Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cook Islands

Moani-Roa Mahimahi

I made this dish for me and Andy on Thursday, June 30, 2011.  It was fantastic!  This does not surprise me given the amount of coconut milk involved.  It was super rich and super tasty.

The meal was composed of three parts: Mahimahi poached in coconut milk, taro root and greens cooked in coconut milk.  The recipe I used was rather confusing, so I interpreted the best I could, and made what substitutions I needed to.  I couldn't find taro leaves here in Minnesota, so I used Swiss chard, which the Cook's Thesaurus told me was an acceptable substitute.  I was pleasantly surprised to find taro root at the Eagan Cub.  I did not know what the kinaki that the recipe spoke of was, so I decided to just cook some taro root.  A note on the taro root: I guess that taro root can be an irritant to the skin, so I wore latex gloves and was super careful with the peels.  Supposedly, this irritant is in the peel and on the raw taro, but is not an issue once it's cooked.  Neither Andy nor I are experiencing itchy mouths, so I guess that's true!

Moana-Roa Mahimahi

-8 oz. mahimahi
-2 c. coconut milk
-1 bunch Swiss chard (or taro leaves if you can find them!)
-2 cloves garlic
-1 onion, diced and divided in half
-1 T. fresh lemon zest
-1 T. fresh ginger slivers
-salt and pepper
-vegetable oil
-lemon juice

1) Heat small amount of oil.  Add half of the onion and one clove of garlic and sweat.  Add chard and 1 cup coconut milk.  Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 45 minutes, adding more coconut milk if necessary.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon.  Keep warm.

2) Meanwhile, scrub the taro really well and peel, wearing gloves to protect your hands from the irritants.  Cut into slices.  Still wearing gloves, put the taro into a pot and add enough water so the water level is 2" above the taro.  Bring to a high boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.

3) When there is about 15 minutes left of cooking time on the taro and/or the greens, begin the mahimahi.  Sauté the remaining onion and garlic in a little oil until transparent.  Add mahimahi and 1 cup of coconut milk.  Cover.  Heat until simmering and cook 12-15 minutes.
4) Heat some oil in a small skillet and add the lemon and ginger.  Fry until crispy.

To serve, place mahimahi on greens and pour on the poaching liquid.  Garnish with lemon and ginger.  Add taro to the plate.

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