Alaska Halibut Pasta Salad
As the Garde Manger Chef at Tulalip Resort Casino, I like to create seasonal salads for our catering event center's special events. We like to use as many local Ingredients as we can, which helps to keep it fresh and favorable. These salads can be made to serve large or small events from 6 to a 1000 guests.
As the 2017 halibut season is fast approaching, I decided to create a special pasta salad recipe using fresh halibut, Chilean shrimp, and the mini Farfalle pasta.
8 ounces halibut
8 ounces Chilean shrimp
20 ounces cooked mini Farfalle pasta (precook pasta and refrigerate)
4 ounces red pepper (2 inch Julienne strips)
4 ounces yellow pepper (2 inch Julienne strips)
4 ounces celery (cut on the bias)
4 ounces Italian dressing (your favorite home version or store purchased bottled dressing)
4 ounces Caesar dressing (your favorite home version or store purchased bottled dressing)
1 teaspoon Lemon pepper
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Season halibut with lemon pepper. Place seasoned halibut on a sheet pan sprayed with a nonstick spray (also coat the halibut with the nonstick spray). Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until done. Let rest and refrigerate.
• Place a sauce pot on the stove filled with water, salt, and olive oil (follow package instructions for cooking pasta) on the stove and boil the pasta until tender. Pour pasta into a large colander and rinse with cold water. Refrigerate.
• Cut red and yellow peppers into two inch Julienne strips and cut the celery on the bias. Once the halibut is cool break up it up with your hands. It should be flaky, giving it a natural look.
• In a medium mixing bowl, add the cooked pasta, peppers, celery, both dressings. Mix together gently. Add the flaked halibut and Chilean shrimp (okay to substitute Oregon bay shrimp). Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate and keep cold until it is time to serve.
The Chef Pro "Hacks" also known as "tricks of the trade."
There is nothing wrong with taking a recipe and creating a variation of it. The signature of this simple pasta salad recipe is the Mini Farfalle pasta (also known as bowtie pasta). It's smaller than the standard size and complements all the other ingredients by giving it an even balance to the palate. It would also be just as delicious to use a favorite pasta or whatever pasta that's in the pantry. I also suggested the use of two bottled dressing, which are combined for consistency, simplicity and ease.
Any recipe can be converted into a different variation. For example, if any guests can't eat seafood, feel free to add another protein, such as chicken or salami. Think of the pasta salad as a base that can be customized.