Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rosie Makes Fried Mahi. As Fresh As It Gets.

Isn't that a beautiful fish?
Photo and fish courtesy of Youngest Hawthorne.

This is a dolphin fish,
AKA mahimahi, its Pacific name,
which means "very strong" in Hawaiian.

FYI, this fish was caught about 30 miles off shore.

Here's what we're making today.
Beer-batter fried mahi bites.  (Actually, they're about two-biters.)
The batter is light and crisp and perfectly complements the tender sweet meat of fish.
I'm serving it with cole slaw and two dipping sauces - a cocktail sauce and a remoulade.

Here's how to:
The mahi was filleted and cut into small uniform chunks.  About 1 1/2 inch cubes.  They're bigger than "bites."  They're maybe "two-biters."

Here's my batter:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
pinch or two of kosher salt
1 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne
about a cup of beer
Whisk all dry ingredients together, then slowly stir in beer.  About a cup.  You know - until it "looks right."   Kinda like pancake batter.

Drop in the chunks of mahi.
When adding to the hot oil, pick up each piece of fish individually and let the excess batter drain off before gently easing into the oil.  One at a time.

It's important to have the oil at the proper temperature.
This is peanut oil heated to 375°.
My fry pot is a heavy pot, 8-inch diameter, 4 inches deep, with at least 2 inches of oil in it.
Peanut oil is always my oil of choice.  It's a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point.

Fry in small batches about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes.
Drain on a rack.
Fried perfection!

For my cole slaw, I shred about two cups worth of cabbage, julienne a carrot, finely mince a little bit of celery (about a tablespoon), and finely chop about half a red pepper.  I like the red for the color and flavor.  For the dressing, I don't really measure, but here's what I think would be the amounts of the ingredients:  1/3 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's), about 2 tsp cider vinegar, about 2 tsp sugar, pinch kosher salt, good grind of pepper, and my "secret" ingredient which really isn't a secret - a splash of buttermilk for tang.  Mix everything well, pour over slaw ingredients and toss to coat evenly.  If you like, give it a sprinkling of celery seed for good measure.  Then, I let it sit in the fridge about 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.

 For the cocktail sauce, again, I don't measure.  I taste.
Pour some ketchup (1/2 cup?) into a small bowl and add a plop of horseradish (1 TB or more).  Pour in a little Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce (about 2 tsp) and squirt in some lemon juice (about 2 tsps).  Swirl it together but don't combine it totally.  I like "pockets of flavor."  Taste test!

 For the remoulade sauce, start with about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.  Add in about a tablespoon of coarse grained mustard (Inglehoffer stone ground is my current favorite.) and about a tablespoon of sweet relish. Taste test!
 If you want some minced garlic, some sliced scallions, some chopped capers, a squirt of lemon juice, a few drops of Lea & Perrins, a sprinkling of cayenne, or a splash of hot sauce, I certainly wouldn't stop you.

Beautiful meat!
Lemon juice is a must for me.

Perfectly crisp batter.


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