Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mahi Mahi with Citrus Avocado Salsa and Coconut Curry Quinoa

The Great Second Birthday TuTu Festival Extravaganza and Fourth of July Fireworkbration of 2013 has officially passed. Since Lilly's birthday is just a few days before Independence Day, it ends up being about two weeks of non-stop, off-schedule crazy fun at our house. Its wonderful but kind of strange when non-stop-awesome starts to become the norm. 

Lilly has had a blast but with a whacked out nap schedule and late post-fireworks bedtimes, she's had a few night terrors, started sleeping in (um, WHUT? who is this kid? NotAComplaint!!) and has been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.  Totally our fault (and also totally worth it for all the fun we've been having), but this week its been nice to return to some semblance of normal. 

Step One in Operation Normal: Making healthy, weeknight meals, served at our regular dinner hour. Something easy and healthy and maybe even give the grill a few days off. Last night's choice was inspired by a sale on Mahi Mahi at Whole Foods ($8.99 a pound Mahi Mahi? Yes please). Mahi Mahi is such an easy fish to prepare. It has a mild flavor not unlike cod but a meatier texture that can be more satisfying for hearty eaters. Seasoned simply with salt and pepper and sauteed in a cast iron skillet, Mahi Mahi is a blank canvas.

For this meal, we took things in a tropical direction with the simple avocado and citrus salsa. Then, scratching my head for a side, I simmered some quinoa with light coconut milk and added frozen shelled edamame and a hint of yellow curry. Healthy, easy, summery perfection in less than 30 minutes.  

Paired with an icy glass of white wine, this is a routine I'm happy to get back into. 

Mahi Mahi with Citrus Avocado Salsa & Coconut Quinoa
Serves 4


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/3 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen)
1/4 teaspoon yellow curry (preferably "Jamaican style") or more to taste

1/2 a red onion, finely diced
1 large orange, peeled, segmented and diced
1 large avocado, pit removed and flesh diced
1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt to taste

1 pound of Mahi Mahi filets (3 or 4 filets)
salt & pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine quinoa and coconut milk in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, combine onion, orange, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Gently toss until evenly mixed. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

Pat mahi mahi filets with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Sprinkle lightly on all sides with salt and pepper. Place vegetable oil in a large (preferably cast iron) skillet over medium high heat and heat until almost smoking. Add fish and sauté without moving filets for 5 minutes. Once bottom side of fish filets are golden, carefully flip and continue to saute for another 5 minutes until second side is golden brown and fish is cooked through.

Remove fish to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any residual oil. Meanwhile add edamame and curry to quinoa. Taste and add salt (and more curry if desired) to taste.

To serve, spoon a portion of quinoa onto each plate, top with a fish filet and a generous portion of avocado salsa.

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