Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cilantro Lime Mahi Mahi with Papaya Salsa

     Tropical Floribbean Cuisine!
     Florida - Caribbean style cooking is known as Floribbean Cuisine.  Usually the accent is placed upon seafood.  Nearly any kind of fruit or vegetable that grows in Florida or the Caribbean Islands is used in Floribbean Cuisine.  This means that there is a wide variety of tropical items to choose from.
     There are many Caribbean cultural cuisines that contribute to Floribbean Cuisine.  Island and coastal resorts often feature Caribbean or Floribbean seafood items on the menu, because this style of food is well suited for hot, humid tropical weather.  I worked with several Caribbean chefs early in my career while in Florida and each of them had their own cooking style.  One thing that these chefs had in common was a preference for serving exotic fruit salsas with fish.  A good fruit salsa tastes nice with tropical fish and the overall effect of this combination is quite refreshing on a balmy hot tropical evening!
     Papaya Salsa:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups.  (2 generous portions)
     Step 1:  Place 2 tablespoons each of these diced vegetables in a mixing bowl:
     - Green bell pepper
     - Red bell pepper
     - Onion
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped green onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced seeded green serrano pepper.
     Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped ripe papaya.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced cilantro.
     Step 3:  Add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Chill the salsa in a refrigerator for 20 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Cilantro Lime Mahi Mahi: 
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Select a thick Mahi Mahi filet that weighs 6 to 8 ounces.
     Butterfly cut the filet, so it is an even thickness that will cook quickly.
     Lightly season the fish with sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of blended olive oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the seasoned mahi mahi filet.
     Sauté the fish on both sides, till it is almost fully cooked and a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Drain off the excess oil and butter.
     Step 4:  Return the pan to medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.
     Add 1/3 cup of dry white wine.
     Add 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves.
     Step 5:  Simmer till the sauce reduces to a thin glaze consistency and the cilantro can cling to the fish.
     Remove the pan from the heat and keep it warm on a stove top.
     Cilantro Lime Mahi Mahi with Papaya Salsa:
     Place the cilantro lime mahi mahi filet on a plate.
     Spoon any of the remaining cilantro lime and white wine reduction over the fish.
     Mound a generous portion of the Papaya Salsa on top of the fish.  (About 3/4 cup)
     Garnish the plate with a cilantro sprig and a lime slice.
     Serve with a vegetable of your choice.
     The vegetable in the pictures are blanched carrot strips and green beans sautéed in butter with toasted pepitas.  (Pepitas are toasted calabaza seeds.)
     Papaya Salsa has such a soothing flavor.  The combination of the Cilantro Lime Mahi Mahi and Papaya Salsa is pure tropical paradise!

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