Three o’clock. As the small clock hands approach the quarter-hour mark, small feet and fingers make their way to the front door. It will open with a chorus of voices as my kids fall inside, all limbs and weighed down with multiple bags (three each: lunchbox, backpack, snow gear bag).
As they tumble in, I’ll direct them to their coat hooks, request that the snowy shoes be stored, and have them meet me in the kitchen with their lunchboxes to clear them out and get a snack started. Then the dinner duties begin.
Outside, the weather continues to remind us that winter is not yet over. These last few weeks are holding strong to frozen temperatures and snow-covered earth. The farmers’ market opening is still months away, and my pantry storage of root vegetables and winter squash from fall is nearly gone.
I dream of asparagus and spring strawberries to come. I plan my garden on scraps of paper while staring at seed catalogs with photos of juicy, plump tomatoes. I water my sad-looking herb garden that rests in the window and wonder how it will ever make it to the warmer weather.
Photos by Shaina Olmanson | FoodforMyFamily.com
Sometimes in the middle of the winter I need a bit of a recharge, a dish that will still warm my cold fingers, but one that feels as fresh as summer vegetable ragout and salmon on the grill. This is that dish.
A simple grilled mix of vegetables and fish served over rice is ideal for faking that fresh feeling. Mushrooms and carrots are easy to come by this time of year, and while fresh pineapple is preferred, the canned version will do. Additionally, frozen edamame and frozen mahi mahi are both readily available when fresh sources are lacking, but the dish comes together vibrant and bright while remaining warm and comforting. You could call it a transitional dish as you wait for the snow to cease and the sun to reign once again, one that holds in it the promise of running sap and spring afternoons.
|Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Vegetables and Coconut Rice||
- 2 cups rice
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 4 1″ mahi-mahi steaks (frozen or fresh)
- 1 pineapple, cut into 1″-thick rings or 1 can pineapple rings
- 2 cups hulled edamame
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced green onions, greens only
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sweet rice wine
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- Cook the rice according to the package directions, substituting 2/3 cup of the water with the coconut milk.
- While the rice is cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce with 1/4 cup water, stirring to incorporate the honey. Marinate the mahi-mahi in a zip-top bag with half the sauce for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, place all the vegetables and the pineapple in the remaining sauce, stirring to coat. After 30 minutes, preheat your griddle over medium-high heat.
- Brush the griddle with the olive oil. Remove the mahi-mahi and the pineapple slices from the marinade and place on the greased grill. Grill the fish for approximately 5 minutes on each side, the pineapple for 3 minutes per side.
- Place the vegetables and the sauce they have been marinating in a sauté pan over medium-high and cook until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring frequently.
- Place coconut rice in a bowl and top with the teriyaki vegetables, grilled pineapple, and the mahi-mahi steaks. Garnish with the green onions.
Do you have any meals you turn to when you need to freshen up the winter fare?