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Sunday, January 23, 2011

I heart cooking clubs!

So let's be real honest,mahi mahi is not a real good-looking fish.It looks like a fish's fish,but oh bless it's heart.As my husband said as we sat down to enjoy some of this tasty fish,"It's not a pretty fish I'll tell you that." Thank you honey.
No,it would not win the Miss USA pageant,but if it was judged on taste,it would take that crown and run with it... Wait swim with it... you get the drift.(Although from what I've read,when it is swimming under water it's blue green scales are iridescent,that might be something to see.)It swims in sub-tropical waters off the coast of Florida and Hawaii and it taste great! Although it looks like a fish's fish,it's not so fishy in taste.I've never cooked it until last Thursday evening and it won me over.

I joined an online cooking club called .The group is going to be fun,real fun. It keeps you on your toes,sort of.A chef/cook is chosen,his or her recipes are the focus for 6 months and each week within that 6 months ,there is a different theme and you pick a recipe to make that follows that theme. The different themes keep you on your toes,but at the same time you really get to enjoy the variety recipes of a chef/cook for that little while.You get to take in all the recipes have to offer and be creative at the same time.And honey a week is not that long,so you gotta keep moving.I liked this idea and had to be a part of it.

I joined up in the middle of Giada de Lauretiis's 6-month stint with the cooking club.The theme for this week was California Dreamin'.You are supposed to choose a recipe of Giada's that "speaks California " to here goes nothing.I found a recipe in her Everyday Italian cookbook,Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto.I thought a little more about the theme, I got my pesto recipe,what's going to make this recipe speak California to me...let's put this sauce over fish.Yeah yeah,mahi mahi that sounds California to me.(Folks I've never been to California and can only imagine,so go with me here.)Here we have it Spinach nad Pine Nut Pesto over Seared Mahi Mahi.
And dang it was good. The pesto was rich in spinach flavor,had a subtle nuttiness (thank you pine nuts,toasting them is the key)and the fish was the perfect stage.It has a less fishy flavor and a stronger,almost buttery nature about it.The mahi mahi filet was a meaty piece of fish.The only seasonings I used were salt and pepper and that's all it needed.I heated up some extra-virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet,patted dry the filets,seasoned them and 3-4 minutes each side,ta-da! you have tasty fish just for you!
I made the pesto,then seared my fish then ate it up like no tomorrow.The bag of frozen fish fillets had three pieces of fish in it.We split the third fillet and were in heaven.The dinner from start to finish took less than 30 minutes.I call that a real California daydream,qucik,tasty,rich dinner who could want for more.

Get together your spinach,toasted pine nuts,lemon zest,lemon juice,olive oil,parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Throw the spinach,pine nuts,lemon zest and lemon juice in the food processor.Well not throw,maybe gently drop into,if throw them you'll be picking up lemon zest and pine nuts for days...
Now with the machine running,stream in the olive oil in a steady stream.Whir the mixture until nice and creamy. Whir it all around,whir whir.
After it has whirred it's little heart out,pour it into a bowl and gently fold in the Parmesan,salt and pepper.Mmmm this makes it real good.I love cheese.
After you've seared you fish (Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.Pat dry your fish filets,season with salt and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.)Spoon the pesto over your fish filets and enjoy! It's a real treat.The spinach is brightened by the lemon juice,the lemon zest and the parmesan cheese pair really well and the saltiness of the parmesan cheese and the buttery flavor of the fish,that's good eatin' .
I couldn't wait to actually get my serving on the plate,thirty seconds after the picture it would be on my plate. But no,couldn't wait. And you won't be able to wait, delish. Enjoy!
Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto
adapted form Everyday Italian
by Giada de Laurentiis
makes 1 cup,

2 cups (lightly packed) baby spinach leaves
(about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 -2 tsp grated lemon zest(about 1 lemon)
2 TBL fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt,plus more to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper,plus more to taste.
1.In the bowl of a food processor,combine the spinach,pine nuts,lemon zest and lemon juice.With the machine running,gradually add the oil,blending until the mixture is creamy.
2. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
3. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper to taste.(the pesto can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)


  1. The pesto looks delicious and I enjoy a lot of mahi-mahi. It is a good fish for sauces. Welcome to IHCC--it is great to have you cooking along with us.

  2. Delicious, what a great pairing. Definitely makes you think of warmer climes! ☺

  3. Welcome to IHCC! It's so nice to have you cooking along with us. We're a very relaxed group so no problems if you can't join up each week, etc.
    This fish looks incredible. Nice and buttery, flaky and delicious. Great pick :)

  4. I've never tried mahi-mahi - we don't get it here in New Zealand. But I really like the idea of that spinach pesto, and I imagine it could go well with any number of other fish species I can get here.

    Welcome to the group :-)