April 24, 2006

Mahimahi with Onions, Capers, and Lemon (Updated!)

Before our saturday night fondu-fest, about the 11th hour, figuratively speaking, an intense desire to prepare fish came over me. I know that it completely destroys my $5/day diet, but sometimes I've got to satisfy the urge. Some picture of a cod dish with sliced lemons was stuck in my head but I couldn't figure out where it came from.

After a quick search of my April Gourmet, I found mahimahi with onions, capers, and lemon and it looked quick, easy and tasty. I'd never cooked with capers before, which was somewhat troubling, but I'm trying to trust chefs and try new things.

After a quick trip to the Associated to get the nonperishables, or at least less-perishables (call me crazy, but I think I'll go elseware for my fish thankyouverymuch), I ended up at the Gourmet Garage. And no mahimahi. They did, however, have a handy chart that showed recommended substitutions which I used to make my selection of Lake Victoria farm-raised red snapper (about $10/lb at 1/2 lb per person).

Upon preparation, I found the capers somewhat difficult to work with. Not in and of themselves, but the act of getting them out of their narrow-mouthed jar while keeping the brine, which I did not need, inside. I felt silly using a knive to scoop the buggers out but it worked, so whatever. They remind me of little olives: slightly briny (when rinsed), tender, pitless, and they impart a delicate taste. I'm a fan.

Overall the dish was a success. The lemon/caper sauce was delicate and the whole thing took about 40 minutes from start to finish. Not crazy about the snapper, though; I think it would have been measurably better with the mahimahi. I need to get a roasting pan.

If you don't have a broiling pan, you need to figure out a way to get heat circulation under the fish. Either roll up pieces of tin foil into logs and put them under the filets, or put them on an oiled cooling rack on top of a pan.

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