Jerk Mahi Mahi with Hoppin’ John, Banana Red Curry Sauce, Hearts of Palm Salad

Ingredients for the Hoppin' John:

  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 white onions, divided
  • 6c chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • ½ c diced andouille sausage
  • 1 c white rice
  • 2 tsp Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Soak beans overnight in water, covered by at least 1 inch of water.

Cut 1 of the onions in eighths. Put onion, bay leaf, thyme, along with peas in a medium pot. Add 4c chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 2 hours.

Dice the remaining onion. Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a medium rondeau or large pot; either will do just as long as it has a heavy bottom. Add the diced andouille. Sautee, rendering the fat out of it, for about 5 mintues. Then add the onion, celery, peppers, and seasonings. Add the remaining 2c stock and let it come to a boil. Then add the rice and the black-eyed peas. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 8 minutes.

Ingredients for the Banana Red Curry Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • ½ carrot, peeled, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 c unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1c water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 4 large basil leaves, chopped

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to brown, add banana. Brown the banana, then add the onion, carrot, celery, and ginger. Sweat the vegetables for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Once it is cool enough to work safely with, transfer to a blender and puree. Reheat the sauce to serve. This can be made up to 2 days in advance of serving.

Ingredients for the Hearts of Palm Salad:

  • 1/3 can hearts of palm, sliced ¼” thick on the bias
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienne
  • 1/3 red onion, shaved
  • 8 leaves of celery leaves, torn
  • 8 leaves cilantro, torn
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Let marinate for about 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

Ingredients for the Jerk Mahi Mahi:

  • 6 oz boneless, skinless fillets mahi mahi
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a large sautee pan that is oven-safe. Season Mahi Mahi fillets with the jerk seasoning on both sides. When the oil begins to smoke, place the fillets into the pan with the side that had the skin on facing up. Sear for about 2 minutes on high heat, then place the pan into the oven, leaving the fillets as they are in the pan. This will ensure a nice crisp sear on the presentation side of the fish, and enhance the flavor as well. Cook for about 8-12 mintues, depending on the thickness of the fillets. (less for thinner, more for ones about ¾ inch thick)

Remove from pan and plate with the seared side facing upwards over the hoppin john. Drizzle some of the banana red curry sauce around the fish, and garnish with the hearts of palm salad.