Cooking

Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi with Saffron Velouté

posted: 06/30/10

Take Home Chef, Episode 101: Salome's Menu

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml plus 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 ml olive oil, divided
  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pinches of saffron strands
  • 1 cup/215 ml dry white wine
  • 1 cup/215 ml fish stock
  • 1 cup/215 ml Noilly Prat dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup/110 ml whipping cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 6- to 7-ounce/180- to 200-g mahi mahi fillets with skin, scales removed
  • 2 tablespoons/30 g butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 10 ounces/284 g fresh baby spinach leaves

PREPARATION:

TO MAKE THE SAFFRON VELOUT? (CREAMY SAFFRON SAUCE):

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon/15 ml of oil in a heavy based medium-sized saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots, thyme, bay leaves and 1 pinch of the saffron, and saut? for 2 minutes or until the shallots are soft.
  2. Add the white wine, fish stock and vermouth. Boil for 30 minutes or until the liquids are reduced to about 1/2 cup/110 ml, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the sauce and strain it through a fine-meshed strainer and into a small saucepan. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Gently warm the strained sauce just before serving.

TO COOK THE MAHI MAHI AND SPINACH:

  1. Using a large sharp knife, score the skin of the mahi mahi fillets lengthwise with 2 or 3 slits.
  2. Crush the remaining saffron between your fingertips and sprinkle it over the scored skin side of the fish and into the slits. Sprinkle the fish all over with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 ml of olive oil over the fish skin and marinate for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a good-quality large nonstick saut? pan over a moderate to high heat until it is hot. Add 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil to the pan then add the fish, skin side down.
  4. Cook the fish for 4 minutes or until this skin is crisp and golden. Turn the fish over and cook 1 minute.
  5. Add the butter and squeeze the lemon over the fish. Cook for about 2 minutes longer, basting the fish with the juices in the pan, or until the fish is just cooked through but still moist and juicy.
  6. Meanwhile, heat another large saut? pan over a medium to high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon/15 ml of oil and the spinach to the hot pan and saut? for 2 minutes or until the spinach begins to wilt. Season the spinach to taste with salt and pepper.

TO SERVE:

  1. Place a mound of spinach in the center of 4 warm plates. Place a fish fillet on top of each mound of spinach. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until it is partially foamy. Drizzle the sauce around the outside of the spinach and serve.
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