Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pan-Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Puerto Rican Mojo Isleño (Islander Sauce)

The signature sauce of Puerto Rico, mojo isleño is made with simple, fresh ingredients, including tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, olives, and capers, along with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice.

Some recipes call for tomato sauce, but I think fresh tomatoes cooked down to a chunky texture add flavor and richness that you just can’t get in runny canned sauces. That means this accompaniment for the fish is thick—more like a relish than a sauce. If you prefer a runnier consistency, add a little vegetable broth toward the end of cooking.

And if you can’t find mahi-mahi, another thick, meaty fish—such as yellow-fin tuna or swordfish—will hold up well in the grill pan.

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
  • 1/2 cubanelle pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise (or cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green olives
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 5-oz. mahi-mahi filets about 1/2-inch thick each
Mojo Isleno Ingredients
  1. Heat a small, nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pepper and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Pepper and Onion Beginning to Cook

  1. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, and capers and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a light simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook slowly until the tomatoes have broken down to a chunky consistency, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Remaining Ingredients Added 
Cooked Sauce 
Mojo Isleno
  1. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Season the mahi-mahi with salt and pepper and grill until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
Mahi-Mahi Ready to Grill 
Fish Beginning to Grill
To serve, place 1 piece of fish on each of 2 plates and divide the sauce on top of and around each. Drizzle all with a little olive oil and serve right away.

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