Another episode of Chopped occurred at my house tonight. I worked late, two jobs actually, starving hungry by time I drove to my house. So there wasn’t much time for messing around in the kitchen when I got home after 8. I had defrosted a fillet of mahi mahi. I like its firm texture and meaty flavor. My other required “Chopped” ingredients were a zucchini which had been languishing in my fridge veggie bin for more than a few days, a just barely sprouting yellow potato, and some garlic chives growing lush in my herb garden. The second picture is of them blooming, best used before they bloom.
Ingredients (for one)
1 4-6 oz. mahi mahi fillet
¼-½ tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp sweet rice flour
1 tbsp olive oil (I prefer EVOL but use what you have)
1-2 tbsp chopped shallot (or onion)
½ cup zucchini cut in ¼ inch half rounds
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
½ small lemon; zest and juice
1-2 tbsp. snipped leaves of garlic chives
1-2 tsp butter
Place the mahi mahi fillet on a sheet of wax paper; sprinkle it with some Cajun seasoning; about ¼ tsp. Sprinkle with 1 tsp sweet rice flour, spread it around with your fingers. Flip it and do the same thing on the other side of the fillet.
Heat a small to medium Teflon frying pan and add the olive oil. Slide in the fillet. Cook for 5 minutes on med high heat. I used half a shallot, just cutting the peeled bulb into thin half rounds. As the fish cooks sprinkle the chopped shallots around the fillet and then the zucchini rounds. Stir them often. Keep them moving but not on top of the fish. Carefully turn the fillet after 5 minutes and cook 4-5 more minutes until it is firm and opaque. Do not let it burn or overcook. Poke the potato in two places and put in the microwave, cook until done. Let rest while you finish the fish. At the end of the second cooking place the fish on top of the zucchini and zest the lemon peel on top. I used a zester that makes long skinny strands but you can grate it if you don’t have a zester like mine. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the fish, add the thyme leaves. Then add 1-2 tbsp. dry white wine; I used some Italian Bollo pinot grigio I had left in the fridge. Sometimes I make do with the vermouth I keep in the fridge for cooking purposes. After the mixture cooks for 10-20 seconds add 2 tbsp water and stir up the zuke. Sprinkle the pan with the garlic chives; I just snip them with a scissors into the pan. If you don’t have garlic chives you can use regular chives. Put a tsp of butter in the pan and allow to melt before serving, Gently stir the veggie mixture to coat it with the melted butter. Taste the mix and add some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Place the fish on a plate, spoon the zuke and shallot mixture next to it; be sure to get all the pan juices. I put some of the veggie mixture on my baked potatoes which I had split and seasoned with salt/pepper and 1 tsp. fresh butter. Dive in to this healthy and GF meal. The fresh herbs and lemon juice add a lot of flavor and seasoning. You might add a side salad to round out the meal. It took me about 14 minutes to pull it together.
You can sub other herbs as long as they are fresh. Don’t use too much or you will overwhelm the delicate flavor of your fish. And yes, you can use any fish you like if you don’t have mahi mahi or dislike it for some reason. I have begun to love shallots as they have a delicate flavor that does not intrude or cover over the other ingredients but if you only have yellow onion that will work fine. Other veggies might work as well but I do suggest you try the recipe unchanged before you start mixing things up!
My camera is missing in action and my tablet camera seems out of order today. Phone not available either so no picture of this lovely meal. I will toss up some photos of the ingredients.
Of course you can make this for 2-4 people; just increase your ingredients accordingly. It is definitely going to be a go to recipe of mine for busy summer evenings particularly when the zucchini crop come in!