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Spiced Mahimahi with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Mahimahi, aka dolphin fish, has a stronger flavor than most white fish, and that extra flavor is what makes it a perfect candidate for the grill. Match it up with a little Latin spice and a minty pineapple salsa, and you are sitting down to a wonderful summer supper.

You can make the pineapple salsa just before cooking the fish, as instructed below, or prepare it up to 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Ingredients:

For the Latin spice rub:

  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. freshly ground pepper
  •  

For the grilled pineapple salsa:

  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 jalapeño chili
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  •  
  • 4 mahimahi fillets, each about 8 oz. and 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise

Directions:

To make the Latin spice rub, in a small container with a tight-fitting lid, stir together the cumin, sugar, coriander, salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously to mix. Use immediately, or store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month. You will need 1 Tbs. of the spice rub for this recipe.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.

To make the pineapple salsa, drizzle the pineapple and onion slices with olive oil, then place on the grill along with the jalapeño. Cook the pineapple and onion, turning once, until they are nicely grill-marked and heated through, about 8 minutes total. Cook the jalapeño, turning, until charred on all sides.

Transfer the pineapple, onion and jalapeño to a cutting board. Chop the pineapple and onion into chunks and place in a bowl. When the jalapeño is cool enough to handle, peel, stem, seed and dice it, then add it to the bowl. Add the avocado and mint and stir to mix. Add the lime juice, stir again and season with salt. Set aside.

Brush the mahimahi fillets on both sides with the mayonnaise, coating evenly, then sprinkle evenly on both sides with the Latin rub.

Place the fish on the grill directly over the heat. Cook, turning once, until the fish is just opaque throughout and flakes when prodded gently with a fork. For the timing, follow the rule of about 8 minutes total per 1 inch of thickness. Most mahimahi fillets are about 1/2 inch thick, so the fish should be done in 4 to 6 minutes. If your fillets are thicker, cook them a few minutes more.

Transfer the fish to a platter or individual plates and serve immediately. Pass the pineapple salsa at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Grill Master, by Fred Thompson (Weldon Owen, 2011).