Roy's Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
By Todd Wilbur
Menu Description: “Lobster cognac butter sauce.”
Next time you make lobster, save the shells, because that’s what you’ll need for the delicious lobster cognac sauce that makes this signature entrée from Roy’s so special. This recipe is great for entertaining, not only for the nice presentation, but also because the two sauces can be made in advance and chilled, then reheated in small saucepans—or even in the microwave—just before preparing the fish.
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Lobster Cognac Sauce
- Lobster shell(s) from 1/2 pound lobster
- (1 big tail or 2 small tails)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, quartered
- 1 small tomato, quartered
- 3 to 4 basil leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1 tablespoon cognac
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch white pepper
Beurre Blanc Sauce
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons minced shallot
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Four 6-ounces mahi mahi fillets
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Do This
1. Make the lobster cognac sauce by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the lobster shells for 20 minutes, or until the shells begin to turn brown around the edges.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown. Stir the tomato, basil, bay leaf, and lobster shells and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and cognac and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the water and chicken broth. When the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half. Pour the mixture into a fine-mesh strainer over another saucepan, to strain out the liquid. Add the cream, salt, and pepper, reduce the heat to medium/low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until thick. Remove it from the heat, cover it, and set it aside.
3. Make the beurre blanc sauce by combining the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Simmer for 4 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by about one-half, then add the butter and cream and cook it until the butter melts. Strain out the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer over another small saucepan. Add the white pepper to the sauce, place it over medium heat until the sauce begins to simmer, stirring often, then reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat, cover it, and set it aside.
4. To prepare the mahi mahi, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Combine the macadamia nuts, panko, salt, and ground pepper in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of course sand. Pour the breading into a pie pan.
6. Pour the flour into another pie pan and the beaten egg into a third pie pan or a shallow bowl.
7. Bread one side of each mahi mahi fillet by first pressing it into the flour. Dip the floured side into the egg and then into the macadamia-panko mixture, completely coating one side of each fillet. Arrange all of the fillets on a plate until your saute pan is hot.
8. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a large oven-safe saute pan and place it over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place each fillet with the breading-side down into the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until the macadamia-panko breading has browned. Flip each fillet over in the pan, place the pan in the preheated oven, and bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mahi mahi is cooked through.
9. To prepare each serving, spoon a little lobster cognac sauce onto a plate, followed by a little of the beurre blanc sauce. Carefully place a mahi mahi fillet onto the center of the plate and serve.
Tidbits: If you don't have lobster shells, you can substitute shells from 6 large shrimp. The taste is not exactly the same as lobster, but it works well for this dish.