Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pecan/Parsley-Crusted Mahi

A quick word about mahi before we dive into the recipe, because I do love trivia. Did you know that mahi-mahi is a new name for what has historically been called a dolphin fish? It's true. I remember learning this one summer in the Outer Banks and being terrified that the gorgeous dolphins I was watching swim and jump in the distance were the same ones being served up at my aunt's restaurant. But never fear, Flipper fans, the dolphin fish is not the same thing as these gorgeous animals we photographed swimming alongside our ferry during our honeymoon last summer:

To assuage these Flipper concerns, the dolphin fish community decided to rebrand itself as the mahi-mahi some years ago. Mahi means "strength" in Hawaiian, but it might as well mean "delicious" in my book. Mahi is my go-to white fish for home cooking - it's economical, it's easy to prepare, and it's mild enough to bring out any flavor you'd like to taste. Here's my go-to mahi recipe, which can be whipped up in no time flat. We eat it nearly every week.

Maggie's Pecan/Parsley-Crusted Mahi

The idea here is that I always have pecans in my pantry and flat-leaf parsley in my fridge - use whatever you always have on hand, too. Using two of my favorite ingredients, it doesn't get any more weeknight-proof for me than this. These directions are for two mahi fillets, but I've also made it for four, doubling the "crust," and could easily see doing an entire tray's worth for a crowd.

2 mahi fillets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup pecans
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

    1. Preheat oven to 425ish (Sometimes I do 400, based on whatever else I'm cooking. In other words, it doesn't really matter. Easy, remember?)

    2. Place the mahi in a glass casserole dish or roaster skin side down and coat in a splash of olive oil. Pat a bit of salt and pepper over the fish.

    3. In your grinding implement of choice, combine 1/2 cup pecans, 3 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, a pinch of salt, and 3 good turns of your pepper grinder. Cover the fish with the mixture.

    3. Bake for 15ish minutes. Really, this depends on the cut of fish. If your pieces are on the smaller size, 15 should be fine. If your pieces are thicker (or obviously, if you're cooking more than two of them), you might go up to 25 or 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on the fish and when you think it might ready, slice into one of the pieces to check. You don't want to see pink, but you do still want it to be juicy. Nothing's less appetizing than eating overcooked fish. You'll know when they're ready, really.

    4. Eat! Oh, the simplicity!

    Let me know if you make this and like it, and what other fun nut/herb combinations you come up with for your crust. Mmmmm good.... is it lunchtime yet?


    1. Um, I can't see how this wouldn't be delicious... but bringing up the whole dolphin thing just makes me think of the documentary The Cove. I didn't even see the movie, but the preview alone is horrifying. Did you see it?

    2. No, I can't watch it. I basically cannot watch animals suffering. But bring on the horrifying human serial killer documentaries! That kind of backward of me, yes?

    3. Yeah, that reminded me of the Cove, too.. glad mahi is delicious and NOT actually dolphin meat! Your recipe looks great!

    4. Yummmm - reading this has made me very hungry!

    5. I'm the same way about books/t.v. shows/movies. I can't deal with anything that even suggests an animal might be hurt. But I do love a good true crime show (First 48!).

      Can't wait to try this recipe!

    6. Ooh! Looks delicious. I can't eat nuts, but I think I might try pumpkin seeds with...hmm, smoked paprika & parsley, maybe? Damn, I miss pecans. :-(

    7. Perf- I have flat leaf parsley, pecans and Hubs has been dying to eat some fish. Such a life saver Maggie!

    8. Glad you guys like! Lisa: I made this for Mom and Dad and they were fans. Wife: Loving your idea! Smoked paprika is my favorite spice.

    9. Love the combination of parsley and pecans! Here are two more mahi-mahi recipes for you to try:

    10. I'm so going to make this. I love mahi mahi, but I find the idea of cooking fish intimidating- intimidating as in more likely to result in my death due to cooking error. I do not care if this belief is in anway unfounded.

    11. We're looking forward to trying this!! I love that you explained it wasn't dolphin because I've been scared to eat it for some time now! ha!


    C'mon, make my day...

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