Q: I ordered the mahi at SeaWatch last week. It was cooked perfectly and served with a delicious pineapple salsa. I would like to try making it at home. Is there any way you can get the chef to share the recipe? Thanks. - Todd Farley, Hollywood
A: When I caught up with executive chef Darryl Shuford, of SeaWatch on the Ocean (6002 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-781-2200; seawatchontheocean.com), he candidly explained the origin of the Blackened mahi-mahi with Tomatillo pineapple salsa: "We had been serving the mahi with a butter sauce based on a Paul Prudhomme recipe since 1989. A few years ago, we realized our guests wanted something lighter. The salsa was featured in a New York Times article and paired with grilled chile flank steak. I tried the recipe and it was so delicious, I knew it would be great with the mahi, too. The recipe is labor-intensive, but so worth it."
Shuford blackens the fish on a flat-top grill. He suggests using a cast-iron skillet at home. I imagine the salsa recipe would be a winner on chicken and pork, too. Keep it in mind for summer grilling, or for a fresh take on chips and salsa.
And in case you haven't heard, Shuford recently started serving Sunday brunch at the seaside restaurant. Enjoy an omelet station, a la carte offferings and drink specials while taking in the gorgeous views.
SeaWatch's Blackened mahi-mahi with Tomatillo pineapple salsa
1 8-ounce mahi-mahi filet
2 teaspoons Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seasoning Blend
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Tomatillo pineapple salsa (see recipe)
1 Rub both sides of fish with seasoning to coat.
2 Using a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Sear fish on both sides until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of filet.
3 Transfer to a serving plate and top with Tomatillo pineapple salsa.
Makes 1 serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 440 calories, 59% calories from fat, 29 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 160 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 41 g protein, 573 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
Tomatillo pineapple salsa
Adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times, 2013
½ pound fresh peeled pineapple, cut in 1/2-inch slices
¾ pound whole tomatillos, husks removed
½ onion (cut stem to root), peeled
2 jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 head garlic, cut diametrically
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lime
1 Prepare a grill to medium-high heat, leaving a portion of the grill unlit for indirect heat. Grill pineapple over direct heat until charred on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Coarsely chop the pineapple, set aside.
2 Toss the tomatillos, onion, jalapeños and garlic with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the garlic over indirect heat, cut-side down, and grill until charred and somewhat tender, 6 to 10 minutes (do not turn). Grill the onion, cut-side down over direct heat, until well charred, 3 to 5 minutes (do not turn). Grill the tomatillos and jalapeños over direct heat on both sides until they are tender and blistered, 1 to 3 minutes a side.
3 When cool enough to handle, peel onion and coarsely chop it and tomatillos and jalapeños. Squeeze the garlic from the peel and mash with the flat side of a knife, then chop. In a bowl, combine vegetables, garlic and pineapple. Toss in cilantro and season with a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste.
Makes about 4 cups.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoon serving: 16 calories, 48% calories from fat, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 0 g protein, 1 mg sodium, 1 g fiber