Monday, June 28, 2010

Tequila-fied Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Cilantro Rice Pilaf

I love me some fish! Many of my favorite summertime meals involve fish with some sort of cilantro-infused salsa. I'll admit that I served this dish with some jarred store-brand mango-lime salsa simply because I had a craving. It wasn't necessary though, because the sauce for this fish is mighty flavorful.

I'll also admit that we had a bit of a mis-hap with the grill. (I say "we" because Jay was my Grill Master for this dish.) When grilling fish it's recommended that one oils the grates (you can do so by carefully using a towel drenched in oil gripped with some tongs--I researched it hard-core), but because our grill is technically not ours we chose to place the fish on an oiled tray that we shaped out of a large piece of aluminum foil. Despite our efforts, the grill never got hot enough. After 12 minutes, the fillets still did not appear done. Not to be left with an un-crispified fish, I pan seared the fillets in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side. The result? Well the pictures tell the story.

And as far as the flavor goes? You won't be disappointed. We weren't.
The Stuff:
  • non-reactive bowl or bag for marinading
  • grill (or apparently this can be done on a stove top with a skillet--who knew?!)
  • small sauce pan (for the sauce)
The Edibles:
  • 4 skinless mahi-mahi fillets, approximately 2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion (I used onion powder because we are presently onionless)
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice of a fresh lime and supplemented with about 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 T. minced jalapeno
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c. tequila
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro leaves
The Making:
  1. Rub the fillets with kosher salt and set aside.
  2. In a non-reactive bowl or plastic bag for marinating, combine the onion, lime juice, orange juice, jalapeno, sugar and tequila. Mix to dissolve the sugar, and add the fillets to the bowl or bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning the fillets once after 1 hour.
  3. Remove the fillets from the marinade and set it aside. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and lightly coat with olive oil cooking spray.
  4. Heat a grill to high and place the fillets over direct heat until they are just cooked through - opaque at the center but still moist, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. While the fish is grilling, transfer the reserved marinade to a saucepan and heat until it is reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  6. Using tongs, remove the fillets to serving plates and divide sauce equally among them. Top with the cilantro.
Rice Pilaf

The Stuff:
  • medium sauce pan
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or the equivalent in jarred or powdered)
  • a shake of onion powder
  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. frozen spinach
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
The Making:
  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add butter, olive oil, and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring to encourage the ingredients to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add rice; stir to ensure it is covered by butter and oil mixture. Cook over the heat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the rice to toast a bit.
  3. Add lemon juice, onion powder, and water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for the amount of time recommended in the instructions accompanying your rice. (Our was "10 Minute" rice, but some types require 20 to 30 minutes, so proceed as instructed.)
  4. Once the rice has absorbed all of the water, allow it to stand 2 minutes. Add frozen spinach, and stir. I will often times add the spinach, recover the rice and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, after which it will have defrosted and make for easier encorporation in the pilaf.
  5. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

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