Grilled Mahi Mahi with Rice Pilaf and Summer Greens

Other than salmon, Mahi Mahi is my favorite fish to cook with.  It is firm, but not too firm, flaky, but not too flaky.  Meaty like swordfish but tender like cod.  Really, it’s the perfect fish.  Perhaps most important, it is currently not over-fished and is therefore a sustainable option.  It works well pan fried, crusted – however you want it; it work’s so well it really deserves a blog post all of its own.  But this post is on grilling – in and out in 30 minutes or less, the perfect dinner for a summer evening.  The main point of this post?  This is a hard one to screw up, so exercise those creative genes and do what makes you happy.

Ingredients

For the Pilaf

  1. 2 cups white rice
  2. 1/2 cup orzo (it’s pasta, technically, but it looks like rice – you’ll find it with pasta in the grocery store)
  3. 1-2 tablespoons butter or oil
  4. 1 small shallot, minced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 tsp turmeric (or whatever other combination of herbs and spices make you happy).
  7. 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  8. 5 cups liquid (water, chicken stock, whatever)

For the Summer Greens

I like a mixture of whatever mixed greens look good at the store – baby spinach, arugala, kale… whatever works.  To these I would add something on the order of 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, perhaps some sliced oranges and this chili-lime and mango dressing – whatever makes you happy.

For the Mahi Mahi

  1. Mahi Mahi steaks (figure on 1-2 per person, depending on their appetites)
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. You favorite fish seasoning (the poultry rub found in this post works surprisingly well on a lot of things, including fish.  Or you could use your favorite cajun seasoning for a blackened version.  Point is – do whatever makes you happy.  You’re getting this gist of this post now =D).

Method

For the Pilaf

  1. Heat oil and butter in whatever saucepan you’re going to use to make the rice.  Once butter is melted but still foamy, add shallots.
  2. Add garlic and sauté, 30 seconds
  3. Add orzo and, stirring constantly, toast until aroma is lightly nutty, 30 seconds to 1 minute
  4. Add liquid
  5. Add salt
  6. Add Turmeric, or whatever other herbs you’re using
  7. Add rice, cover and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce to a simmer and simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 25 minutes

For the Summer Greens

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Dress salad right before serving.

For the Mahi Mahi

  1. Preheat grill to high heat.  Make sure the grill grates are clean.  Fish is notorious for sticking to the grill.
  2. Lightly brush mahi mahi steaks on both sides with olive oil
  3. Season steaks with seasoning of choice on both sides
  4. Lay steaks on hot grill, presentation side down, and grill for 3-5 minutes.  Using a metal spatula (use a fish spatula if you have one), turn the steaks over and grill for another 2-3 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 140°F.  Do not overcook.
  5. Remove from grill and place on platter; tent loosely with foil and allow to rest, not more than 5 minutes.

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