Dave and I have had a tradition of Friday night fish dinners for some time now. When or how this started is a faded memory, though it may have to do with deep-seated roots of Friday night fish frys in small Midwestern towns.
I love a good fish fry, though I can do without all the breading and oil these days. So the challenge is to enhance the fish with a few less calories as well as with fresh, bright flavors.
Tonight mahi mahi sits on a cloud of Swiss chard with a simple orange sauce. Fish and greens can leave a person wanting a little more; pasta fills that void. It gives the dish body and texture. Fresh ingredients shine through without using overpowering seasonings. Sure there is a little bacon grease being used in this dish but sparingly. And pancetta sounds healthier and fancier than bacon anyway.
This dish is not limited to Friday nights, so go crazy and try it on a Tuesday! It’s a Fat and Happy fresh fish un-fry.
Mahi Mahi over Orange Glazed Swiss Chard
2 pieces mahi mahi
3 oz pancetta, diced small
1/4 scant cup golden raisins
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
4 large Swiss chard leaves
1 cup dried pasta**
toasted pine nuts (handful)
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil and balsamic (optional, for final drizzle)
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Add a teaspoon of salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions (but do not overcook it. The pasta should be al dente), drain and save 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Juice the orange and place the raisins in the juice. Set aside.
In the meantime, in a large saute/fry pan, crisp the pancetta over medium high heat. Shoot for crisp-tender rather than crisp burnt. Remove from pan, and set aside. Drain the grease leaving about two tablespoons in the pan. You may not have to actually remove any grease depending on the pancetta.
Add the mahi mahi to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook just few minutes on each side until browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions to the pan. Cook over medium heat for five minutes until softened and slightly golden brown on the edges.
Add in the Swiss chard, sprinkle a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss well. Cook until the Swiss chard begins to soften for just a few minutes. Add in the cooked pasta and pasta water along with the orange juice and rehydrated raisins that have been soaking. Simmer a few minutes to reduce the sauce.
Serve: scoop the Swiss chard pasta into two shallow bowls. Top each dish with the fish and then sprinkle with the pancetta and pine nuts. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar if using. Serve immediately
**Use GF pasta for a gluten free version.
Fat and Happy Food Bog Tips and Techniques: There are two things that can ruin this dish- bad fish and old Swish chard. Fresh ingredients are a must.
For more recipes, go to Monique’s blog: FatandHappyBlog.com