Fish makes for a really healthy meal – unless you’re like me and like me and like to drown it with wonderful, creamy tartar sauce. It took me a while, but I eventually perfected home-made tartar: mayonnaise, finely chopped cornichons, and lemon-juice were my main ingredients. Sometimes I branched out and used cayenne, horseradish and/or capers. But no matter what, using mayonnaise as a base, and then using so much of it with my dinner, could turn an otherwise healthy meal into a high-fat dinner.
I wanted an alternative – something packed full of flavor so that just a little bit could be used to complement the fish. I’m not sure why, but I decided to try goat cheese, spiced up with lemon juice, capers, spicy mustard, and scallions. Goat cheese is much lower in fat that regular mayo, and the flavor is so assertive and tangy that just a spoonful of the mixture was more than enough to go with a 6-ounce filet.
Just in case the goat-cheese spread didn’t turn out, I also made a batch of salsa (another favorite to serve with fresh seafood), and served both with the mahi-mahi. I made the tomato-based salsa from an earlier post for shrimp with two salsas. I really liked the combination, and may forget all about my old-fashioned tartar sauce.
Goat Cheese Tartar Sauce
In a small bowl stir together:
- 4 ounces goat cheese (room temperature)
- juice from 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)
- 3 Tbsp. capers, drained
- 2 Tbsp. minced scallions (white and light green parts only – about 4 scallions)
- 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
Pan-Roasted Mahi Mahi
Pre-heat your oven to 425-degrees. Rinse and pat dry 6-ounce mahi-mahi filets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to a heavy-bottomed, oven-proof skillet:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Carefully add the mahi-mahi to the pan. Allow to sear, at least 3 minutes before turning carefully (thicker filets should sear for longer – up to 4 or 5 minutes). Move the pan to the pre-heated oven, bake another 5-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) until it is just cooked through. The flesh should start to flake when it is done, or use an instant-read thermometer (it’s done when it hits 140 degrees).
Serve with a spoonful of goat-cheese sauce and salsa on the side.