Caramelized Pineapple/Mango Salsa Blackened Choose Your Fish

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Let’s put it right out front. Fran and I are not huge fans of fish. Living in South Florida the occasional fish dinner is inevitable and recently we have weakened to the level where we make a point of having fish for dinner once per week, and, believe it or not, actually order it out when we dine at a restaurant. In an effort to unfishy the fish I like to season it with a blackening spice and often grill it on the BBQ. Tonight, however , was blackened pan seared Chilean Sea Bass on a bed of romaine lettuce covered with a carmelized pineapple and mango salsa.  All gone!

Put a couple tablespoons of EVO in a medium sized frying pan. Add brown sugar and melt together. Once the sugar is almost melted (be very careful, its easy to burn whenCarmelized Mango Salsa Sea Bass
it’s just EVO and sugar and you might have to start over… start over… crap!) add the drained pineapple and stir a lot.  When warm, add diced fresh mango, a glass of red wine, and simmer until just bubbling then transfer to a small saucepan and set on a warm burner. Technically, there should have been onion added to the brown sugar EVO mixture to produce caramelized onion, but a) we didn’t have any onion and b) we don’t like onion much, so I opted for caramelized pineapple.

Liberally coat both sides the fish with your spice of choice, transfer to the now empty, but still medium hot fry pan, adding a little EVO. Tent the fish with some aluminum foil, cook for 4 min on the first side (thank you Daniel for your expert advice) then flip as the flesh turns white. Add a tablespoon, or so, of water with a couple of minutes left and re-tent immediately. When you think it is done, cook for an extra 30-45 seconds. (I do not like rawish fish. It is almost as bad as rawish chicken.)

Here are the ingredients. (Note I didn’t use any measuring devices. Measurements are all approximate)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (if you have one and like onion)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (4 ounce) fish steaks (Mine was Sea Bass, about an inch thick)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup blackening seasoning
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Tropical Get-a-way Dinner

Neil is here for a visit!! We live in a resort area and sometimes we drive down A1A through Ft. Lauderdale beach, just to remind ourselves of this fact. The Bahamas are just about the same distance from us as Orlando. Did I mention that Neil is here? We invited the Fink and her Folks over for dinner to welcome Neil home (he is here for a visit) and I decided to make it a Tropical Bogandanza!! One of the fruits found throughout the tropics are mangoes so it seemed like a good idea to make a mango themed dinner.

We started with baked brie and mango chutney wraps appetizers, followed by a 100% home grown garden salad and the main course of: mango steak; my famous rosemary roasted potatoes; tomato-pepper-green bean (home grown) casserole (I have to hide the green vegetable so Fran will eat them) and personalized chocolate souffle’s for dessert. (PS, Neil is home for a visit.)

The baked brie and mango chutney is very easy, once you have some chutney. Wait… you don’t BUY chutney, do you? No, I didn’t think so. Winners never cheat and cheaters never win. Fist make the mango chutney:

MANGO CHUTNEY

INGREDIENTS:  (makes about 2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 small red hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 large onions, chopped
  • 1/8 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons golden raisins
  • 2 teaspoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sliced, semi-ripe mangoes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan combine vinegar, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, chile peppers and salt. Bring to a boil; boil covered for 1/2 hour.
  2. Stir in onions, garlic, golden raisins, raisins and ginger and boil covered for another 1/2 hour.
  3. Stir in mangoes, keep heat high enough to reduce some of the liquid (about another 1/2 hour.)

BAKED BRIE
INGREDIENTS  (makes about 20 pieces)

  • phyllo dough, thawed
  • melted butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) round Brie cheese
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the phyllo dough into about 3″ squares and stack 5 sheets, coating with a thin layer of butter
  2. place equal amounts (about 1/4 tsp) of brie and chutney in the center
  3. wet the edges with water and fold into an interesting shape. (I like making them look like turkish taffy candies)
  4. broil on low until the tops are brown. (4 minutes in my oven…don’t burn the brie!)

MANGO STEAK
I made a marinade from mangoes, apples, honeydew and spices. The steak (I used a nice sirloin, but most any good cut would work fine) was marinaded for 3 hours before grilling. When finished it was cut into strips, the width of each determining the serving size, but assume a 6-8oz portion for each person. The steak was placed cut side (red side) up between two rows of honeydew, veggie casserole and roasted potatoes to the side. Neil is here for a visit!!

INGREDIENTS (this amount serves six)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced apple
  • 1/2 cup diced honeydew
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless steaks (again, I used sirloin)

DIRECTIONS 

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, apple, honeydew, mango, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, hot pepper sauce to taste and ground black pepper.
  2. Heat for about 5 minutes to get warm. Place the steak in a shallow nonporous dish. Cover with the marinade and refrigerate, covered, for at least 3 hours. Flip steak over halfway through marinating.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  4. Grill steak for 10 minutes per side, dousing with remaining marinade, if desired. Steak is done when internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

TOMATO-PEPPER-GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
In a small skillet heat a couple of tbsp of EVO, add skinned, cubed tomatoes, slided and diced peppers. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste. After the tomatoes cook and reduce add the green beans and simmer for 15- 20 min, until the beans are tender.

FAMOUS ROASTED ROSEMARY POTATOES
Cut wedges of red potatoes and put in a plastic bag. Add some EVO (enough to coat the amount of potatoes, fresh rosemary (from my garden) some fresh chives (from my garden, hehehehehe) and salt and pepper to taste. I use Kosher or sea salt here. I don’t know why except I like the big grains of salt. Roast at 350 deg for 20 min and if necessary to brown nicely broil for 3 minutes at the end.

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE
see previous posting at Except Parfaits, perhaps the bestest dessert there is

Neil is here for a visit!!