Today was one of those days. I felt like I was herding cats. Every time I thought I had a handle on something, a new situation arose. Not that my job is brain surgery or rocket science, far from it actually... but today... whoa.
The best part of my day was this meal. I love how fresh fish combined with fresh, clean-flavored ingredients make me feel like I'm eating "spa food." You know what I'm talking about... a refreshing plate you'd have after your aromatherpy hot stone mud massage with rose petals.
Because, believe me, that is how I felt when eating this. The fish was so simply done with salt and pepper that the salsa really had the opportunity to shine. The sweet-tartness of the blood orange combined with the creamy avocado and the zingy red pepper in a way that tasted like fate... as though blood oranges, avocado, and red onion are grown only to be friends. No fussiness, very little effort, just happiness.
I took a reader's suggestion (in the comments of the Bon Appetit recipe online) and served this with plain couscous and a cucumber salad. I sliced the cucumber and tossed it with blood orange olive oil and pomegranite vinegar (I know, right? Could this have been more perfect?), but any vinegar/oil/citrus would do well.
I can't explain it, and I feel weird even typing it, but this dinner made my day. It was exactly what I needed.
Mahi-mahi with Blood Orange, Avocado, and Red Onion Salsa
Adapted from: Bon Appétit Magazine, February 2005
1 blood orange, Cara Cara orange, or regular orange
1/2 cup 1/3-inch cubes avocado
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced red jalapeño
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 6-ounce mahi-mahi fillets
1 large cucumber, sliced
2 cups prepared couscous
Using small sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Add avocado, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice to oranges in bowl; stir gently to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt.
Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
Place 1 fillet on each of 2 plates. Spoon salsa atop fish and serve with cucumber slices and couscous.
>> Orange you sweet: Although they look like regular navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges are tinged pink on the inside and taste a little sweeter. You'll find them at some supermarkets and farmers' markets.