Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Citron Confit, Herbs and Garlic Crusted Mahi mahi

About a couple of month ago, I made some preserves with my cooking group to celebrate the bounty harvest of summer. We made strawberry rhubarb preserve, ginger bourbon peaches and citron confit. The last of the strawberry-rhubarb went into the Cottage Cheese Pufflets last Tuesday; the ginger bourbon peaches long gone-- some I blended and added to my bellinis and some I had with vanilla ice cream. The citron confit, however, I have about 5 lbs still sitting in the refrigerator.

Citron or Lemon confit is used in French and Moroccan cuisine. I have a couple of books on African cooking that I haven't gone through yet (meaning cook from) but when I browsed through it, lemon confit keeps on appearing as an ingredient. When Citron Confit was featured in the July 2009 Food and Wine issue, I knew I finally have to make them. And now, like I said, I have about 5 lbs waiting to be featured in my cooking. In the next few months -- I will have a citron confit fest in my own little world, haha! I will have to dust off the Tagine soon!

I have been longing for home (the Philippines) lately, and I correlate the Philippines with fresh seafood. I get as much of my dose of seafood as I can when I go home, since fresh seafood (and variety) is scarce in Atlanta. I will be home in December (yay!), but for now, I have to satisfy my cravings somehow. I went to Harry's after work and bought some mahi-mahi. I will use the lemon confit, together with some of the herbs in my garden for the fish, with a side of Israeli couscous. I like cooking with Israeli couscous more than the regular couscous since they are more versatile.

Citron Confit, Herbs & Garlic Crusted Mahi-mahi

4 pcs (4 oz each) Mahi-mahi
4 Tbsps each basil, chives and savory
2 cloves Garlic
4 Tbsps Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Citron Confit, 4 segments, only use rind (remove pulp and pith)

Israeli Couscous with Oven-dried Heirloom Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions & Anchovies

4 Tbsps olive oil
1 1/3 cups Israeli Couscous
1 3/4 cups water**
2 Shrimp Bouillon**
1 medium yellow onion
4 pcs anchovies fillet, chopped
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
pinch of pepper flakes
Parsley, chopped

**You can use straight chicken stock, omit bouillon if so. You can substitute chicken bouillon for the shrimp bouillon.

Prepare the mahi-mahi. Blend everything in a food processor except for the Mahi-mahi. Top the mahi-mahi with the herbs, confit & garlic mixture and let it marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator.

Heat an enameled cast iron pan. Add about 2 Tbsp of olive. Add onion and cook until caramelized. Remove from pan. Add remaining olive oil, then add the couscous. Brown the couscous, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Add the anchovies and shrimp bouillon, give it a couple of stir, add the tomatoes and the caramelized onions. Add salt and pepper. Saute for about a minute then add the water. Bring to a boil, then cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Add the parsley as you turn off the heat. The couscous should be al dente.

Heat the grill or the griddle. Cook each side of the fish for about 3 minutes.

Serves about (4) not so hungry patrons or (2) very hungry ones. LOL!

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