Friday, September 3, 2010

Good & Easy Dinner: Crispy Mahi Mahi with Onions & Baked Tomato Rice (with Cheese)

This is a relatively fast, uncomplicated, and really delicious dinner. Including the cooking time, I would guess this meal took an hour before it was on the table. We served the baked rice and mahi mahi with steamed broccoli.

I'm not a huge fan of rice dishes, but this may be my absolute favorite rice dish. It uses risotto rice (Arborio), but you don't have to sit in front of a stove, stirring for 30+ minutes. I had a little trouble finding Arborio rice, but a big grocery store should have it. It may just cost a little more than the regular rice. The grains look almost pearl-like and it cooks up creamy.

The rice calls for 1 cup Pecorino Romano. 1) I think that may be too much cheese, so I halved it. 2) I don't have Pecorino Romano on hand. So, Parmesan, Asiago, Grana Padano or any Pecorino cheese will substitute just fine. I used some Grana Padano brought over to the states from our dear friends in Italy.

What dish to use? I used a small dutch oven-9 inches by 9 inches by 3 inches. The recipe writer had used an oval dish roughly 12 inches by 6 inches. Just about any oven-safe pot will do.


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock (you can use water if you don't have stock, but be sure to season the rice well before putting it in the oven)
1 cup cooked tomato sauce (I used the leftover tomatoes from this recipe from previous post & added a little extra water)
1//2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (or any substitute mentioned above)
Salt & pepper, to taste

For Topping:
2-3 Tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano
2 to 3 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and then add the rice. Stir the rice for about a minute, until it is coated in oil.

Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. (If you've used water, you may want to add a bit of salt or pepper.)

Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add half the Pecorino Romano (1/4 cup) and stir.

Pour the rice mixture into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino Romano (1/4 cup). If your dish has a lid, cover it or cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. After about 30 minutes, check on your rice just to be sure that it hasn't dried out. When the rice is done, it will be creamy, but not soup or too dry.

When the rice is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a minute or two. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano and the parsley and then serve.
Note: This dish will serve 3 to 4 people.


This fish was so easy, fast, and delicious. My mom used to make fish like this, but would use a whole fish, take out the middle, and fill it with onions and mayo. I loved the flavor but it was way too rich.. I think the recipe called for 1 cup mayo!!! I think the flavor/creaminess is wonderful, but 2 Tbsp. was absolutely plenty and if you use grapeseed Vegenaise, you can at least know it's heart-healthy & egg-free.

Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese, and in my opinion, retain crunch much more so than regular breadcrumbs. You don't have to go to an Asian market to find them these should be able to find them in your grocery store. I know Whole Foods & Fresh Market carries these breadcrumbs. Some people make them at home, I don't have the interest/time (yet-ha!).

This may be my favorite way to eat Mahi Mahi from now on--love it! Tart, crispy, salty....perfect.


4 small-medium sized fillets, roughly 2 lbs. (I used frozen with great success)
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp. garlic salt (approx.)
Pepper, to taste (approx 1/4 tsp. as well)
2 Tbsp. good mayonnaise or sour cream (I used Vegenaise & it was so amazing)
1/4-1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (approx.)
1/4 cup, or less, fried onions if you have them (optional, but incredibly worth it)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking pan or baking dish with aluminum foil (makes clean up a breeze).

Rinse fish (if fresh) and put in a baking dish. Or just lay the frozen fillets down on the dish/sheet.

Mix lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt & pepper, and chopped onions (including the fried onions, if you are using them). Spread this mixture on the fish fillets.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake at 425 for 25 minutes, or until center of fish is opaque.

Serves 4.

Hope you guys enjoy this!

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