Kodiak Style Bacon Wrapped Halibut Cheeks

by Dave Roman of Valdez, 2007 Reader's Recipe Contest Finalist

Serves 4

8 large halibut cheeks, thawed, rinsed, drained and patted dry
4 pieces bacon (1/2 piece for each cheek)
8 oz medium cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (or cheese of your choice)
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz creamy Italian dressing
8 oz Italian-style bread crumbs
Garlic powder and coarse ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook bacon until tender, but not crisp. Set on paper towels to drain, retain bacon drippings. Rub each halibut cheek with melted butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and fresh ground pepper. Ladle a teaspoon of bacon drippings on each cheek. Ladle a tablespoon of Italian dressing over each cheek. Cover each cheek with a slice of cheese. Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs over each cheek to cover. Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each cheek. Place on sprayed rack in a shallow pan. Bake until cheeks are cooked and bread crumbs are golden brown for about 20 minutes.