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Dolphin Fishing in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are well know for spectacular fishing. Islamorada is called the Sportfishing Capitol of the World, everyone knows about Hemingway's angling exploits around Key West and Zane Grey made Long Key, in the Middle Keys, famous for catching bonefish and tarpon. Today they continue to be two of the most sought after fish in the Florida Keys despite that fact both aren't considered good table fare. While “Catch & Release” has become standard practice throughout the Florida Keys, we shouldn't forget there is a bounty of delicious seafood just waiting to please your palate. Whether you have been fishing the waters between Key Largo and Key West and brought home fresh seafood or have picked up your favorites at the local seafood market, the following recipes are sure to delight.

Dolphin Recipes

The dolphin, Coryphaena hippurus, is an excellent food fish often marketed under the Hawaiian name Mahi Mahi and sometimes the Spanish name Dorado (for its Golden color). They are one of the fastest-growing fish, thought to live no more than 5 years.

Description: bright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors; body tapers sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered over sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical; head of females more sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from just behind the head to the tail; anal fin margin concave and extending from anus to tail.

Dolphin with Mango & Pineapple Salsa - Grilled

6-10 oz portions of Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi)

The Salsa

1 ½ Cups Mango, cleaned, ¼" Diced
1 ½ Cups Pineapple, Fresh Cleaned ¼" Diced
1 Ounce Fresh Key Lime Juice
¼ Cup Red Onion, ¼" Diced
1 Each Green Onion, trimmed, cut on bias
1 Ounce Fresh Mint, Chiffonade
1 Each Medium Size Jalapeno, Deseeded, 1/8" Diced
¾ Cup Pepper, Red ¼" Diced
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Taste of Kosher Salt
Taste of Cracked Black Pepper

Peel, Seed/Core and ¼ Inch Dice Ripe Mango and Pinapple. Thinly Slice Scallion on the Bias Using Green and White Parts.

Combine Diced Red Onion and Red Pepper in Stainless Steel Bowl.

Add Mango and Pinapple to Bowl. Add Green Onion, Lime Juice, Olive Oil, Mint and Jalapeno. Mix Well.

Add Salt and Pepper. Mix Well Again. Taste and adjust flavor where needed. Let stand for at least one hour under refridgeration.

Over Hot Fire and a Well Seasoned Grill, begin to Grill Dolphin which is brushed with a bit of Olive Oil. Grill Mahi until fish begins to look opaque on one side. Thickness of the fish will determine how long the fish will take to cook. Turn Dolphin over to complete cooking. Remove Dolphin when opaque throuthout.

Serve the Dolphin topped with ½ Cup of the Salsa.

Citrus-Marinated Mahi-Mahi Steaks - Broiled

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (1 orange)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 fish steaks (about 1-inch thick)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or substitute parsley or cilantro)

1. Preheat the broiler to high. In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.

2. Place the fish steaks in a non aluminum shallow dish. Pour about half of the marinade over them (reserve the rest of the marinade). Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

3. Transfer the fish steaks to a broiler pan and broil, turning them once with a spatula, until the steaks are golden on the outside and done to taste inside, about 4-6 minutes per side. Drizzle with the reserved marinade, garnish with the chopped fresh chives, and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Dorado El Dorado - Baked

This low-fat dish is brilliantly colored and bursting with the assertive flavors of Baja, Mexico. The fish is a great fighter with firm, slightly sweet and moist flesh. The skin should be removed before cooking.

4 servings

4 6 ounce dorado fillets
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 cup fresh tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, cut into rings
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 Anaheim pepper, seeded and sliced into thin rings
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 by 9 inch baking dish with pan spray and lay fillets in dish. Squeeze lemon and lime juice over fillets and season with next 3 ingredients. Top each fillet with cilantro and tomato. Arrange onion, peppers and garlic slices over fish. Sprinkle brown sugar over evenly. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until fish is moist and flaky.

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