Fresh Mahi Mahi from Crooked Island, Bahamas

November 18, 2006

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If someone told you they were flying to the Bahamas on Friday to catch mahi mahi for Saturday’s dinner at 8, you’d be very impressed, David. As a matter of fact, you’d tell all your friends and whip yourself up into a foreplay frenzy. Even if you can’t afford the flight and the fishing trip you can lay low on Friday and pretend you took the trip. Spend the day doing some creative retouching with the photo above. Just replace his head with yours. You’ll look like a star next to the guy with the visor. You might have to spring for a tanning bed session to make it believable.

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Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Papaya Corn Salsa

Infuse the olive oil with fresh habaneros
4 scotch bonnet, red or chocolate habaneros seeded and minced
1/2 cup Greek olive oil
1 pinch of salt

You know the drill, don’t touch your genitals. My friend Mike says he wears surgical gloves while he’s mincing chiles. I think this is a good idea in case you get to touch your date’s genitals later in the evening. Personally, I like to mince them with one hand on the knife, the other hand behind my back. Store in the refrigerator for at least a week or over the winter.

Steam the Corn for Salsa
Make sure you grab a fresh Papaya before you leave the Bahamas. The sad specimens you find here in the city are only good for green papaya chutney.
1 cup fresh papaya, cut into small cubes
2 ears of corn steamed or boiled
1/2 red onion, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
Juice of one lime
1 Tbs olive oil (not the habanero infused)

Steam the corn for about 12 minutes or boil for about 8. Let it cool and slice it from the cob. Combine all ingredients gently and refrigerate for 30 mins. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving.

Sear the Mahi Mahi
Cut the filets into 3.5 in. squares or rectangles. Dust both sides with sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Heat 1 TBS of canola or sunflower oil in the pan until almost smoking. Place the top side of the filets in the oil and sear for 2.5 minutes until nicely browned. Turn the fish over and add 1/2 cup dark rum. Here’s where the flame errupts from the sides of the pan and you look like a superstar as you slide the pan back and forth over the fire. Make sure you turn head slightly to the side as you add the rum so you don’t singe your eyelashes. That’s not sexy.

Turn the flame down and poach the fish in the rum for about 3 minutes until the flesh is just opaque. You can test an extra piece of filet on the cutting board.

Mound the corn salsa on plate and top with 2 pieces of the filet. Drizzle the top of the fish with a few drops of the habanero infused olive oil. You may want to check the heat on that concoction first and use it sparingly.

Pair with a Rioja and tell fishing tales about how you eluded the bite of a 6 foot baracuda with 4 inch teeth. You’re a star, David.

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