Nothing welcomes fall like a nice white fish
With us being in mid-October, the wild-salmon season, for all intents and purposes, has come to an end. You may find a dribble of wild salmon here and there for the next month or so, but it will be very sketchy.
This recipe is a great alternative for the transition from our light summer dishes to a more comfy fall and winter dish. I particularly like using citrus with seafood because the acids in the fruit bring out the brightness of a piece of fresh fish such as cod or mahi mahi.
We will also use yogurt in this recipe, which gives a nice balance between the acid and the fat that the yogurt brings to the table. I think it is important in this recipe that you use Mediterranean-style yogurt, which can be found at Trader Joe’s under the label of Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Cheese-Style Yogurt.
It is a richer, drier version than you are used to. It is similar to what I grew up eating and using in a lot of Arabic dishes our family prepared. In fact, Trader Joe’s is a good place to find all of the products used in this recipe.
This dish is accompanied by a bowl of steamed Oriental rice is wonderful.
My wine recommendation is a nice fat California-style chardonnay such as the Ferrari Carrano, Alexander Valley, chardonnay. Another wonderful wine is a new release Ð Hop Kiln, Russian River, chardonnay. I’m sure you will enjoy this dish with these great wines.
However, don’t forget to visit Ben’s Liquor and Aloha Wine and Spirits and take advantage of their expertise if this type of wine is not to your liking. As always, share with family and friends and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!
Fall Citrus Salsa with Baked White Fish (Mahi Mahi)
1/4 cup pineapple, finely diced
1 orange (preferably mandarin), peeled and separated into segments; cut segments in half
1/4 cup apple (Pippin or Granny Smith), finely diced
1/4 cup pear (firm, on the green side), finely diced
1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 golf ball-size beets, cooked, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons or the juice of 3 limes
1 bunch cilantro, thoroughly cleaned, dried and chopped
Note: Dice the pineapple first so that you can immediately add the diced apples and pears. They need to be mixed with the acid as soon as possible so they do not discolor.
Put all fruit, peppers and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Add honey and half of the bunch of cilantro. (Set the other half aside.) Stir together. Let marinate at least one hour before use.
Do not add the beets at this time. They will be added at the time of service so that the juice will not bleed into the salsa.
Start a batch of steamed oriental rice, and while cooking prepare the fish filets.
2 tablespoons sweet butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 to 8 ounces per person mahi mahi or firm sea bass filets.
If serving 6-8 ounce portions, cut them in half so that in presenting it you have two 3-4 ounce servings sitting on top of the rice.
The fish can be grilled or baked, depending on your preference. If grilling, season with sea salt and pepper and place on a well-oiled grill. I like to cook the fish approximately 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. The fish should be medium – this type of fish should not be medium-rare or rare, like ahi.
If baking, season with sea salt and pepper and place on a well-oiled baking dish. Place in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of filets.
While the fish is cooking, melt one tablespoon butter in a 6-inch sauté pan until it is frothy and turning slightly brown. Add salsa and slightly warm it. Do not overcook it.
Place steamed rice on dinner plates, top with two filets each. Sprinkle salsa over the top and around the edges. Add the diced beets and sprinkle with the remainder of the cilantro.
One last note: We (all the food writers for the Appeal) want to ask you the readers to submit your favorite family recipe to serve with a turkey dinner. We’d like a variety of recipes and of course a story about your family tradition. We’ll each pick our favorite and run it in November with our columns.
You can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line write “family recipe” so we don’t think it’s spam and delete it. You can also mail it to 1012 S. Minnesota St. Carson City, NV 89703. Deadline for submissions is Saturday.
• Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.