Friday, April 11, 2008

Mahi Mahi on Wilted Kale and Mushrooms with Tomato Caper Polenta Towers


Okay, I know, long title, but how could I leave any of it out? I mean, when we sat down to eat this last night, it was hard to know where to start.
This meals origin was the "what should I do with this fish tonight", followed by a scavenger hunt of the fridge. I will say, I am surprised at what I came up with, and happy with the results. It really helps to keep ingredients in the pantry, though I would much prefer to have used fresh tomatoes. If you happen to have them on hand and want to make the polenta from scratch , go for it!

Having your ingredients prepped and ready to go, I find, saves panic in the kitchen. Especially with this meal because you can cook all the components at once. If that seems a bit manic, then have the kale prepared early and keep it warm while the fish and polenta cook. I love the challenge of 3 things going at once and getting them all out together, helps if you have a glass of wine as you go to calm the nerves. Here is the recipe for the meal, I made 2 servings and had some of the tomatoes left. No problem, great on toast or eggs the next day!

3/4 lb of Mahi Mahi fillets ( I used Trader Joe's frozen fillets that I thawed, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 lb of polenta in a tube, cut into 4 1/2" discs
more olive oil
1/3 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese, use the best you can get
1 baby bella portabella mushroom cap, sliced
1 large shallot, finely sliced about 1/3 cup
1 clove garlic, minced
more olive oil
4 cups chopped kale
splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water

13.2 oz or so, diced tomatoes
2 tbl capers, drained
2-3 anchovy fillets, chopped and mashed with side of knife or 1 tsp paste in a tube
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Prep the fish by rubbing with a bit of olive oil and then give them a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Have a large, non stick pan ready to go on the heat.
Place the polenta discs in a well oiled baking pan, give them a turn to coat both side. Have the oven broiler ready to go.

Have a large pan or saucier (I love to use mine) ready to go for the mushrooms and kale, you will need a lid for the pan.

Combine all the components for the tomato sauce together in a small bowl.
Okay, now you are ready to go! Start heating the pan for the fish on a fairly high heat, you want to get it seared. You can also get the heat going under the kale pan, about med high will do. When the pans are nice and hot, add olive oil, or you could use canola if you wish. This is when I pop the polenta under the broiler. It will need about 6-7 minutes or until it gets a bit golden before turning.
Add your fish to the pan, sear about 3-4 min. per side, give them a nice bit of color. Add the shallot and mushroom to the other pan and saute. When the shallots begin to soften, add the garlic, give it a minute, then add the kale, vinegar and water. Cover and turn the heat down a bit.
Check on the fish. Once both sides have a nice color, add the tomato mixture to the sides of the pan. Turn the heat down to med and continue to cook the tomato, giving it a gentle stir, be careful not to disturb the fish to much.

When the polenta has cooked on one side, turn, pile the cheese on, then back under the broiler till the cheese gets bubbly and a bit brown, another 6-7 minutes.
The tomatoes should be heated and the fish done after about 10-12 min. Check to be sure the fish is thoroughly cooked.

Uncover the kale in the last few minutes to let the excess liquid cook out. I like mine with a bit of a bite, usually about 10 min. of steaming, but cook it longer if you wish.

Now, all should be done, plate up and enjoy!

Note: what to do with the rest of the anchovies? I plan on making pizza pisaladiere tonight for supper with a nice salad!


Ben said...

That looks really good. I haven't had Mahi Mahi in a long, long time. This is a nice way to prepare it.

toontz said...


I have tagged you for a meme. You can blame this on Ryan, lol.

Chuck said...

I wish I could taste that dish right now. Looks amazing! YUM!

Em said...

i just made this last night after drooling over it for weeks and i was not disappointed. it's restaurant-quality presentation and has great flavor. thanks!