Salt Creek Grille’s Mahi Mahi
Including liquid pectin in a glaze for fish was new to me. I was eager to see how Scott Green, the company executive chef for the Salt Creek Grille restaurants, utilized it in his Citrus Glazed Mahi Mahi.
Joining me in my home kitchen, he showed me how he prepares the glaze that includes full-flavored components such as a reduction of sweetened fresh orange juice, lemongrass and ginger.
Here’s short video to see how Chef Scott Green prepares the fish and kale side dish.
Pectin, a substance found in ripe fruits and vegetables that is used for thickening, not only changes the consistency of the flavorful glaze, it also makes it shimmery. The surface of the fish has appealing glossiness once the glaze is spooned over it.
The fish is cooked over a mesquite-fueled grill at Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point, the restaurants’ Orange County location. In my kitchen, Green used a grill pan on my stovetop.
Two colorful accompaniments shared the plate with the fish, a generous smear of avocado mousse, as well as quick-to-prepare kale concoction. The kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped, was sautéed with garlic until it began to wilt. Halved cherry tomatoes and peeled orange segments came to the party and the bright green and red combo was ready.
Green grew up in Palos Verdes and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts. He lives in Irvine with his wife Sarah and two children.
Scott Green’s Citrus Glazed Mahi Mahi
Yield: 1 serving, with enough glaze and mousse for 4 to 6 servings
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 stalk lemongrass (lower portion), bruised with back of knife
1/2-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, crushed
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 small shallot, sliced thin
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
2 ounces liquid pectin, such as Certo brand liquid pectin
1 5-by-5-inch square of cheesecloth
2 medium-ripe avocados
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 small garlic clove, peeled, crushed
1/4 jalapeno, sliced, seeded
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons cold water
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
One 7-ounce mahi mahi filet
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or canola oil for brushing on grill pan
2 ounces Citrus Glaze, divided use, recipe included
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup kale, central stems removed, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cherry tomatoes, halved top to bottom
5 orange peeled segments
1/4 cup Avocado Mousse
Optional garnish: small amount of microgreens
Cook’s notes: A grill pan is a heavy metal pan containing ridges spaced evenly across the bottom. The glaze can be prepared up to two days in advance and refrigerated. To cut orange into peeled segments: Cut top and bottom off orange, making those two cuts parallel to each other and cutting just below white pith. Place cut-side down on work surface. Cut off peel and pith in strips about 1-inch wide, starting at the top of the fruit and cutting down (following contour of shape). Use a sharp small knife to cut parallel to one section’s membrane, cut to center; turn knife and cut along the membrane on the other side of that section to remove it. Repeat until all sections are removed. The kale, tomatoes and oranges came from local grower VR Green Farms in San Clemente.
1. Prepare glaze: 1. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat bring the orange juice and sugar to a simmer; stir to dissolve sugar. Slowly reduce to half its original volume. Meanwhile, make bouquet garni: place the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallot and rosemary in cheesecloth and tie to close it using cotton string. Add it to the orange juice reduction and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 45 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Remove bouquet garni and stir in liquid pectin. Set aside.
2. For mousse: Place all ingredients except for the cream in a blender; puree until smooth on low speed. Stop and stir the mixture if it becomes too stiff. With motor running, slowly add the heavy cream.
3. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat grill pan on high heat and brush with oil; add fish and cook until cooked through, turning half way through cooking. Place fish on a rimmed plate and coat with 2 tablespoons of citrus glaze.
4. While the fish is resting, heat olive oil in a medium-size skillet on high heat. Add kale and garlic; sauté until kale begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and orange segments; gently toss and cook just long enough to heat tomatoes and oranges. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make a generous smear of mousse across plate. Place kale mixture on one side and top with fish; spoon 2 tablespoons citrus glaze on top, and drizzling some around edge of plate and over the mousse. If desired, top with a small amount of microgreens.
Source: Executive Chef Scott Green, Salt Creek Grille, Dana Point
Here’s a quick tip from Melissa’s!
Peppery Jack cheese adds a perky edge to the chopped salad mixture.
Pita Sandwiches Stuffed with that chopped salad and cheese are scrumptious for lunch or a light dinner.
Each sandwich weighs in at 270 calories. Not bad!!!!
Pita Sandwiches Stuffed with Chopped Salad and Cheese
Yield: 8 halves
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or fresh basil
1/2 tsp. each: salt and pepper
1 ripe avocado, diced
2 hothouse cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives
1 cup grated pepper-jack cheese
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
4 pita rounds, 6 1/2-inch
1. In large bowl, combine lime juice, oil and honey; stir to combine. Add mint, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
2. Add avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and green olives; gently toss. Add cheese and lettuce; toss. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cut pita rounds in half, open pocket and fill each half with salad. Do not over-fill or pita will tear.
Source: “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas (Wiley, $29.95)
You can watch me make these sandwiches at the end of Scott Green’s video (see above).