This was the very first meal that MM made for me when we first started dating. Since then, we have made it together a couple of times but we never seem to have all the right ingredients… substituting the blood orange for naval or cara cara, or using ahi tuna instead of Mahi-mahi. But this week I was able to secure all the proper ingredients and we made ourselves our favorite summer fish dish (the temp in San Francisco this week has been in the mid-seventies… that’s as close to summer as we’ll get).
- 2 Mahi-mahi fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 TB olive oil
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 blood oranges
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced
- 1 avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup of quinoa, cook as directed (optional)
I purchased frozen Mahi-mahi from the fish counter at my local gourmet grocer. I left it in the fridge for two days to defrost. If you go this route, make sure to cook the fish within two days of putting it in the fridge or it will go bad. If you can find fresh Mahi-mahi, more power to you! Use a filet knife to skin the fish, sliding your knife between the fish meat and the skin, skin side down. You might find this video helpful. Marinate the fish in about 1 TB of lime juice and garlic for about 10-15 minutes before cooking. You don’t want to marinate it too long, or the lime juice will start to “cook” the fish (like when you make ceviche).
Meanwhile, peel your blood oranges and slice between each segement, then chop into thirds or bite size pieces. Put the oranges into a medium size bowl and add the diced red onion and jalapeno. Toss with the remainder of your lime juice and set aside for flavors to blend.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium flame. Salt and pepper the fillets, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. The fish should be mostly cooked, and slightly pink in the middle. Meanwhile, chop the avocado and stir it into the salsa. Serve the fish and salsa over a bed of quinoa (I like tri-color or plain) to soak up the juices from the salsa.
If you can’t find Mahi-mahi, then ahi tuna or even Chilean sea bass work great with this meal. I’ve also used cara cara oranges in the past, but the blood oranges are really the spot on so make the effort to look for them. If you don’t like spice, you can eliminate the jalapeno, but I advise you to keep it in there because it provides a nice kick.
This dish goes great with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or a stainless steel barrel or neutral French oak Chardonnay. Neutral French oak is when winemakers use French oak barrels that have already been used for a couple of years. The strong oak flavors dissipate a little and are softened, creating a brighter wine. A great example of a neutral French oak Chardonnay is JAQK Cellars “Her Majesty” Chardonnay, and this is the wine that I chose to pair with our delicious meal last night. The fresh citrus and spice flavors in the salsa were a perfect match to the tropical fruit flavors in the slightly acidic Chardonnay.