As much as I love to entertain, I sometimes find the initial moments after inviting our guests overwhelming.  Too many ideas swirling around, it is so hard to narrow them down to the few that will make up a meal.  Last week I shared a recipe for fresh tomatillo salsa, and mentioned the Rick Bayless inspired meal we served.  Many of you asked what else I served that evening.  Here it is!

Since blood oranges are only in season for a brief time, I wanted to make good use of them.  We enjoyed a pitcher of blood orange margaritas throughout the evening, and this was our main course – a pan seared white fish seasoned with a cilantro jalapeño compound butter and finished off with blood orange salsa. We have tried it with both sea bass and halibut and both were excellent.  Over a bed of cilantro lime rice, this meal instantly became a new favorite of ours – so much so that we have had it twice in two weeks. If you are a fellow blood orange junkie and looking for more ways to use them, this may become a new favorite of yours too.

  • Yield 4 servings


For the salsa: 

  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

For the fish: 

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 (6-8 oz.) white fish fillets, such as halibut or sea bass
  • Olive oil


  • 01

    To make the salsa, reserve a few tablespoons of the blood oranges.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining blood oranges, onion, and cilantro.  Squeeze the juice from the reserved pieces of orange into the bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add in the olive oil.  Toss well to combine, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Stir  well with a spoon until evenly combined.  Pat the top of the fish dry and spread each portion with a thin layer of the butter.  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the fish to the pan, skin side down, and cook 3-4 minutes.  Transfer the pan to the oven and let cook until the internal temperature reaches 145˚ F, about 8-12 minutes.

  • 03

    Remove the fish to a serving dish, separating from the skin as you do so.  Let rest a few minutes, then top with the blood orange salsa and serve immediately.