Posted August 7, 2005 by John in Recipes

Recipe: Habanero Mahi Mahi

Sometime you bite the pepper..Sometime the pepper bites your wife

Many of my favorite recipes have a story attached to them. This is one of my them, and also a lesson to all those learning to cook with peppers.

When I expanded from only cooking with sauces to cooking with raw peppers, I didn’t do much research. I experimented with many different combinations and flavors. This was my first foray into the realm of the habanero, and it was rather eventful.

I procured all the ingredients, and diligently prepared the peppers. I even took some precautions handling the habaneros, using plastic gloves since I was concerned about forgetting what I was doing and rubbing my eyes, or worse, going to the bathroom. The dish came out great, and I was very pleased.

The next day, my wife was cooking and was complaining about her nose burning something terrible. She couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but was rather concerned and in a good deal of discomfort. I immediately noticed she was using the same cutting board I’d used to prepare the habaneros the day before. I’d washed it with soap and water, but I guess not well enough.

She was okay after a bit, but it was a good thing she didn’t rub her eyes or try to take out her contacts. That taught me the lesson of how important cleaning is after preparing peppers. Now, I rub down the board and knives with vinegar before washing it very thoroughly. The vinegar seems to do a pretty good job of helping get the oil off, whereas water alone certainly won’t do it.

Habanero Close Up

John’s “Burnt Wife” Habanero Mahi Mahi

4 fillets of fresh Mahi Mahi
Habanero peppers to taste (1 is enough for me)
3 Mangos
1 Pineapple
2 tablespoons cilantro
4 key limes
salt and pepper

1. For a very hot dish, cut the peppers into fine pieces. For a milder dish with habanero flavor, keep the peppers whole.
2. Cut the mangos and pineapple into small cubes.
3. Mix the mango, pineapple, cilantro and habaneros in an oven safe bowl, cook at 350 F for about 15 minutes, or until soft.
4. If you left the peppers whole, at this point discard them.
5. Smash the mixture into a salsa-like paste.
6. Place each piece of mahi mahi onto a 1′ square of aluminum foil, fold the edges up.
7. Divide the salsa evenly and layer over each peice of fish. Seal the aluminum foil over each fillet.
8. Ideal cooking: set each packet into the coals of a barbeque, allow to cook for 30 minutes or until the fish is white and flaky. It can also be prepared under a broiler for approximately 15 minutes, or until the fish is white and flaky.
9. Garnish with the key limes sliced in quarters

Enjoy, and be sure to clean up well, or your wife may regret it!