Saturday, January 23, 2010

Zanzibar Mahi, An Adventure

Remember That Cookbook Thing? It was a couple of years ago, but some bloggers around these here 'nets got together and we reviewed an awesome cookbook called "Where Flavor was Born" by Andreas Viestad.* Well, I hadn't pulled it out in a while, and today I was in the mood for fish so I dug it out of a box and flipped through to see what wonders the people around the Indian Ocean can do with a fish fillet.

I had gone to the store for swordfish, but my choices were Mahi Mahi or Tilapia. Which is the same thing as having no choice, because The Professor hates Tilapia to the very marrow of his bones. Since this recipe is basically just some cooked fish with a delectible relish** on top, I figured Mahi would work. The original recipe called for Kingfish, so the author needs to be glad I even stayed with the correct protein at this point.

Hmm. I wonder how this sauce would be in a baked chicken recipe...

*Hey, I think I'm supposed to make sure you know that I was given this cookbook (back in 2008) by the publisher to review it. I finished my part of that deal almost 2 years ago, but the last thing I need is some anti-blogger fed blowing up my blog. So yeah. It was free. I kinda liked that part.

**I don't know what this substance actually was. I was expecting a sauce, but I must have cooked it down too much. Doesn't matter, it was awesomely awesome.

***Oh, also, the name of this in the cookbook is "Kingfish with Oranges, Cloves & Ginger", but that just gives too much away, and you wouldn't even need to read the recipe if I named it that. And the book names from where the recipe hails. Thus, Zanzibar Mahi.

  • 2 8oz Mahi fillets
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 1/2+ tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (I juiced the orange I zested, and it was perfect)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped very fine
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix together the ground ginger, ground cloves and half of the orange zest.

They really need to find a way to add scent to blog posts

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a small pot and saute onion until it has softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the orange juice, fresh ginger, whole clove, half of the brown sugar and the remaining zest. Bring to a boil, and boil until it has reduced to 1/3 of original liquid, about maybe 10 minutes. Remove the clove, reduce heat to low and let it simmer until the fish is ready.

It was almost sauce like when I started

Season the mahi with the salt, pepper and the remaining brown sugar.

Aside: how do you season something with brown sugar? It doesn't sprinkle lightly over the fish like salt or pepper. I tried to sprinkle it, got crumbs of sugar on it and then mashed it in.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet using medium high heat. Cook the fish until golden brown - about 5 minutes - and then flip and cook until it is done, about another 5 minutes.

When you flip the fish, turn the heat back up on the simmering sauce/relish/substance and return it to a boil. The author adds that if you like a thicker sauce, you can whisk in a half teaspoon of cornstarch and boil for 1 minute. If mine had gotten any thicker, it would have been an orange/onion cupcake, so I ignored the cornstarch. Another note says that you can add a Tbsp of butter to make it richer.

Here's the official Sauce/Relish/Substance

I served this with wilted spinach and Rice Pilau (recipe to come, I hope), then spooned the sauce/relish/substance over the top.

I loved everything about my plate. The Professor liked it fine, but finally decided the sauce/relish/substance was too "something" for him. I'm guessing the ginger was too concentrated for him, but I absolutely loved it.

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