You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food—from colorful veggies and delicious smoothies to festive cookies and fun cocktails. That’s why we’ve enlisted our in-house kitchen geek Nicole to share her cooking tips every week: seasonal ingredients, nifty tools, and must-try recipes.
My dad and I have a tradition whenever I’m home in Florida. We cook a big fish dinner for my whole family that features the freshest catch. On my last trip, I learned that mahimahi is in abundance off the Florida coast—the options at my local fish market were so fresh from the boat that I could probably have served them as sushi.
Before we get to the cooking part, a few fun facts: the name “mahi-mahi” translates to “very strong” in Hawaiian. Mahimahi is also commonly known as a dolphin fish, but there is no actual relation to Flipper or his relatives. If you’re concerned about seafood sustainability (which I am), it’s worth noting that since mahimahi is available all over the world and grow quickly, they’re plentiful.
Back to my family dinner. I started with one of my favorite super-basic recipes from Saveur, kicked up the spice levels, and added a ton of spinach for good measure. In the base recipe, they suggest you leave all of the cherry tomatoes whole, but I like to slice them in half to create a rich sauce. Serve it over couscous for a well-rounded, bright meal.
Adapted from this Saveur recipe. (Serves 3-4)
2 tsp. grapeseed or olive oil
1 pound mahimahi, filleted, with skins still on
1 small to medium onion, sliced very thin
1 jalapeño or small habanero, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, some left whole and some sliced in half
1 big bunch baby spinach
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
Heat up a nonstick sauté pan with oil, and sear the mahimahi filets, skin side down. Let cook about 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat, and remove from pan. Put aside.
Add onions to the pan, along with the jalapeño. Salt and pepper lightly to taste, and add a dash of cayenne. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté until onions release their juices and aromas, stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes to the pan and cover. After about 6 minutes, the tomatoes will begin to release their juices. Add spinach to the pan and cover again. The heat and moisture from the tomatoes will wilt the spinach in about 2-3 minutes.
Add the filets back to the pan, skin side up, and cover. They will steam until finished, 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.
Serve over couscous.
Looking for another delicious recipe to try tonight? Check out even more of Nicole’s column—Birchbox Test Kitchen.