weeknight gourmet

A Must Make Dish…Mahi-Mahi in Tomato Olive Sauce

Taste: ****
Difficulty: Easy
Cleanup: Quick

I made this mahi-mahi dish last night and I just loved it!  I like almost everything I cook but I really LOVED this dish.

As I have said before, I am a tomato junkie so the sauce was totally up my alley.  The sauce had a wonderful Mediterranean flavor — inspired by Sicily.  You’ll notice that anchovy paste is called for.  I am not an anchovy fan — but do not leave this ingredient out.  It lends a great flavor to the sauce and you only use a very small amount.  The orange zest you add to the sauce after the fish has cooked also adds a wonderful brightness to the dish.  The recipe calls for toasted bread – don’t skip this.  The sauce is great for dipping!

We’re lucky enough to live near The Lobster Place, the most amazing seafood shop I have ever been to (Pike Place Market in Seattle gives The Lobster Place a run for its money but The Lobster Place is a single purveyor so not sure if you can really compare).  The Lobster Place does a significant wholesale business so everything is very fresh and relatively well priced, plus the variety of seafood they sell is just staggering!  They had beautiful mahi-mahi that I had cut into 3 fillets.

I was curious what fish could serve as a good substitute for mahi-mahi since mahi-mahi isn’t always easy to find.  In addition to learning that bluefish, mackerel, mako shark, pompano, striped bass, and tuna would be a good choice if mahi-mahi wasn’t available, I also learned a bit more about this fish I love.  Coastal Living Magazine published article entitled “Debunking Mahi Mahi Myths”.   Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly interesting:

“The name, from Hawaiian origins, means “strong strong”―perhaps referring to the species’ agility in tropical and subtropical waters. This fish also appears on menus as dorado or dolphinfish, but mahi mahi isn’t at all similar to dolphin, a mammal. Some people consider mahi mahi one of the world’s most beautiful fish because of the spectrum of yellows, blues, and greens that glistens along its body. When cooked correctly, it tastes as good as it looks.”

Overall, I think this is a dish that would wow dinner guests and I will certainly be making again!

mahi mahi

Mahi-Mahi in Tomato Olive Sauce
Bon Appetit, May 2009

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano in juice
  • 4 6-ounce mahi-mahi fillets
  • 1/2 cup large green olives, quartered, pitted
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated orange peel
  • Country-style white bread cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, toasted

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add wine and anchovy paste. Boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.

Add fish to skillet atop tomato mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until fish is cooked through, about 9 minutes.

Using slotted metal spatula, transfer fish to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Mix olives, 2 teaspoons oregano, and orange peel into sauce in skillet. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 fish fillet on each of 4 plates. Pour sauce over and around fish, sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, and serve with warm toasted bread.

 

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