Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Court-Bouillon Mahi Mahi for "the Project" - My 2 for Tuesday "Real Food" Post

My on going efforts to rid the world of over cooked, TOO dry fish continues.

Fish is meant to be tender, moist and filled with flavor.  I am amused by the number of people who would cringe at the idea of a well done steak would cook all the flavor out of a fish.  But, I am just stunned by the number of restaurants that serve these abominations.  Well, no more and never again!

But just wait till you see all the veggies and flavors that go into this recipe.

Before I get to the recipe, a quick note about Cruzan brand Black Strap Rum...

   Was that quick enough?  Seriously, what a rum!  Black Strap Rum is made exclusively with Molasses.  That is the reason for the thick texture and dark, black color.  It has a distinctive earthy taste that is best used as a mixer.  It takes a strong man to drink this straight.

   BUT, it's drawback as a drink makes it the perfect addition to a cooks arsenal.  Especially in this dish.  It will leave a very dark color, so know that up front.  All of the alcohol will cook out, so there will be no booze taste.  What is left is rich and full and makes a perfect - Court Bouillon!

Honestly, I have used Cruzan Black Strap in several recipes.  This Court Bouillon is the only recipe that I have found that makes it's unique taste shine.  For me, it is a one hit wonder.  This one hit will ensure that I will keep a bottle around even back in Kansas.  But for you folks that would prefer to keep a less well stocked liquor cabinet, feel free to substitute a more versatile rum.  Or a Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or rye would work.

For the teetotalers among you (or if today is going to be another in a growing line of one days at a time), there is a simple "virgin" alternative... ROOT BEER.  Really... The key ingredients are Ginger, Licorice and Sarsaparilla. Once you reduce the liquid, these ingredients will certainly add a little Bouillon to your Court.

So, no excuses... Moist tender fish, Rich deep molasses flavorings (or tangy ginger and sarsaparilla, pardner) makes this Cajun recipe a sure winner!

Since I just mentioned Cajun, you probably know the first step...

First, Make a Roux 

Don't be intimidated by a roux either.  Equal parts butter and flour, cooked over a medium low heat until rich, dark and smells of nuts.  Three tricks to rouxs...
  • Slow is best.  Do not get the liquid boiling.
  • Stir and stir and stir.  Do not stop stirring for anything.  Depending on the heat, will take about 10-15 minutes.  Once you start, don't answer the phone, kiss the husband, change the baby or scratch an itch.
  • Learn to take pride in your roux.  I can get mine a deep, a little bit darker than milk chocolate color.  Once it starts burning though, there is no fixing it, so be careful and remove from heat just before it burns (isn't that a tough direction).  Pride in your roux will change a pain in the arse to a joy.
OK... Now it's time to cook...

First, Make a Roux
5 TBS Butter
5 TBS Flour

1 cup Celery Diced
1 cup Red Bell Pepper Diced
1 cup Sweet Onion Diced
1/4 cup Garlic Diced
3 Roma Tomatoes (1 pureed, 2 chopped)
3 TBS Cajun Spices (2 mixed in Sauce, 1 sprinkled on top of fish)

4 ounces CRUZAN Black Strap Dark Rum
8 ounces Seafood Stock

4 pieces of Mahi Mahi Fish... About 1 1/2 pounds

Green Onion to garnish
Parsley to garnish
Pineapple slice to garnish

3 cups Uncle Ben's Rice

  • Make a Roux
  • Add the Vegetables and 2 TBS of the Jerk Spices 
  • Mix well and saute till the vegetables start to get tender.
  • And here is the fun part... Add the RUM... It will sizzle!
  • Add the Seafood stock
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Start the Rice... It takes 20 minutes to cook the rice
  • Put the fish on top of the simmering liquid.  Do not turn, it is being poached.  Sprinkle some of the Jerk spices over the fish.
  • Cover the pan and allow the simmering magic to do what it does... it takes 20 minutes, but again, do not touch the fish.
  • For presentation, use a wide spatula to remove the fish.  Plate the rice, top with the reduced liquid and vegetables, top with the fish And add the garnish.
  • And for a final Caribbean flare, add a slice of pineapple on the side.  (I loved the pineapple and sauce, Jackie did not).

And here's some photos to give you an idea of what it looks like in process...

This is my 242sDay post... the foodie event where we are encouraged to cook with and blog about "Real Food"!  Click HERE for the details, the only instructions were to post about "real Food".  

Unless you count Uncle Ben's or butter as processed food, this is filled with only the stuff you buy on the outside edges of the store... Real Food indeed!

Oh, and I guess you have to make a few excuses for the Rum.

Be a cook... Make your "average" food special.


  1. Are you sure you aren't in New Orleans whipping up a roux? Anything that starts with a roux is bound to be good. Your fish sounds fantastic and I adore Cruzan rum. I'm with you. There's nothing worse than overcooked fish.

  2. Sounds fantastic Dave. As to your question, David forgot to take pictures of the pulled pork. He will make it again Labor Day and do a guest post then.

  3. I made my first court bouillon earlier this year and loved it! Definitely going to try yours.

  4. UM, could you send me a bottle...that sounds killer!! Although the rootbeer alternative sounds tasty, as well...but I MUST try that! Gorgeous fish, Dave...you're definitely doing your part ;) Thanks so much for continueing to share the real food love with Two for Tuesdays!!

  5. Yum!! I am with you on the seafood thing. This simply looks amazing. Thanks for the roux tips. :)

  6. I COMPLETELY agree with you about the fact that fish should NOT be overcooked! It's a personal crusade of my fathers as well actually. Thanks for sharing another great fish recipe. I definitely want to try it. I'm so glad that you added this to our Two for Tuesday blog hop and continue to be such a wonderful promoter of this fun event! THANK YOU!

  7. Mahi-Mahi Court Bouillion?! Oh, I love this fancy-smancy dish! Sounds incredible and that rum is on my must have list! You go guy!

  8. Oh my gosh this sounds AMAZING!!!! Bookmarking right now!!!

  9. This looks and sounds phenomenal! Great recipe!

  10. Really, root beer? Never would have reached in that direction. Thanks for posting at T4T.

  11. Mahi mahi and rum? Shwah! I think rum is a real food. Or is it a real drink? Or do I just want to drink it and not eat? Well this recipe would bring right back to reality! Thanks for sharing this at 24T!!

  12. Dave, I am not generally a fish lover, and I wonder if the reason is I have experienced what you are talking about? Dried out fish? This looks divine, and as I have visited the islands and has some cruzan, i will agree, it is AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing the real food love on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! :) alex@amoderatelife

  13. Looks and sounds AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I love that rum!

  14. You didn't GROW the rice YOURSELF? Slacker! (ha ha)

    I have wanted to make a court boullion but haven't tried it yet. Looks like you did a great job. I was laughing over your stirring advice, very true.