Gotta hate coverups…

Yesterday, I was writing about the Meddeteranean style diet and the health benefits of going that direction. I will say that it is very difficult to stick to a diet like that when there is an abundance of “easy”, albeit, unhealthy alternatives. However, I believe that if you keep the ingredients fresh and watch the added sugars and such you should be fine.  There is a blog that is dedicated to fresh and healthy called “Peeled” here on WordPress and you should really check it out. She has a lot of good ideas to “keep it clean”.

I know that I was remiss in my duties about posting the pork recipe I did with black cherries and lime last week but I hope I can make amends with this fish recipe (the pork recipe is not yet in electronic form). So, I hope you will forgive me this one time and I will try to not let it happen again. I do have quite a few fish recipes left in my kitchen notebook so you may be seeing fish for a while and I hope that does not bother anyone.

This was a recipe I thought of while dreaming of a blue water sail through tropical waters to an island of choice. No, it was not at night while I was sleeping but while I was perusing a Condé Nast Traveler magazine on a Saturday about island destinations which included Hawaii. For me, the sailing part would just be a really cool way to get to any of the destinations listed.

This recipe was also a way to address one of the things I dislike which is when people do not even taste the food in front of them before they cover it up with some sort of sauce or “ketchup type” thing (I mean you work to make sure the flavors in the meal are balanced and such and they should at least taste it right?) So, it goes without saying, I was kind of tired of watching while some of the people for whom I cook slathered their fish with cocktail or tartar sauce so I was trying to come up with something they could use that would enhance the flavor of the fish instead of cover it. Thus, The Salsa, a tartar sauce alternative, was born. Since this recipe, I have come up with a bunch of other salsas to be used in a wide variety of dishes.

Here is the recipe:

Tropical Dream Flounder
(makes 4 servings)

2 lbs – Flounder fillets (skinless) (I try to have 6 – 8 ounces of fish per person)

The Salsa (the tartar sauce alternative)
1/3 – Fresh pineapple (diced fine)
1 – Mango, no skin, (diced fine)
1 – Orange (diced fine) (I try to make sure that I have just the meat of the orange and not any of the skin on the inside)
1/3 – Medium sweet onion (diced fine)
½ – Red bell pepper (diced fine)
½ – Green bell pepper (diced fine)
A couple of healthy splashes of white balsamic vinegar (if you have to measure 2 ½ tablespoons)
Coarse ground black pepper (to taste)
Ground cayenne pepper (to taste)
½ tsp – Sea Salt (it’s a fish it deserves ocean stuff)
7 – Mint leaves (finely shredded) (I used spearmint because that is what is growing under my deck)

Salsa assembly:

In a medium to large bowl put pineapple, mango, orange, onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and mint leaves and toss thoroughly to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Splash with the balsamic vinegar and toss again. Place mixture in the fridge to that all those nice flavors can get acquainted.

The fish:

Use salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to season both sides of each piece of fish. (The idea is to have mildly (or very, it depends on your taste) spicy fish play off of the sweet and minty in the salsa.) Place fish on a cookie (or baking sheet) that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray and bake at 380 degrees for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Serve the fish with salsa on the top (or on the side).

Note: Flounder fillet are notoriously thin and they will cook very fast so it is best to keep an eye on them. (They become hard almost rubbery messes if you do not)

With this fish I served wild rice and a fresh fruit salad (you kind of have to use the remainder of the pineapple for something). The wine was Toasted Head, Viognier.



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