Sunday, March 28, 2010

Top Chef Blogger Edition: Pan-Roasted Mahi-Mahi with Herbed Lentils and Breadcrumbs

My fellow blogger, Trevor, challenged me to a Top Chef competition, blogger style.  He chose an impressive fish recipe, courtesy of yet another great blogger, Greg.  The menu?  Pan-Roasted mahi-mahi with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs.

The challenge consists of three categories: (1) taste, (2) editorial, and (3) photo quality.  I know that I can't compete with Trevor on the photography level because he has such an insanely nice camera, so I can only hope to make an impression on the other two categories. But, watch out T - my photo of this fabulous fish was accepted by Food Gawker!!!  (read: Game on!)

This will be an interesting challenge, since the judges are our spouses, and wont get the opportunity to taste the other competitor's entry.  This may be my saving grace, since I omitted most of the oil and butter from my meal.  But, all of the herbs for this meal came straight from my garden - a taste that's hard to beat!

Of course, I took a few liberties from the original recipe to suit my taste preferences and lite cooking style.  I also used mahi-mahi instead of halibut, since I already had it on hand. 

Thanks to my DH for taking these impressive photos!

Don't forget to check out Trevor at Sis. Boom. [Blog!] to see his Top Chef submission.  Not only did he find some tricks to make this meal come together more quickly on a weeknight, but he also managed to win over his fish hating "judge".  And, as expected, his photo blows mine out of the water.

Pan-Roasted Mahi-Mahi with Herbed Lentils and Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)

1 c french green lentils, picked over & rinsed
1 minced garlic clove
1⁄3 c diced red bell pepper
1⁄3 c diced celery
1⁄3 c diced onions
1 1⁄2 c chicken stock
2 T flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 T fresh sage, chopped
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 T olive oil
cooking spray
2 T lite butter spread (such as Smart Balance Lite Butter Spread)
1 c coarsely chopped fresh breadcrumbs
1⁄2 c loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 T lemon zest
lemon-dill vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1 1⁄2 pounds mahi-mahi fillets, divided into 4 portions
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. To prepare the lentils, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook covered until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2.  Spray saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat, add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red bell pepper, celery and onions and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the lentils, chicken stock, and chopped herbs and bring to a boil. Add the lite butter spread, stirring until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
3. To make the breadcrumb mixture, coat a saute pan with cooking spray and add olive oil over medium high-high heat, then add the breadcrumbs and pan-fry until golden and crunchy. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan and let cool. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley leaves and lemon zest. Toss this with a little lemon dill vinaigrette (recipe below) right before serving.
4. To pan-roast the mahi-mahi, heat a large saute pan coated with cooking spray over high heat. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear until golden brown on one side, 3-4 minutes. Flip and finish cooking for 2 more minutes.
5. To serve, ladle the lentils into 4 wide, shallow bowls. Place the fish in the center of each bowl and top it with some of the dressed breadcrumb and parsley mixture.

Lemon Dill Vinaigrette
1/3 cup crumbled fat free feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Juice of one fresh lemon
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

I served this amazing fish with mashed potatoes and grilled sweet peppers.  What a great meal - thanks Trevor, I will definitely make this again!

Roasted Sweet Peppers:
1 pkg sweet peppers
cooking spray
Vegetable seasoning

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Arrange sweet peppers on a cookie sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and top with vegetable seasoning.
3.  Bake for 30 minutes.

And for dessert, we had a yummy lite iced brownie:


Lite Iced Brownies
1 pkg Betty Crocker Low Fat Brownie Mix
1 can Pillsbury Chocolate fudge icing
1 egg
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
cake sprinkles (optional)

1. Prepare brownies according to package instructions
2. Ice brownies as soon as you remove them from the oven.  Top with cake sprinkles.
3.  Let brownies sit uncovered for 24 hours to allow icing to harden.
4.  Store in air tight container for up to 1 week.
(Best eaten after warming in the microwave)


  1. You did a spectacular job! I love this! GREG

  2. Thanks for the inspiration Greg!

  3. Published on the Food Gawker! Very impressive!


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