Saturday, July 7, 2007

"If You Want a Nourishing Fish Dish..."

Today's title is a quote from one of the silliest songs I've ever enjoyed. It's called "Ahoy There!" by Mr. Scruff.

Fish's many health benefits have been touted over the years, and in many places, a greater variety of fish has become available in grocery stores. While choosing local seafood can result in fresher taste, not every locale has this option. Also, trying new types of fish keeps the menu fresh. Today's recipe features mahi mahi, however it may be made with trout or tilapia.

Mahi mahi has a firmer, more dense texture than trout, yet without the strong flavor of salmon or swordfish. This combination results in a fish that satisfies without being overwhelmingly "fishy". The seasoning you add here is the flavor you'll taste.

Citrus Mahi Mahi -- serves two
Oven at 450

1/2 lb. filet of mahi mahi, boneless and skinless
1 t. grated lemon zest
1 t. grated lime zest
1 t. onion powder
1 t. salt
1 t. black or white pepper
1 pat (roughly 1/2 tablespoon) butter or margarine.
1 T. Lime juice (or juice from two limes)
1 t. lemon juice
2 Clementines, cut into quarters

Place the mahi mahi on a foil-lined cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine dry seasonings, and rub over the top of the filet, distributing evenly. Add more lemon or lime zest if needed. break apart the butter, and dot over filet evenly. Drizzle lime and lemon juice gently over the fish, not washing off the seasoning. Place in oven, and bake 15 minutes, checking for doneness at 10 minutes. The fish itself should not brown, just turn opaque, but the juices around the sides may brown on the foil. Remove from oven, squeeze two of the clementine quarters over the fish, serve garnished with remaining clementine wedges.

Pairing a substantial fish with a flavorful vegetable, such as asparagus, creates a memorable meal. Frozen asparagus speeds up the process, allowing for perfect timing of the main course and the side. Microwaving veggies to steam them helps to create fewer dirty dishes -- VERY important in a small space!

Quick Garlic Asparagus

5 oz. frozen asparagus spears
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, toss together asparagus, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add 1/8 cup of water to bowl, and cover with paper towel. Microwave on high 5-7 minutes, rearranging asparagus occasionally. Because all microwaves are different, times aren't exact. The main goal is to have the asparagus be crisp-tender and heated through.

I recommend rounding out the meal with small baked potatoes served with salsa and fat-free sour cream.

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