You say mahi-mahi, I say dolphin.
If you ever visit a restaurant in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and see “dolphin” on the menu, don’t panic. We don’t eat Flipper here. (Note to younger readers: type “Flipper the dolphin” into your favorite search engine.) Dolphin, or dolphinfish, is another name for mahi-mahi. Old-school fishermen and long-time OBX residents still call it dolphin, but most restaurants and marketing folks have started referring to it as mahi-mahi to avoid confusion with the mammal.
When the generous folks at Anolon® offered to send me some of their new Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel cookware, I fell in love with the 4-quart covered chef’s casserole and knew immediately it would be a great vehicle for fish chowder. I went to my local fish market and picked up some fresh dolphin.
This line of pans is a health-conscious cook’s dream. You don’t have to use much oil and nothing sticks! You get the benefits of a nonstick surface, even though the pan is stainless steel. You can still get a nice sear on meats and clean-up is super easy. I had bits of tomato and onion stuck to the pan and all I had to do was wipe it once with a sponge and it was perfectly clean. No soaking or scrubbing was required.
This chowder is much better on the second day once the flavors have had a chance to blend. I like to make the base one day, refrigerate it and then heat it up and add the fish the next day. This would be a great, quick meal for a busy weeknight. Make your base on Sunday, pick up fresh fish and a baguette on your way home from work on Monday and dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
The most important thing to remember about this chowder is not to overcook the fish. As soon as it turns opaque, it’s done. If you can’t find dolphin, any firm white fish will work. Cobia, grouper and red snapper would also be good choices.
Later this week, I’ll be featuring another recipe using the covered chef’s casserole. I also received a 12-inch skillet from Anolon®’s Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel collection and I’ll be trying it out later in the month. My Virtual Potluck buddies also received some cookware. Visit Miss from Miss in the Kitchen to see what fantastic recipes everyone else developed.
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Disclaimer: I received free cookware from Anolon® for this review. All opinions are my own.
Adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced sweet onion (about 1 large onion)
1 cup diced celery (about 4 ribs)
1 cup peeled, diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
8 small red potatoes, quartered
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, including juice
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 sprig fresh oregano (about 6 inches long)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (about 6 inches long)
1 bay leaf
1 pound mahi-mahi, cut into bite-sized pieces (or any other firm white fish)
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil over medium-high heat in 4-quart saucepan (I used the Anolon® Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 4-quart Covered Chef’s Casserole). Sauté onion, celery, carrots and potatoes for about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, water, Old Bay seasoning and salt.
Tie the sprigs of oregano and thyme plus the bay leaf into a bundle with kitchen twine. Add the herb bundle to the saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
(The recipe can be made ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat and continue with recipe.)
Add the mahi-mahi and simmer until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. You want the fish to be cooked, but still firm. Add freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving: 241 calories, 4g fat (1g sat), 41mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium, 37g carb, 5g fiber, 7g sugar, 15g protein
Nutritional Analysis: This chowder is low in Saturated Fat and is a good source of Vitamin A, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. If it has too much Sodium for your diet, you might want to use no-salt-added tomatoes and reduce or eliminate the sea salt. (Source: nutritiondata.com)