Thursday, January 13, 2011

Macadamia Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Coconut Creme

Tropically delicious!
     This is an old traditional Hawaiian recipe that I learned many years ago.  The mild flavor of macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut go very nicely with mahi mahi!
     The first two non-English languages that I learned in California grade school were Hawaiian and Japanese.  The grade school language education was very basic, but it did teach me to pronounce words in those two languages correctly.  My interest in those two cultures increased after that basic language education.  Later in life, I developed an interest in Hawaiian and Japanese food.
     While working as a chef in Florida, caribbean cooking was very popular.  A cuisine called Floribbean arose during those years.  Floribbean is a mixture of tropical caribbean cuisine and Florida cracker style cuisine.
     I thought that a good education in tropical cuisine was most likely to be found by studying Hawaiian cuisine, so I was off to the library to study Hawaiian cook books.  I found some great traditional Hawaiian recipes and cooking ideas that were far better than what was being offered during the Floribbean cooking trend.  I successfully adopted a few Hawaiian cuisine ideas to the new Floribbean style cuisine.
     The fish that is called dolphin is called mahi mahi in the Hawaiian language.  Dolphin was a terrible sale commercially, because many people confused the name dolphin with the sea mammal called porpoise.  When we gave dolphin filets the Hawaiian name mahi mahi, the restaurant's dolphin sales sky rocketed!  Mahi mahi became a very desirable restaurant fish.
     This Hawaiian macadamia nut and coconut crusted mahi mahi recipe that I researched was one that I never cooked in a restaurant, but it is a recipe that I could never forget.  It sounded so good!  This is the first time that I have ever cooked this Hawaiian recipe after learning it twenty years ago.  I am sorry that I waited so long to cook this recipe, because it turned out to be fantastic!
     Macadamia Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi Recipe:
     Cut an 8 ounce mahi mahi filet into 1 inch size cube shapes.
     Dredge the mahi mahi pieces in flour.
     Dip the fish pieces in egg wash.
     Dredge the egg washed mahi mahi cubes in a 50/50 mixture of fine chopped macadamia nuts and shredded coconut.
     Pour enough vegetable oil into a small saute pan, so that the oil is about 1/4" deep.
     Heat the oil in the saute pan over medium heat to 360ยบ.
     Note:  You have to work quickly during this next step so the coating on the fish does not burn!
     Place the macadamia coconut coated mahi mahi pieces in the hot oil.
     Pan fry the mahi mahi pieces, till the coating becomes a light golden brown color on all sides.  Use a pair of tongs to gently flip the pieces in the pan.  Take care not to knock the coating off of the fish pieces.  Do not try to fully cook the mahi mahi in the hot oil, or the macadamia coconut coating will become very dark!
     When the mahi mahi pieces become a golden brown color, remove them from the oil and place them in a baking pan.
     Bake the macadamia coconut crusted mahi mahi pieces in a 350 degree oven, till the fish becomes fully cooked.  (Do not bake the fish pieces for too long of a time or they will burn!)
     While the fish is finishing in the oven, the sauce can be made.
     Pineapple Coconut Cream Sauce Recipe:
     Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 2 pats of butter.
     Add 1 handful of chopped fresh pineapple.
     Saute the pineapple, till it lightly caramelizes.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low/low heat.
     Add 1 cup of rich thick coconut milk.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Heat the sauce, till it gently simmers.
     Add a very small amount of cornstarch and cold water slurry, while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a medium thin sauce consistency.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Simmer and the sauce gently, so the coconut milk does not separate.
     Macadamia Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Coconut Creme:
     Remove the mahi mahi pieces from the oven.
     Spoon the pineapple coconut creme sauce on a plate as a bed for the mahi mahi.
     Arrange the macadamia coconut crusted mahi mahi pieces on top of the sauce.
     Serve with vegetables of your choice.
     The flavor of this recipe is pure tropical Hawaiian!  I think of that old TV show "Gilligan's Island" when I eat food like this!
     Macadamia nuts have the highest amount of healthy fats to be found in any nut.  Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and they have been farmed in Hawaii for many years.  The flavors of coconut and pineapple are a classic flavor combination.  The mahi mahi flavor is very mild and delicious.
     The flavors and textures of this entree combine to send the taste buds into tropical paradise.  Yum!  Aloha!  ...  Shawna  

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