Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mahi mahi + fruit salsa

A lime green cilantro chutney wakes up a piece of grilled mahi mahi fish and a bright, fruity (and spicy) papaya pineapple salsa takes you to the islands, mon. Fruit salsas go perfectly with grilled fish or chicken and they are fun and easy to make. You don't even need a recipe for salsas, just some rough guidelines. photos, Dan Ryan

Beautiful papaya!

Here's my fruit salsa formula: I use mango, pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, pears, or any combo of those, and to the fruit I always add an acid to brighten the flavors (a squeeze of lime or vinegar), heat to give it a kick (sriracha chili sauce or diced jalepenos), a sweetener to balance the sour flavors (honey, sugar or agave nectar), some kind of a crunch (diced red onions, green onions, carrots, jicama or sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers), cilantro, and of course, salt and pepper. If you have an Asian fish sauce, absolutely do use that but then skip the salt. The fish sauce adds a killer umami. A drizzle of olive oil will add a nice savory flavor and depending on how wild I am feeling I might even add some shaved coconut, curry powder or even a splash of rum, and garnish with a flower from the garden. There's no right or wrong to fruit salsas, just experiment and have fun!

Cilantro chutney
a thumbsize piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh hot green chile such as jalapeƱo or serrano, trimmed
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

You can also add in 1/4 cup grated coconut 
Mint leaves will darken with the acid, so don't mix them in until you're going to serve dinner.

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