Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: A taste of the Caribbean in Brooklyn

By Michèle De Meglio

I think I may have found my culinary niche.

I can kinda, sorta, somewhat cook fish on a George Foreman Grill. This means that I don’t overcook it too badly.

Since discovering Henry & Lisa’s frozen make-them-yourself meals, I’ve attempted the mahi-mahi with Caribbean marinade dish with varied results. Sometimes the delicate fish is burned to smithereens and other times it’s just a little overdone. (I consider that a job well done!)

This week, I wondered if the mahi-mahi would be the perfect base for Caribbean fish tacos.

Preparing the fish according to the package directions, I covered the mahi-mahi with the marinade, which includes lemon juice, lime juice, onion, vinegar, black pepper, red chili flakes and sea salt.

While the fish was soaking up the flavors, I went to work on the taco filling.

With some chopping and grating, I ended up with chunks of red onion, shredded lettuce and paper-thin sliced cucumbers. And no cuts on my dainty fingers! Woo-hoo!

Actually, the cucumbers were a bit too thin. I used the grater (I thought I’d be fun!) which produced completely translucent cukes that looked rather slimy. A quick taste test confirmed that they tasted like slime, too. Well, I tried.

After an hour of marinating, I placed the mahi-mahi on the sizzling grill.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — I really wish that grill would stop splashing oil at me! This time it coated my adorable tie-dyed maxi dress. Ugh! It was in the most lovely crystal blue shades — perfect for a Caribbean dinner. I hate that cooking is messing with my fashions!

Verdict: Not too bad. The mahi-mahi was moist and fluffy (I didn’t kill it!). Wrapped in a soft tortilla with the lettuce, onion and cucumbers, the taco was a light dish perfect for an afternoon lunch on the beach.

I probably should have let the mahi-mahi marinate a little longer, though, since the flavors could have been stronger.

The biggest lesson learned — I must invest in an apron.

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.

Caribbean Mahi-Mahi Tacos

1 package Henry & Lisa’s wild South American mahi-mahi with Caribbean marinade (or 2 mahi-mahi fillets)
Caribbean marinade — lemon juice, lime juice, onion, vinegar, black pepper, red chili flakes and sea salt
1 head romaine lettuce
1 red onion
1 cucumber
1 package soft tortillas

Cover the mahi-mahi with the marinade for several hours. Chop onion and cucumber and shred lettuce. Set aside. Grill fish for approximately four minutes. Cut into pieces and place portions in tortillas. (One fillet can make three tacos.) Cover with lettuce, onion and cucumber. Serve immediately.


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