Seared Rockfish | Coconut Rice | Black Garlic-Habanero Aioli

Be honest– what caught your eye in the title? Rockfish? Well, to be fair, it’s not something I usually make, so that’s fair. Coconut rice? Also an honorable mention, since it’s another novel addition to the blog (though you’ll see that I used a really simple “cheat” method this time.) Ah yes, I bet it’s the aioli. It sounds fancy…and difficult, but it’s neither– just delicious. Since I hate mayo, I made this one with the “traditional” garlic and oil base without egg–though you can make yours to your taste. Did I really use black garlic and habanero peppers? Yes– yes I did.

Rockfish is a little bit of a mystery– the filets look like whiting, it tastes something like mackerel, and apparently the name “Rockfish” is a pretty generic name that could be several different species. Well, the package says it was caught sustainably, so there’s that.

The filets are thin, and a little oddly shaped, so salted and broiled them skin-side-down until cooked. I’ve said it before, but I really like fish with a strong flavor, and wanted to work with it, rather than hide it with a lot of spices. In fact, you’ll see that I didn’t use my usual array of spices this time– just a few interesting combinations of simple ingredients.

Let’s start with the aioli– if you follow @craving_mad, you may have noticed some of the confit ingredients I’ve been using lately–in this case, habanero peppers (and a poblano pepper to temper the heat).

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I combined confit garlic, confit habaneros, and black garlic to make a simple, eggless-aioli, and chilled it until it was time to eat. Hold that thought.

Then, for the rice, I ended up using a rice cooker out of convenience–but I combined brown rice, salt, shaved coconut, oregano, and thai basil, and let it cook. It would’ve been great to use some coconut milk, but this time I didn’t have any on hand this time. The flavor was perfect, though, and along with the aioli this was a really good plate. You’ll see…

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2 Rockfish Filets

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 Clove Black Garlic

1 Tbs Garlic Confit

1 Tsp Habañero Confit

4 Cups Brown Rice

1/2 Cup Shaved Coconut

1 Tbs Capers

2 Sprigs Oregano and Thai Basil

2 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Tsp Coriander

Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Dry the fish on both sides,  then season with salt. Sear  in a heavy pan with oil, then broil skin-side-up. Set aside.

2. Combine Brown rice, coconut, thai basil, oregano, and salt in a rice cooker, and top with water.  Cook until soft, then fluff, and add extra coconut if a stronger flavor is desired.

3. Combine garlic/Habañero confit, fresh garlic, and black garlic in a food processor. Puree, then add olive oil,  salt, and pepper. Finish with capers, and taste for seasoning.

4. Plate and serve.

Done.

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