Thursday, March 08, 2007

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi

I adore macadamia nut crusted mahi, but the first time I attempted it was a few years ago, not in my own kitchen and with minimal (almost non-existent) equipment. It didn't turn out bad so much as it just wasn't wasn't great. Think chunky burned crust that wouldn't stick and slightly undercooked mahi and similar horrors.

So, when browsing my favorite grocery store tonight and I saw some good looking mahi, I immediately decided tonight was the night to try again. Well-versed in good breading technique by now, and with my own kitchen full of the right tools and ingredients, this went MUCH better.

Crisp rich coating, tender flaky fish and delicious roasted asparagus for a refreshing side dish. I served them both in a pool of a creamy white wine sauce.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Roasted Asparagus and White Wine Cream Sauce:
(serves 2)

2 6 oz filets of mahi mahi
2-3 oz macadamia nuts
1-2 oz panko bread crumbs
1/4 c cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley

1/2 c white wine
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tbs butter, cold, cut into chunks
Salt and white pepper to taste

1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions for Asparagus:
Heat oven to 350. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness.

Directions for Sauce:
Reduce wine over high heat until reduced by half. Whisk in heavy cream, remove from heat. Whisk in 1 tbs butter (cut into 4 small pieces) until an emulsion forms. Set aside and keep warm for service.

Directions for Fish:
Meanwhile, toast macadamia nuts in a dry skillet just until beginning to brown. Chop in a food processor until in fine crumbs. Mix chopped nuts with panko bread crumbs, about a tsp of parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Lay out 3 plates - one with cornstarch, one with the beaten egg and one with the panko/nut mixture in it.

Coat filets in cornstarch, then egg and then coat with panko/nut mixture. Saute in olive oil over high heat until both sides are golden brown and crisp. Fish will not be done cooking yet. Because of the nuts, the outside will brown before the fish is done, so transfer to a baking dish and finish in the oven (about 5 minutes).

To serve:
Make a pool of sauce on a plate. Top with fish. Place asparagus alongside fish and serve immediately.


Patricia Scarpin said...


This dish is superb!! I think the grilled asparagus are the perfect match for this wonderfully made fish!

Laurie said...

The fish looks delicious! I saw a similar recipe on Alton Brown recently and I really must try it. Love the addition of the sauce and the asparagus.

Brilynn said...

Great combination! I'm big on nut crusted fish. I like pistachios on tuna.

Peabody said...

I still can't get over how much fish you cook in AZ. You have really lucked out in finding a good place.

Susan said...

This is an elegant dish Kirsten. I haven't tried macadamia nuts on seafood yet, so thanks for the great idea!

Lis said...

Another recipe that would make me take a chance on eating nuts - so what if I get a belly ache, that looks too good to pass up! =)

Chris said...

This looks delicious! I use pecans & pine nuts a lot...but not macadamia nuts. I am going to have to work on that! Thanks for the great recipe and pics!

Kirsten said...

Hi Patricia and Laurie! Thanks!

Brilynn, what a great idea - pistacios on tuna, yum!

Peabody - I know...I really have been lucky and have had some shockingly good fish considering where I live. :)

Susan, Lis and Chris - so glad you stopped in, thanks! Lis, it may be worth it. :)

Chris, I'll have to try pine nuts and pecans - I've only tried pecans on chicken, but I'll need to branch out.

Fruittart said...

I have been craving 'beach food' and this looks so wonderful!! Illinois isn't the best of places for seafood so I'm going to have to make this when we go to FL next month. Yum!

Terry B said...

This sounds delicious! I know that many people prefer to use white pepper with light colored sauces like this. I actually like the dark flecks that freshly ground black pepper provides.

Kristen said...

You've done it again... I am so jealous! This looks like such a fantastic meal.

Anonymous said...

This was a great recipe overall! Thanks you. Just made it for dinner. I think the sauce might have been better without the cream (maybe a more traditional beurre blanc sauce instead). We also used some pineapple for a garnish for fun.

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