Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mahi Mahi with Kiwi-Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice

I just can't stop being impressed with Joe Yonan's Serve Yourself. Though I have the culinary ambition to cook for a full house most nights, I'm typically just preparing a meal for one or two, and Yonan's books keep my dinner table consistently interesting. Whether you're a single cook or a parent trying to eat healthy in a land of tater tots and chicken fingers, you still deserve to sit down to a proper dinner and Joe Yonan is just the man to help you do it.

Mahi mahi and other white fish are, at least in my opinion, serve more as a canvas than the main subject of interest. But with a gorgeous salsa like the one featured here, ordinary fish becomes irresistible. The avocado is rich and creamy, kiwi tart, cilantro fresh and herby, and jalapeno spicy, a melange of flavors hitting all your taste buds in wonderful balance. Using coconut water to prepare the fish and rice creates a base deserving of those vibrant flavors, both elements happily cooking away unattended while you quickly toss the salsa together. Toasted coconut is the perfect finishing touch, adding a lovely crunch and extra bit of toasty flavor.

Mahi Mahi with Kiwi-Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice
adapted from Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan
serves 1

1 (6-ounce) mahi mahi fillet (or substitute halibut)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup coconut water
1/3 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice*
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
½ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 scallion, white and green parts, cut into ¼-inch slices or 2 T. finely minced red onion
½ fresh jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped, plus additional for garnish
½ teaspoon honey or agave, or more to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted coconut
Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

*Substituting brown rice will required additional coconut water and cooking time.

1. Pat dry the mahi mahi with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. In a small skillet or saucepan fitted with a lid, combine the coconut water, rice, and ¼ teaspoon of salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling. Place the mahi mahi fillet on top of the rice, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the coconut water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the rice and fish stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

3. While the rice and fish are cooking, make the salsa. In a small bowl, stir together the kiwi, avocado, scallion, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. Taste and add a touch of salt if necessary and a drizzle of honey if it’s too tart.

4. Transfer the rice and fish to a plate, top with the salsa, garnish with toasted coconut, cilantro, and hot sauce, if desired, and eat.

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