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QUICK FIX

Great Fish Caper

July 01, 1998|ALISA SCHWARTZ | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

When you want a splendid but efficient meal, mahi-mahi swimming in a stew of tiny tomatoes and capers is just perfect.

The combination of acidic tomatoes and tart capers doesn't sound like the most likely pair for mahi-mahi, but the duo works to create a balance of piquant flavors that contrast nicely with the fish, making an exciting Mediterranean-influenced entree.

The poaching technique used in this recipe is a fast and easy preparation for fish. Serve the mahi-mahi with a small salad of baby lettuces dressed with a tangy vinaigrette, and end the meal with slices of mango topped with mint.

Schwartz is a former Times Test Kitchen intern.

MENU (30 MINUTES OR LESS)

Mahi-Mahi With Cherry Tomatoes and Capers

Baby Lettuces With Vinaigrette

Mango With Mint

MAHI-MAHI WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND CAPERS

STEW

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 pints cherry or pear-shaped tomatoes, stemmed

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

Salt, pepper

MAHI-MAHI

Butter

1 small shallot, minced

1 cup water

1 cup white wine

4 (6-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets

Salt

White pepper

Heat medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil and garlic. When aroma of raw garlic disappears, 2 to 3 minutes, add tomatoes. Increase heat to medium-high until tomatoes pop and garlic is brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add capers and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes.

MAHI-MAHI

Grease bottom of large covered skillet with butter. Sprinkle shallot evenly over bottom of pan. Pour in water and wine, and bring to light simmer over medium-high heat.

Season fish with salt and white pepper to taste. Place in pan of simmering liquid. Cook covered in oven at 350 degrees until fish is opaque and flakes with fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Spoon Stew onto dinner plates and top with mahi-mahi.

4 servings. Each serving:

232 calories; 368 mg sodium; 99 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 26 grams protein; 0.41 gram fiber.

COUNTDOWN

30 minutes before: Stem tomatoes, rinse capers and mince shallot.

25 minutes before: Prepare poaching mixture.

20 minutes before: Put fish in oven to poach. Cook garlic and add tomatoes to stew.

15 minutes before: Add capers and seasonings to stew.

10 minutes before: Prepare salad.

8 minutes before: Slice mangoes.

5 minutes before: Check fish for doneness.

Just before serving: Spoon stew onto serving plates and top with mahi-mahi fillet.

INGREDIENTS

Shopping list

1 (6-ounce) bag baby lettuces

4 (6-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets

2 mangoes

1 bunch mint

2 pints cherry or pear-shaped tomatoes

Staples

Butter

1 (4-ounce) jar capers

Garlic

Olive oil

Black pepper

White pepper

Salt

Shallot

White wine vinegar

White wine

*

Plates from Pallets of Plates, South Pasadena.

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