    • tinykitchenstories February 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      Thank you! And you should–I wish I had had the time to explore their “Proof” print exhibition more, but the natives, I mean children, were getting restless and we had to go.

  2. filingawaycupcakes February 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    yum! Halibut is lovely, I am so happy to see a fish recipe that isn’t for salmon, for a change.

    • tinykitchenstories February 27, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      Thank you! We do love salmon, but you rarely have to do that much with it. We seem to always just slather it with mustard or curry paste. This one was more fun!

  3. girlinafoodfrenzy February 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Never tasted Halibut but always heard of it! So many varieties of fish I’m missing out on!! But great to read about all the same 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories February 28, 2012 at 10:12 am #

      I’m pretty sure the recipe would work with other firm, white fish, like cod. I’m so lucky with our fish supplier at the farmers market!

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