Every once in awhile, a recipe comes along that is generated because of necessity more than anything. In this case, the necessity was that I had read about how poorly tilapia is farm-raised, and the dirty conditions it is raised in. After seeing that the tilapia that I am buying at Sprouts is “A product of Honduras”, I decided to ditch that recipe.
Luckily, this Sprouts is SO awesome, that they had a different option already available. They have wild-caught mahi mahi there, which is also a white fish like tilapia is. I went online to look for some recipes, and this one really jumped out at me. It is referred to as a “citrus mahi mahi” recipe, that I have had to adjust over time, heh heh.
I start off by taking a couple pounds of mahi mahi filets(skin removed, my local sprouts will do this for me) and sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides. Then, the base recipe calls for me to dredge the fish in some flour. This is totally optional, for those people that are gluten free. What the flour does is allow you more leeway in cooking the fish. The flour provides a layers of protection for the fish, meaning that if you cook it without the flour, you need to be more careful with your temperature. Luckily I am a professional, so this isn’t a problem for me, grin.
I cook the fish over a medium heat, usually for 3 minutes per side. I then set the cooked fish aside, and work on building the sauce. The sauce calls for 3 sliced garlic cloves, 1 pint of grape tomatoes cut in half, the juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup of orange juice and one bunch of minced parsley. I then allow the tomatoes to completely break down over the heat, until a nice sauce is created in the pan.
The first couple that I made this for didn’t want the extra sugar from the orange juice, so I replaced it with another squeezed lemon…and it worked out great!. The acidity of the lemons combined with the fattiness of the mahi mahi makes for a GREAT bite, and an excellent balance. I grew up not really enjoying fish, but with this twist, I am enjoying it more all the time.
Next comes the Brussels sprouts. I didn’t eat Brussels sprouts at ALL, until the summer of 14. My cousin Alyson got married up in my hometown of Baker, in eastern Montana. I wasn’t driving yet, so I took the Greyhound up to Gillette, WY, where my aunt Cindy lives. She is only a couple of hours drive away from Baker, so this worked out well. While I stayed overnight there on the way to and from the wedding, she offered to make dinner on one of the evenings. We had some steak and potatoes…and she offered to grill some Brussels sprouts. I was extremely hesitant at first, but after some cajoling, she assured me they would be good…and boy was she right! She tossed them in Old Bay seasoning, salt and olive oil, and grilled them.
When I got back to Denver, I was inspired to make this recipe my own. My first thought was, “You know what, I’m a chef, I can do better than just Old Bay seasoning!” I looked at what is in Old Bay, and with that as my base, I started to build my spice blend. A couple of the spices in Old Bay that caught my eye were the cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. I looove ground ginger, can’t get enough cinnamon, and have enjoyed allspice every time I tried it so these were all definitely going in. Also, I can’t ever find a reason NOT to use garlic powder, so I put some of that in the blend too. Finally, I finished it off with some paprika to round it out with some salt and pepper. I had my spice blend…and now I LOVE making Brussels sprouts. 🙂
The best way to describe it, is that the spices don’t overwhelm the natural “green” flavor of the sprouts, it actually enhances it, while cutting the bitterness. The only spice anybody has been able to pick out is the cinnamon, probably because it’s the most recognizable flavor. I know I don’t get enough greens in my diet, so this is a fantastic way to remedy that problem. Below you will find the recipe as it stands now, enjoy! 🙂
Citrus Mahi Mahi with tomatoes and spice roasted brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers
Salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce pieces skinless mahi mahi fillet
- Season mahi mahi with S+P on both sides
- Heat 1 T of olive oil in a pan to medium-high heat. Cook the mahi mahi until opaque, 3-5 minutes per side. Set aside
- Slice up 3 cloves of garlic and heat 1 T of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-45 seconds
- Add the tomatoes, orange juice, parsley, capers, S+P and simmer until tomatoes begin to break down, 4-5 minutes
- Serve sauce with fish and brussel sprouts
Spice Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1.5-2 lbs Brussel Sprouts
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cut the root off the brussel sprouts and cut in half. Wash thoroughly
- Put the washed brussel sprouts in a bowl and add the olive oil and all of the spices plus the S+P to taste
- Toss VERY well to incorporate the spices and oil. Then put into a shallow baking dish and back at 350F for 20 minutes for regular sized brussel sprouts and 18 minutes for baby sprouts
- Serve with sweet and sour tilapia and the starch of your choice.