I told Nick that all I wanted for my birthday this year (the big 3-0) was for him to make me dinner.  I know he gets nervous making me dinner because a) I have a lot of dietary restrictions due to my low FODMAPs diet and b) I like to eat pretty healthily, even on my birthday.  So, right away he started researching and planning ahead (planning ahead is rare for him, so I was impressed).

I got some heat from a not-so-happy reader recently when I posted a recipe using a fish that was on the “avoid list” on Monterey Bay Aquarium‘s Seafood Watch Program.  To be fair, the recipe I posted was one that could be modified to fit just about any fish (especially the lighter white fish, which is what I mentioned in the blog post).  I wasn’t promoting the fish, necessarily, but the recipe, and the fact that you don’t need to eat salmon or tuna in order to reap the benefits of fish. That being said, I realize I am a health care professional and need to be careful about what I post, so when Nick picked up “Seabass” for my birthday dinner, I freaked! Chilean Seabass?  That’s a no-no.  That’s a fish that is certainly not sustainable, and I was shocked to hear that the seafood department where Nick purchased the fish (which is that uses very sustainable seafood policies) was even carrying it!

If your supermarket is selling Chilean Sea Bass and abides by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards, it’s a much better product.  If you don’t know, ask!

But the good news is that it was not Chilean Sea Bass, but instead a Mero Hawaiian Seabass (which is actually a type of grouper, sold under the name “Mero Sea Bass”.  Yeah, grouper and sea bass are in the same family…who knew?!).  The Mero Hawaiian Seabass is actually “caught using environmentally friendly methods to reduce habitat damage and bycatch”.  Nice work Nick. High five!  So, I went ahead and gave Nick the “ok” for this one.

Nick had it planned out pretty well.  I worked until about 6:30 pm, and he started making dinner right when I walked in the door (because he knows how I like to take my time and unwind after work). I could smell the deliciousness of the sauteed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and the fresh fish wafting through our house…..

It was dark by the time we ate, so the color wasn’t great, but the end product was amazing.  Once again I thought; “Nick needs to cook more often”!

As it turns out Nick had gone to the grocery store looking for halibut, because the recipe he had was for halibut.  Of course, halibut can’t be found fresh here in Ohio until later in March (not late January/early February….come on Nick, didn’t you know?!  haha, jk. I didn’t know that either).  That being said, you could make this recipe with halibut, if you can find it fresh.

Grilled Mero Hawaiian Seabass (or Halibut) with Three Pepper Relish

Ingredients

Relish:
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered
1 red bell pepper, quartered

1 orange bell pepper, quartered

Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced **

Fish:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

8 (6-ounce) skinless sea bass fillets (or halibut)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

**Note: If you are following a  low FODMAPs diet , omit the garlic and replace the olive oil with a  garlic-infused version.  And because Nick loves me so, he made sure to omit the garlic and use garlic-infused olive oil to make up for the garlic flavor, even though he loves garlic (I mean..who doesn‘t?!)!

Directions

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  2. To prepare relish, coat bell pepper pieces with cooking spray. Place pepper pieces on a grill rack; grill 3 minutes on each side or until lightly charred. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Coarsely chop bell pepper pieces. Combine chopped bell peppers, parsley, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); set aside.
  3. To prepare fish, brush oil evenly over fish. Sprinkle fish evenly with thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place fish on grill rack; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

Nutrition Facts for 1/8th of recipe, made with Mero Hawaiian Seabass
** If made with halibut the calories will be only slightly higher **