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Rum-and-Pepper Painted Fish with Habanero-Mango Mojo


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  • 2 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) grouper or other firm white fish fillets
  • Habanero-Mango Mojo (recipe follows)
  • Black Bean-and-Fruit Salsa (recipe follows)
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon habanero pepper sauce (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup cubed peeled ripe mango
  • 1 cup diced peeled papaya
  • 1/2 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon habanero pepper sauce (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced


Servings 1


Step 1

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add peppercorns and cloves, and cook 1 minute. Place spice mixture in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Place pepper mixture in a saucepan. Add rum and next 4 ingredients (rum through lemon juice); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Strain pepper "paint" through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450º.

Wrap handle of skillet with foil; heat oil in pan until hot. Brush pepper paint over one side of fish. Place fish, paint side down, in skillet; sauté 3 minutes or until dark brown. Turn fish over; place skillet in oven.

Bake 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fillets with Habanero-Mango Mojo and Black Bean-and-Fruit Salsa; garnish fillets with lime wedges, if desired.

Serving Size: 5 ounces fish, 1/4 cup mojo, and 1 cup salsa


To Make Habanero-Mango Mojo

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.
Yield: 1 cup
Serving Size: 1/4 cup


To Make Black Bean-and-Fruit Salsa

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.
Yield: 4 cups
Serving Size: 1 cup salsa

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