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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Seared Mahi Mahi with Beurre Blanc, garlic "chips" and spring peas with Champagne Vinaigrette

I love sauces. I also love fish. And yes, I love Mahi Mahi. I've caught it, I've had it many, many different ways, and it never really gets old. Sure, I like variety, but this is sort of a staple for me. In the seafood arena, salmon, mahi mahi, shrimp and scallops are usually in my fridge and/or freezer.

You may or may not know, but in Southern California, when we go deep sea fishing, we go for Dorado...that's the same thing as Mahi Mahi...also known as dolphin. It's a beautiful fish with intense colors that change when they come out of the water.

Back to the menu...

So I've had a need to expand my repertoire of sauces. Actually, I have a need to expand all my recipes. It's not that I'm bored or anything. It's more that I want to always push myself. I want to know 15 ways to cook anything and everything. I want to walk into someone's house, open their fridge, and come up with a menu of amazing dishes.

But still I digress...

Seared Mahi Mahi

This is straight forward. Thaw the fish, pat it dry, give it ample salt and pepper, then pan fry it in a lightly oiled pan for 3-4 minutes per side (depends on thickness). For the piece you see in this picture, I did about 4 minutes on side one and 3 on side 2...that left it good for me, maybe undercooked for you.

**Chef's Note: Many people add dried garlic (garlic powder) on everything they cook. Not that I'm opposed to the practice, but keep in mind that the garlic powder in a high heat situation like this is likely to burn or at least give an off taste from being burned. You can always add garlic powder after you cook (although you may see granules, which is very unattractive on the dish). Alternatively, you can season the fish with garlic powder while it's resting before cooking, and before you put it in, wipe it with a paper towel or rinse it off.

Beurre Blanc

2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons vinegar

Put all the foregoing into a small saucepan and boil for about 5-7 minutes, until only a few tablespoons remain. Lower heat, and add tablespoons of butter, one after the other, letting each one come close to melting entirely before adding the next. Maybe add 5 of these? Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain and use.

Garlic "Chips"

This one was purely experimental (not that everything else isn't, but you know the deal). Slice 1 potato about 1/4" thick slices. Meanwhile, mince or crush 5 cloves of garlic. Rub that into the potatoes and let sit at least 15 minutes. Wipe or shake off garlic. Heat small amount of olive oil in pan and lay out the potato slices in single layer. Shake ample salt and pepper over the potatoes and fry until starting to turn golden on first side. Flip and salt and pepper the other side. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then lower heat to low, sprinkle 1 tablespoon dried garlic all over, add 2 tablespoons water, and put a lid on it for maybe 5-8 minutes. Remove lid, pour off liquid or increase heat to evaporate liquid, being careful not to break up chips. Lower heat again and toss in small pieces of butter (pea size) and let melt and flavor. Serve.

Spring Peas with Champagne Vinaigrette

You can use frozen (thawed) or canned peas (drained) for this. You need about 1 cup of peas. Finely chop about 2 tablespoons of red onion. Add and stir. Mince 2 cloves garlic, mix in. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon, mix in. Mince 1 teaspoon Serrano chili, mix in. Make your vinaigrette- 2 teaspoons minced shallots, 2 Tablespoons champagne vinaigrette, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Stir and let sit 10 minutes, then add into pea mixture and stir, let sit another 10 minutes. Serve.

This isn't unhealthy (other than the butter), it doesn't feel heavy, and it's great with a variety of wines. I had a Pillar Box red and it went extremely well.


~ Brock

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