Blackened Mahi with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

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Mahi Mahi is my go to for busy weeknights. It thaws quickly, but even if it’s not thawed, it cooks completely through in about 10 minutes. If I have totally forgotten to plan ahead, dinner can still be on the table in under 30 minutes. Blackened Mahi with Cucumber Avocado Salsa, however, takes it to a whole new level.

Cucumber Avocado Salsa

I came up with this delicious condiment as part of my elimination diet journey (yes, I’m as tired of being on it as you are hearing about it.) Tomatoes are on the no list and I’ve tried them a couple of times and realizing that raw tomatoes especially may not be a regular part of my diet anymore. I wanted something to go with the blackened fish to offer a little acidity and healthy fat, however, and normally this time of year that would be tomatoes, basil and olive oil. Without the tomato crutch, I found cucumbers, cilantro and avocados and set about making an alternative. It turns out, it was the perfect companion to the spicy fish. I did end up adding tomatoes for my husband and they looked so colorful, that I used that version for the photos.

Blackened Seasoning

Blackened seasoning is a blend of spices typical in Cajun cuisine of Lousiana. It can be as spicy as you want it to be based on the amount of cayenne that you use, but the essential spices are paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and black pepper. Salt of course is the base and I always use Himalayan Pink Salt.

How do you make Blackened Mahi with Cucumber Avocado Salsa?

Blackening is simply a term for cooking spice coated foods in a searing hot skillet. It is an incredibly easy technique that turns the spices a really dark brown or even black and adds a complex flavor to the already flavorful spices. Once you have the salsa made and the blackened seasoning mixed together, you can literally throw this dinner together in 15 minutes. You can make the blackened seasoning up in batches and keep it in a labeled jar. You will love it, so I definitely recommend you do this. The cucumber salsa can be made a day or two in advance without the avocado since it will brown, but you can add that at the last minute.

What should you serve with Blackened Mahi?

I served green beans since I had them on hand from my farmers market haul, but you can serve any vegetable you love and is in season. Typically when cucumbers are in season, you will find zucchini, beans, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Any of these will work for sure.

Blackened Mahi with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

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Ingredients for Cucumber Avo Salsa

1/2 English Cucumber, 1 regular or 2 Persian cucumbers, diced

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (use parsley or basil if you don’t like cilantro)

1/4 cup chopped red or green onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno or serrano, minced

1 cup chopped tomatoes, optional

juice of 1 lime

sea salt to taste

Remaining Ingredients

Blackened Seasoning, recipe follows

4 Mahi Mahi fillets

Avocado or light olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients for relish, season to taste with sea salt

  2. Combine blackened seasoning ingredients and season fish heavily.

  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high until smoking. Add a thin layer of oil then carefully lay the fish into the skillet (away from you so oil doesn’t splash up on you.)

  4. If thawed, cook on one side for 2-3 minutes then flip. Cook on the other side until fish is opaque all the way through.

  5. Serve with Cucumber Avocado Relish and your favorite veggie.

Blackened Seasoning

This makes about 1/3 cup. You may have some left over after seasoning fish, but not a whole lot. Feel free to multiply this recipe to make it in batches. Use it on chicken, pork, fish, shrimp or in coating for any of those if you want to fry (air-fryer!) them.

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tsp dried thyme

1 ½ tsp granulated onion

2 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder (preferably ancho chile)

½ tsp cayenne (omit for mild, add more for extra spicy)

2 tsp oregano 

Mix all together in a jar. Seal tightly and store in pantry up to 3 months.