Mahi Mahi is one of the most popular seafood items on American menus. Whether listed by its Hawaiian name of Mahi Mahi, the Americanized shortening of Mahi, or the traditional English name of dolphin, you can find it on almost any menu featuring more than one kind of fish in the country.
Due to the confusion with the mammal species, most Americans stick with the Hawaiian name for this one, so we will do the same here.
A firm flaky, mild, white ocean fish, mahi mahi is incredibly versatile. You can prepare it pretty much any way you could cook chicken, whether that be grilling, poaching, frying, or butter braising, there is a mahi mahi recipe for every preparation.
Mahi’s relative flavor neutrality means that it can pair with most anything. You can parmesan crust it and serve with lemon butter over Cappellini.
You could poach it into a traditional San Francisco Cioppino with mussels and clams. A little crusty baguette and you have a perfect winter feast. Or you could impress a dinner party with this mahi wellington.
The name Mahi Wellington is a little deceptive. Beef Wellington has come back into vogue in recent years due to the popularity of some celebrity chefs who focus on it.
Since the name is recognizable to the average guest, Wellington is the name this recipe uses. This is more of a traditional Mahi en croute (mahi in pastry) with some new flavor combinations.
The beautiful part of this recipe is that it is relatively simple, but looks extremely impressive to your guests.
*One side filet (approximately 2 ½ lbs) of Mahi Mahi, skinned, with all pin bones and blood line removed
*Shaved prosciutto, approximately six full slices, or the equivalent
*Gremolata (recipe to follow)
*One sheet prepared puff pastry, homemade or frozen and thawed
*One egg, lightly mixed
*Blood orange gastrique for service (recipe to follow)
Lightly salt and pepper both sides of your mahi filet. Let it sit for fifteen minutes, then pat dry with paper towels. Be careful not to over-salt, as the prosciutto in the next step is very salty.
Prepare your work station with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Place your puff pastry on this plastic, stretching the dough with your fingertips to approximately 11×17 inches.
Lay your slices of prosciutto on top of the dough in a shingled layer, to create an area about as long as your fish, and twice as wide.
Top the prosciutto with your gremolata, spreading to get an even layer. Place your mahi mahi on top of the gremolata.
Using the plastic wrap, roll the pastry and prosciutto around the fish. Pinch the seams of the dough to seal, and cut away any excess.
Tightly wrap in the plastic, and twist the ends of the plastic to make a tight sausage shape. Place in the refrigerator for up to two hours, to stiffen dough and gremolata.
Bake in a 400-degree oven until the pastry is deeply golden brown, and the internal temperature of the fish is 130 degrees with a meat thermometer. Allow to rest at room temp for five to ten minutes before slicing into 1 ½ inch slices with a very sharp knife.
Top with blood orange gastrique, and serve with rice pilaf and roasted vegetables.
If you don’t have access to whole sides of fish, you can make individual Wellingtons out of 4-6 oz filets of fish and smaller pieces of puff pastry. Just watch your cook times to avoid drying the fish out.
For blood orange gastrique:
Combine juice and zest of two blood oranges with a pinch of salt, ½ cup of sugar and ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar. Simmer until mixture begins to thicken and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Cool down.
For Gremolata, combine juice and zest of two lemons, one small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, and two crushed cloves of garlic in your food processor. Pulse while adding enough extra virgin olive oil to make a chunky paste, without destroying the color of the parsley.
If you don’t have a food processor, chop all your ingredients very finely by hand and combine in a mixing bowl or mortar and pestle.