Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pan roasted mahi mahi: soy braised hakurei turnips, turnip greens and potlikker jus

Hakurei turnips are those beautiful, ivory white, smooth skinned little turnips about the size of a golf ball or even smaller. They take about five to ten minutes to cook and are just about the best thing ever. It's another one of those things where people say to me, "I don't like turnips... yuck." I feed the naysayers these turnips and they have a quick change of heart. And don't you dare throw away those greens, mostly because you need them for the first part of this recipe.

Mahi mahi is a great home cooking fish because it lend itself well to many different styles of cooking, it's sustainable, it's local to many of us Southerners and it's some fine eating too.

Don't be afraid of pan roasting. Just turn on your hoodvent and have at it!

turnip greens and potlikker jus

1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil

2 tablespoons minced country ham

1 bunch turnip greens, washed & torn into two inch squares (about two quarts torn greens)

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

pinch of red chile flake

pinch of salt (remember that country ham is salty)

In a medium sized pot heat the bacon fat or olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the ham and the greens. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, chile flake and salt. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the turnips are tender and cooked through. Remove from heat while you cook your turnips and mahi.

soy braised hakurei turnips

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

8 turnips, greens removed (and cooked above), cleaned and halved from north pole to south pole

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon chicken stock

tiny pinch of salt (the soy is salty as well so balance)

1 sprig fresh thyme

Warm a small saucepan (one that has a lid) over medium high heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted and foamed add the turnips, cut side down. Let them get a little color by cooking them for about three minutes without turning them.

Add the soy, stock, salt and thyme and cover the pot. Cook for five minutes and then remove lid. Reserve warm until mahi is done.

pan roasted mahi mahi

Preheat oven to 450.

four portions of mahi mahi, about 5 ounces each (about one inch thick)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat a large frypan to high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the fish and then add them carefully to the hot oil. Don't fiddle with the pan, rather let the fish brown nicely for about three minutes and then turn it over to the other side. Cook for three minutes and then place in the oven for three to five minutes, or until the fish is cooked through but not overdone. Mahi turns a beautiful ivory white when cooked.


Drain off about four tablespoons of the potlikker (the juice from your turnip greens) and place in a small pot. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and while its still hot whisk in about a tablespoon of butter and some chopped parsley. That's your sauce.

Four plates. Equal sized piles of greens on each plate, then turnips, then the fish, Then a touch of sauce.


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