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(Photo courtesy of El Gaucho)
(Photo courtesy of El Gaucho)

The halibut fisheries are now in full swing off the coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca and in Puget Sound, and anglers will cherish in catching one these highly delightfully tasting fish.

In this week’s seafood recipe of the week, executive chef Sarah Scott at El Gaucho in Bellevue will provide a wonderful grilled halibut recipe to knock the fishing boots off your guests at the dining table.

Scott along with other chefs from El Gaucho, Aqua by El Gaucho and The Inn at El Gaucho will be contributing a handful their delicious recipes for the Reel Time Northwest Fishing blog. Each of the recipes will be related to the “catch” of the week.

(Executive Chef Sarah Scott of El Gaucho in Bellevue)
(Executive Chef Sarah Scott of El Gaucho in Bellevue)

Scott or “Sarita” as her co-workers call her is El Gaucho’s newest – and youngest – executive chef, and grew up in Winter Park, Florida. Last fall at the age of 27, Scott has become one of the few female chefs who has taken the reins of a prominent American steakhouse in the country.

Scott joined the El Gaucho team in 2008 when their Bellevue restaurant opened, and she worked her way through every station to the top. She enjoys eating dim sum, loves music, and played bass trombone at University of Central Florida and Rollins College, admitting she almost majored in music performance.

This season we have weekly recipes and advice through October on how to cook up and dish out a wide variety of local seafood by experts like Chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake in Seattle; Chef Pat Donahue with Anthony’s Restaurant; outdoor cookbook author Tiffany Haugen; head chef Chris Gabel at Tini Bigs and Hula Hula in downtown Seattle; tackle shop owners; local seafood-market owners; and fishing guides and charter services.

Recipes will run these every Wednesday through Oct. 28 so if you have yummy recipes you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them and will even test it out with my family and friends at the dinner table.

Grilled Halibut with Blood Orange Crème Fraiche and White Balsamic Cucumber Ribbons

Sarah Scott, Executive Chef, El Gaucho Bellevue

Grilled Halibut Ingredients

2 10oz Halibut Fillets

2 tsp El Gaucho Seasoning (available at, Metropolitan Markets and El Gaucho)

2 TB Butter, softened

Blood Orange Crème Fraiche (recipe below)

Marinated Cucumber Ribbons Ingredients

1 each English cucumber, cut in half (so that you have two 5” cucumber halves) and thinly slice (a mandolin works great!)

1 tsp Sugar, granulated

3/4 tsp Dill, minced

3/4 tsp Garlic, minced

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/8 tsp salt


Mix all ingredients except for the cucumbers. Pour over the top of the sliced cucumbers and let marinate overnight.

Blood Orange Crème Fraiche

1 cup cream, heavy

1 TB buttermilk

.25 t salt, kosher

2 TB blood orange puree


Mix the cream and buttermilk together. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight or at least 12 hours. The next day, add the salt and blood orange puree and whisk to combine. Cool in the refrigerator.


Heat a grill (preferably charcoal) to medium heat. Generously season the halibut fillets on both sides. Use a pastry brush to add butter to the presentation side of the halibut. Place the halibut presentation side down on the grill.

After 2-4 minutes, gently rotate the halibut at a 90 degree angle and let cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. Add butter to the other side of the halibut while it is cooking and immediately flip it over. Cook until it’s translucent throughout and still moist.

Remove from the grill and place each one on ¼ cup of the crème fraiche.

Place the Cucumber Ribbons on top and garnish with micro greens and lemon.

Halibut fishing dates

WESTERN STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA (SEKIU AREA) – Open May 15 and 16; May 21-24; and May 29 and 30.


HOOD CANAL, AND SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PUGET SOUND – Closed for to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.

ILWACO – Open Thursdays to Sundays each week until catch quota is achieved or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. An incidental fishery in the nearshore area is open Mondays to Wednesdays. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery can be obtained at Quota is 9,754 pounds, and the nearshore quota is 500 pounds.

WESTPORT – Open May 17 and May 19, but could close sooner if the quota is achieved. Will reopen May 31 or June 2 if sufficient quota remains and continue until the quota is achieved or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The northern nearshore area is open daily until nearshore quota is achieved or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. Quota is 40,739 pounds; and northern nearshore quota is 2,000 pounds.

LA PUSH AND NEAH BAY – Opens May 14 with fishing allowed Thursdays and Saturdays through May 23 provided enough remains in the catch quota. Area is closed May 28 and 30. Fishing could also reopen June 4 and/or 6. Additional days could be added (Thursdays and Saturdays) depending on what remains in the catch quota. Quota is 108,030 pounds.