Ready in 30 minutes
This is one of my signature dishes, but I've never finalized the recipe. It seems that every time I make this dish, something changes. I've tried it with more Kahlua, less Kahlua, cooked shallot, raw shallot, garlic, no garlic. It's a dish that haunts me to no end. The flavors are subtle and have always made me smile after the first bite. They've made others say, "wow" and go back for a second taste. But I have yet to take a bite, stand up, and yell - "Eureka!" Consider this a work in progress. A delicious, but unfinished none the less, work in progress.
Our first step is to making the crust for the fish. I tend to make a lot of crust and save some for later use. First you'll pulse your macadamias in a food processor until they're fairly coarse.
Once that's done, simply place them on a sheet tray and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Shake them every 3 minutes or so, not only to evenly toast the nuts, but also to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Once they become aromatic, they're ready. In a bowl, you'll combine your panko, paprika, macadamia nuts, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss.
Whisk your eggs in a bowl to create an egg wash. Season your Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper. Dampen each side of the fish in the egg wash and dredge it through your panko mixture. In a saute pan with olive oil, over medium heat, you'll want to sear the fish on each side for about 2-3 minutes, until it's golden brown. Transfer the fish to a sheet tray and finish in a 350 degree oven.
While the Mahi Mahi is in the oven, you'll want to make your sauce. This sauce is a loose interpretation of a Beurre Blanc because we're replacing one acid component (wine and vinegar) with another (lime juice and Kahlua).
Start by sweating your shallots. Deglaze your pan with lime juice and Kahlua and reduce. Add your heavy cream and reduce by half. Then, remove from heat and slowly, in small batches, whisk in your butter.
I like to strain my sauce to remove all the bits of minced ginger and shallot. I think a nice smooth sauce goes well with the coarse crunch of our macadamia crust.
To serve, simply drizzle your sauce over the fish and maybe add a light dusting of sesame seeds.