Mahi Mahi Stuffed Hatch Chiles are cooked to perfection and served with a fresh tomato-lime sauce. This is a recipe where the process is as beautiful as the result.Please note that roasting the chiles is not included in the prep time, and takes about 15 minutes. It can be done up to a day ahead of time if you keep them refrigerated.
For the stuffed chiles (I used mild chiles -- use your preference)
about 1½cupsgrapeseed or other neutral oil
6wholeroasted Hatch Chiles, (click here for How to Roast and Peel Peppers)
1poundMahi Mahi fillets
1teaspoonmild Hatch Chile powder(or other mild chile powder)
½cupall-purpose flour(see notes)
a few turns freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
Wash and dry the tomatoes, and add them to a blender with the lime juice, honey and cumin. Blend just for a few seconds, until it's mostly smooth with a few tomato pieces here and there.
Pour the mixture into a sauce pan over medium heat, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes -- just long enough to bring the flavors together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set it aside. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
Very gently use your fingers to remove the seeds -- most of them are attached at the top. Then carefully turn each pepper upside down and shake it a bit to loosen any remaining seeds. (If you can't seem to get them out and you're sure there are still quit a few, you can pour a little water inside and then turn it upside down. If you're left with just a few, that's okay.
Slice the fish fillets into long strips that are just about the size of the openings at the top of each chile. They narrow towards the bottom, so you may need to trim the fish accordingly. You can then use those scraps to fill in any gaps towards the top.
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper, and then very gently fill each chile with it. Though the goal is to keep them intact, it's okay if the chile splits, as it will still hold together pretty well when you cook them. Set aside.
Add the egg to a very shallow plate and use a fork to blend it. Set aside.
Add the flour, chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper to another shallow plate and mix it gently. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large enough pan so that it goes up the sides at least a couple of inches. Place it over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when you drop a bit of food into it and it immediately bubbles around it. Alternatively, if you have a candy thermometer, the oil should be about 350°F.
As soon as your oil is ready, set up a work station as close to it as possible -- it should include the stuffed chiles, flour mixture and egg. Very carefully, lightly dredge a stuffed chile into the flour mixture, then the egg, and then one last time in the flour. (This should all be a light coating -- it's not meant to be a batter. It will create a thin, crispy crust.) Now place the stuffed and coated chile directly into the hot oil. Follow this procedure with the remaining stuffed chiles. Be careful though, not to crowd the pan -- there should be a couple of inches between them. Two batches of 3 is probably best in a large pan. Once the bottoms are golden brown, use kitchen tongs to flip them over. Once the top is golden brown as well, they're likely done -- about 2 minutes per side. (If you're not sure you can cut into one of them to see that the fish is cooked through.)
Place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain for a couple of minutes. (The leftover oil should be cooled completely before you toss it. Pour it into an old jar to throw it away.)
Warm up the sauce and pour a bit under and over the stuffed chiles to serve.
If you're gluten-free, or cooking for someone who is, this works well with gluten-free flour, too.
Keywords fish for dinner party, healthy dinner recipe
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