As a gift from their honeymoon, our friends Laura and Geoff gave us a delightful box of unusual spices from Ambrosia, a spice and chocolate shop on Nantucket. As Laura rightly knows, owning a spice and chocolate shop ranks even higher on my wish list than opening my own artisanal radicchio farm, so this was an excellent choice. Laura has set forth the challenge that I should devise a recipe featuring each spice, and this month's feature is hibiscus.
|All you need|
|If you have trouble acquiring hibiscus, substitute some lime zest for a sour note|
|Nothing to fear|
Mango and kiwi can be intimidating if you don't know how to deal with them quickly. For mangoes, slice the full, rounded "cheeks" straight off from either side, avoiding the hard core. Then guide your knife around the curve of the stone to release the two remaining "ribs." Score the mango flesh all the way to (but not through) the skin in a cross-hatch pattern, then gently pull at the edges, inverting the curve and popping up perfect cubes of mango, ready to be sliced off. For kiwis, bisect them through the central core, then scoop each hemisphere from its skin with a spoon.
|It's all in the wrist|
2 tsp powdered hibiscus
2x 4 oz wild Alaskan halibut filets (or other mild white fish)
2 tbs butter
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
For the mango kiwi salsa:
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 lime
Prepare the salsa by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, chill while you prepare the fish.
Over medium heat, bring the wine to a simmer, then whisk in the hibiscus. The liquid will turn ruby red. Continue to simmer for about three minutes.
Add the fish to the pan, skin side down, and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 3-5 minutes more. The fish is done virtually as soon as the flesh becomes opaque.
Remove the fish to a warmed plate and tent with foil, then increase the heat to medium high and simmer the cooking liquid, whisking often, until reduced by half. Whisk in the butter until completely melted and season with salt and pepper.
|'Tis the season|