Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mahi Mahi Braised with Green Mole

My favorite use of green mole is as a sauce for fish. I have some mahi mahi defrosted so I decided to braise it with a bit of the mole and serve with rice and green peas. I start some white basmati rice in my rice steamer and - to make it more flavorful - I add a few sprigs of cilantro and use chicken broth rather than plain water (1 cup basmati rice, 2 cups liquid and 3-5 sprigs of cilantro). Alternatively, you could chop the cilantro and stir it in after you cook the rice - this is a bit more work but would give you a "fresh" cilantro flavoring.

While that is cooking, I rinse my fish fillets, pat them dry and set aside. I also set up some frozen, organic peas in a pan of water that I will boil later. I wait until the rice is cooked to start both of the fish and peas because I don't want to overcook the fish. Fish is very delicate and cooks quickly; many times people who don't like fish have eaten either overcooked or not very fresh fish. When you buy fish it should smell fresh and only faintly like fish - if it smells strong or even overpowering then it is starting to turn bad and you shouldn't buy it.

My rice cooker turns itself off when the rice is cooked with a loud pop. It cooks that small amount of rice quickly (10 minutes) but this will be enough for dinner and a few lunches. I set the heat under my saucepan with frozen peas to high - I will turn them off as soon as they boil.

Under a large, skillet I add about two tablespoons of olive oil and a scant tablespoon of butter. I turn the burner on to medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, I add my mahi mahi fillets (I have about four-medium sized fillets no more than 1/2 an inch thick) and when a bit of white edging appears on each fillet, I turn them over. I then add about 1/3 of a cup of green mole to the pan and cover. I cook this for no more than 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your fillets. (I don't mind my fish even a bit underdone so in this case I turned the heat off after about two minutes and left it on the burner covered while I set up plates for dinner.)

With the mole already made, the rest of the meal takes no more than 20 minutes. It does payoff to make some items ahead of time and freeze them in batches that are easy to take out and use to enhance small meals. This recipe serves two for dinner and leaves leftovers for two lunches over even another meal if you don't like reheating a fish lunch at work.

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