Line-caught Mahi-mahi Confit and Crispy Calamari with Caramelised Capers
► by Chef Wilwore Jordan of the Port St. Charles Yacht Club
Since taking over the kitchen of the Port St. Charles Yacht Club in spring 2017, Chef Wilwore Jordan is dreaming big, featuring dishes like this one, with vivid colours, strong flavours and a touch of class on his new menu.
— Photography Kenneth Theysen
"This is one of the dishes I made during my interview and it was well-loved by everyone at the tasting”, says the young chef. The tender, buttery fish was also well-loved by us at Menu International, especially the caramelised capers. Their butterscotch flavour turns into salted caramel as you chew the juicy, pickled spheres.
While this cheffy recipe takes a fair amount of time and coordination, much of it can be prepared in advance, including those capers, which are the perfect beachside snack with a rum punch or glass of crisp, white wine. And if you prefer to eat this recipe without breaking a sweat in the kitchen, you can have lunch at the Yacht Club.
The inspiration for this dish, says Jordan, is Barbados itself. “It reminds me of the Caribbean. The beauty of having so many different people and cultures here is reflected in the food.” The bright colours and sweet-and-salty flavours make for a tongue-tantalising combination.
Line-caught Mahi-mahi Confit with Crispy Calamari, Potato Mash, Minted Pea Purée, Grapefruit Cream and Caramelised Capers
4 oz. potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 fl. oz. milk
1 oz. butter
6 oz. fresh or frozen green peas
10 mint leaves
2 sprigs dill
2 sprigs parsley
6 fl. oz. grapefruit juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. brown sugar
6 oz. sour cream
1 tbsp. capers
1 tbsp. honey
4 fl. oz. water
2 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
6 oz. mahi-mahi
1 sprig thyme
6 thin calamari rings
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. flour
Oil for deep-frying
- Boil the potatoes until tender.
- Pass the potatoes through a strainer or ricer to make a smooth purée.
- Add the milk and butter.
- Cook over low heat in a small sauté pan until glossy, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to keep it from sticking, adding salt to taste and more butter if desired.
Green Pea Purée
- Boil the peas until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Drain and place peas in a blender with mint, parsley, dill and enough of the pea cooking liquid to blend.
- Blend until smooth and pass through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover tightly.
- In a small sauté pan, reduce the grapefruit juice over high heat with the lemon juice and 1 tsp. of the brown sugar until syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the sour cream and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce by half, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Strain into a heat-proof bowl.
- Place the honey, water and 2 ½ tbsp. brown sugar in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Gently boil until a thick syrup forms.
- Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tsp. of butter.
- Dry capers with clean paper towel and place in a heat-proof bowl or ramekin.
- Pour the hot caramel over top of the capers and let cool.
- Place a non-stick sauté pan over a medium flame.
- Add the butter and cook until light foam appears.
- Pat the fish dry, season it with salt and place it in the pan along with the thyme.
- Lower the flame to medium-low and cook gently for 3-5 minutes per side, until desired doneness is reached.
- Pat the calamari slices dry and sprinkle with salt.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl with the milk.
- Roll the calamari in the beaten egg, then the flour.
- Deep-fry in hot oil for 45 seconds.
- Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
- Draw circular lines of purée around one half of the plate using a squeeze bottle or spoon.
- Squeeze or spoon small dollops of grapefruit cream inside the circles and all around.
- Place a single caramelised caper inside each dollop of grapefruit cream.
- Place 3 calamari rings on each plate around the pea purée circles.
- Place a scoop of mash outside the purée.
- Stack the fish on top of the mash and serve immediately.
RESTAURANT VERSUS HOME KITCHEN
Chef Jordan uses an immersion circulator to cook the fish sous vide to an internal temperature of 53˚C before searing it very briefly in hot oil to give it colour.
- If you add too much of the pea cooking liquid to the blender along with the peas, transfer the purée to a small skillet and reduce over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the purée keeps its shape when you draw a spatula through it.
- If the grapefruit cream gets too thick, add a little water or more sour cream.