Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friends, It's Time for a Flavour Party - Lemon Rice Pilaf and Mahi Mahi with Coconut Curry Sauce

This little meal came together quickly in response to looking in the fridge and being faced down by two enormous bags of greens. Kale and some unidentified purple rapini-ish situation, to be specific. I knew I needed to hammer some of those greens into my maw before they rotted in their bags, and I wanted something fast that pack a favour slap to the face. A quick inventory of the freezer and pantry determined that mahi mahi and brown (sprouted, WTF?) rice were going to be the dinner dance partners, so I decided on tarting the fish up with a quick coconut curry sauce and a side of lemon-y rice pilaf. The flavour slap was delivered, and, bonus, it took under an hour, including a quick trip to the store when I realized my curry had expired some time around Thanksgiving. Sadface.

I was cooking for two, though we had enough fish and greens for another meal. We would have had extra pilaf two, if I hadn't been Gosling distracted and burned the bottom. Damn you Gosling!*

Get the pilaf going, and while it's doing it's thang wash and prep the greens, pre-boil the water for steaming so it's good to go, and get the curry started. Easy peasy. 

Lemon Rice Pilaf

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sprouted brown rice
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock**
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 inch chunk of ginger, grated
1 inch piece of lemongrass, finely chopped***
3 lime leaves, sliced thin

Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the rice, lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger and cook one minute. Add the stock to the pan and cook 12-15 minutes, or until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Stir through lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

It'll look a little something like this:

** I find store bought stocks salty, so I used a home made chicken stock. I freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer to a Ziploc freezer bag. That was it's quick and easy to thaw exactly the needed amount. Ditto for soup and excess coconut milk/cream.

*** Only use the bottom white part of the lemongrass. Also, if it's old it can be a little woody. Find the freshest, palest, juiciest looking stalk you can, and don't wait too long to use it. 

Mahi Mahi with Coconut Curry Sauce

1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 - 2 1/2 inches of lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup coconut cream
2 pieces of mahi mahi (I split them both in half)
handful whole basil leaves
3-4 lime leaves, sliced thinly
juice of 1 lime
mango slices and crushed cashews for garnish

Add the curry paste, lemongrass and water to a frying pan over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coconut cream and simmer an additional 3 minutes. It will thicken up a little. Add the mahi mahi and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

 Stir through basil, lime leaves and lime juice. When it looks this delicious you are good to go:

Add the greens to your steaming basket and steam for a few minutes until just darkened. Over-steamed greens are just sadness. 

When you serve it up, spoon a little curry sauce over fish, and garnish with a few slices of mango and crushed cashews. Go on, you deserve it.

Not the smokin'est picture, but cold greens are second-sad to over-steamed greens, and I was hangry with a capital H.

Happy eating!


* This Gosling:                              

Not this gosling: