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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Broiled Mahi Mahi on Red Pepper Sauce with Mint-Almond Pesto, side of Mint-Honey-Soy Shrimp

It was over 100 degrees today, so I was craving something cool. Mint sounded cool. No meat, maybe fish or chicken? Hmm...decisions. So I opted for fish. Probably because I wanted to stay indoors, and the idea of broiling fish sounded appealing.

But what to do with the mint? I've been craving a pesto for a while, but was also craving some North African flavors. I needed red peppers in there somewhere. Ah ha! A red pepper sauce, and something like Chermoula on the fish. But not real Chermoula, the idea of it, because I wanted something that crossed between Chermoula and pesto. Something with mint, but no cheese. Something with almonds too.

Right, got it.

Broiled Mahi Mahi:

I wanted a basic salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil, season. Let the sauce and pesto do the talking and use the fish as a palette. So, season it up and let it sit for about 10 minutes on the counter or 30 minutes in the fridge. Heat up your broiler, and broil on a wire rack for 4-5 minutes, then flip and broil another 4-5 minutes.

The fish was cooked, but I wanted a bit more blackening on it, so I busted out the torch. 30 seconds of flame and it was good to go.

Red Pepper Sauce:

You need a good 30 minutes to make this sauce, so I'd start it way before you even pop the fish in the broiler.

You need a jar of roasted red peppers, drained. Puree in a processor and set aside. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of white wine and 1 large, minced shallot, to a boil, then reduce heat for 5 minutes. Add red pepper mixture and simmer for 10 minutes on lowest setting. Use an immersion blender and blend. Add salt and pepper, and continue simmering.

You'll notice when you blend a vegetable or fruit, like tomato, red peppers, etc., once you use the sauce, the solids will release liquid onto the plate (see picture for liquid escaping the solids in the sauce). The flavor was great, but I think I'd do one of two things next time - either strain the mixture, discard the solids, then using only the liquid, finish with butter, or keep everything, but thicken with a roux. A sauce like I made is only good for about 15 second before it starts to release liquid and destroys your plating. Salt and pepper to taste before plating.

Mint-Almond Pesto:

I grow fresh mint in my backyard. It's like a weed, and right now I have a ton of it. I grabbed about 1 smashed handful of it, shoved it into a processor, along with about 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 3 pressed garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice from 1 lime, and salt and pepper. Process that into a chunky paste. The garlic gives it a wonderful bite!

Mint-Honey-Soy Shrimp:
Mix 1-2 Tbs honey with 2-3 Tbs soy sauce and about 1 Tbs chopped mint. Add salt and pepper. Mix well into shrimp and let them marinate at least 20 minutes. Before cooking, drain them well. Heat a small amount of oil and pan fry the shrimp for 2-3 minutes. Top with a small amount of fresh mint.


~ Brock

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