Sunday, July 8, 2018

Rosie Makes Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos. With Coleslaw. And Rice. And Pineapple.

 Care to guess what this is?
Besides a mouthful of delicioso?

Here's a hint:

Step back and take in the whole picture.

That would be a seasoned tortilla, somewhere between crisp and semi-flexible.
Some confetti jasmine rice -  chopped red peppers and minced green jalapeños and lime zest.
My special coleslaw - with buttermilk dressing.
Blackened fresh pineapple spears.
And seasoned and blackened mahi mahi chunks.

Now for the story that goes along with the meal:
I have three Hawthornelets.  One's a vegan.  Another's a vegan wannabe, but still a vegetarian.  (I know!  I know!  You're thinking, "Where did Rosie go wrong?!!?"  Believe me, I've asked myself the same question.)  And the third has vegan/vegetarian leanings, but at least will eat fish.  So a pescatarian.  There's still hope for that one.  He will eat eggs, but doesn't want dairy products, though I will throw in butter in his grits, and he will eat pizzas with cheese, although he complains about that, and the fridge has several cartons of almond "milk," which I substitute for the real thing in lots of recipes lots of times with no ill effects.

So back to my pescatarian.  He came home the other day with a restaurant takeout - a blackened fish taco.  Mahi mahi.  He wanted me to try it.   And could I reproduce it for him?   Answer:  Yes,  I could...  But, NO, I won't.  However, I will make something much better.

No.  I'm not announcing the name of the restaurant.  Not really fair for me to do that.  I only had a bite of one thing that they make and I'm not judging anybody on that.  I just know I can do better.
It didn't help that the one chunk of mahi mahi I picked apparently had the bloodline running through it.  I immediately spit it out and couldn't eat anymore.  Didn't want to eat anymore.  It's like getting a bad oyster.  You won't want oysters for a while.  Trust me on that and hope it never happens to you.

Sooooo....  I bemoaned the fact that $12-$13 was shelled out for something I couldn't even eat, then I moved on.  I moved on to Billy's Seafood and bought mahi mahi for $13.95/pound and came home and made my own blackened fish tacos.  Except it was more of a seasoned, molded tortilla, than a taco.

Follow along with Rosie for a delicious meal.
One step at a time.

 First, I made the coleslaw.
Because all the flavors need to have time to get to know everybody.  It's a meet and greet.

I'm just making enough for 2-3 servings.  Don't want any leftovers.

Rosie's Coleslaw
1 cup chopped/shredded green cabbage
1 TB shredded carrot
1 TB chopped red pepper
1 tsp minced jalapeño
1 TB chopped red onion
1/2 tsp lime zest
Mix all ingredients.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp buttermilk
pinch kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper
Whisk all together.
Pour over coleslaw ingredients and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour for all the flavors to get happy.

And we have coleslaw.

I also made some Confetti Rice to go along with my dish. No pics though.
Simply cook jasmine rice according to package directions.
At the end, drop in some chopped red pepper, some minced jalapeño, and lime zest.  All to taste.
Make it pretty!

Now, for the "tacos."

For the tacos, I had flour tortillas.
I brushed the tortillas with melted butter and lightly sprinkled some togarashi seasoning over them along with some cumin.  Togarashi is a Japanese condiment comprised of a spicy powdered assortment of chili peppers, black and white sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), and orange and lemon zest.  Lacking togarashi, you could simply use a sprinkling of cumin, cayenne, and freshly ground pepper.  Next, I folded the tortillas into taco shapes, propping them up and separating them with Reynold's wrap.  Bake in a slow (300°) oven until they can hold their own shape (20-30 minutes), but not so long that they get so crisp that they crumble when you bite them.  (Youngest Hawthorne was very specific about this.  He likes a soft tortilla, not a crumbly taco that disintegrates when you bite into it.  You can see that Rosie walks a tightrope with that one.)

   I had a lovely fresh pineapple, which I cut into spears.

I sprinkled a bit of sugar all over the spears, heated my iron skillet (high heat) with a sheen of peanut oil to about 400°, threw in a pat of unsalted butter, and placed the spears in the hot oil.  Brown on all sides.  Just takes a minute or two. The sugar helps to caramelize. 

Pineapple spears ready.

Next, the blackening seasoning.

Rosie's Blackening Seasoning for Mahi Mahi
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Mix all ingredients until well combined.

I cut the mahi mahi fillet into approximately 1-inch cubes.
Toss the cubes in the seasoning, coating evenly.

In an iron skillet, heat a film of peanut oil to 425°-450° over high heat.
Working in batches, place a few mahi mahi cubes in at a time, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil.  Sear/blacken for about 2 minutes, turning cubes to get all sides.
Drain on paper towels.

And plate!
Tuck some confetti rice inside the tacos.  Place some blackened mahi mahi in there.  Add some coleslaw to brighten it all up.  Throw in a pineapple spear and squeeze on a wedge of lime.

Now, THAT's a fish taco!

Gotta give it some lime lovin'!

Those fish bites were perfect - blackened and spicy on the outside, sweet and succulent and flaky on the inside.


No comments: