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A few days ago I dropped by my husband-who-lives-across-town’s place for a few minutes and he had an interesting proposition. Due to some still-being-diagnosed health issues, he has been warned off eating red meat and encouraged to substitute chicken and fish. He is officially sick of chicken, and doesn’t cook fish, so his brilliant idea was for me to come over and cook the halibut steaks he dutifully purchased, and in exchange I could help eat said halibut. I don’t cook fish, either, but somehow I heard myself agreeing to return Monday evening and cook the fish. I don’t know how I get myself into these things!

His idea was that perhaps we could barbecue said fish. He has no barbecue trays or pans, but I said I would ask Georgia for advice. I expected her to tell me to wrap the fish with some herbs and spices in aluminum foil and put it over the coals. But her advice was totally unexpected.

“Just wrap it in foil and cook it in the dishwasher, Mom,” she said. “It’s really easy.”
“Have you cooked it this way, Georgia?” I asked.
“No,” she answered. “But it is all over Pinterest!” (I think that is her generation’s equivalent of “I read it in Rolling Stone, so it must be true!)

This afternoon I sat down to my computer and Googled “cooking fish in the dishwasher” and was amazed at the variety of references. Several were variations on the idea that people had been steaming or poaching fish (mostly salmon) in their dishwashers since the 1970s, but it was gaining in popularity. The directions seemed plausible, so I decided to give it a try.

I called Grant to tell him what I had in mind and make sure he had thawed the halibut. He sounded doubtful, but then my cooking has always been strange, so he agreed. Driving across town I called my sister in Ohio.

Our conversation went something like this:
(Melody) “What are you up to this afternoon?”
(Me) “I’m going over to Grant’s to steam halibut in his dishwasher.”
(Melody) “I didn’t understand what you said.”
(Me) “I’m going over to Grant’s to steam halibut in his dishwasher.”
(Melody) “You said something about the hell of it, but I didn’t understand the rest.”
(Me) “I’m going over to Grant’s to steam halibut in his dishwasher.”
(Melody) “I understand what you just said, but I don’t understand what you are doing!”

The more I explained, the more she laughed. She said she didn’t allow fish to be cooked in her house, because it smelled too awful. Then she accused me of plotting on purpose to smell up his house with a fishy dishwasher. That hadn’t even occurred to me…she is far more diabolical than I. (Although it did give me a small grin.)

So I got to Grant’s, seasoned the halibut with lemon juice and rosemary, and double wrapped it in aluminum foil. Then into the dishwasher it went, on the top rack.

The seasoned halibut is double-wrapped in aluminum foil and placed on the top rack of the dishwasher.

The seasoned halibut is double-wrapped in aluminum foil and placed on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Then I set the regular wash cycle (no soap, of course), with the heated drying cycle (to make sure and get things hot enough), and turned it on. While it was washing cooking, I prepared the rice pilaf and heated up the lima beans. That was a challenge in this bachelor kitchen…had to use the big skillet as a lid for the medium skilled, as his only lid is smaller than both. I also discovered that in the four years since we divided our kitchens he has lost all eight dinner forks, and only has salad and seafood forks to choose from.

At the end of the drying cycle, I unwrapped the fish and found that it was nicely done, but not nearly hot enough.

Done, but tepid, halibut.

Done, but tepid, halibut.

So I ended up finishing off the halibut in the microwave, just to make it piping hot. (Tepid fish is gross.) We garnished it with more lemon juice and some lovely tartar sauce, and dug in.

The end result was surprisingly delicious, even though all three components of the meal were nearly the same color (not my fault…he was the meal-planner).

Dinner is served...salad fork and all!

Dinner is served…salad fork and all!

I’m not sure if I would do this again, but it was a fun experiment. And yes, Grant’s apartment smelled a bit fishy when I was done, but no more than if he had heated up fish sticks in his oven.

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