Recently I've noticed that it seems like it might be winter. This is a devastating realization as my favorite season, autumn, has come and gone and I’m not sure I joined her! Additionally, I have a nagging feeling that we may have a blizzard at any moment. Huge sigh! That said, I’m reaching for a healthy dose of fall flavor. I’m not sure but I think I associate fall with cherries because of Thanksgiving. Cherry pie at Thanksgiving is one of my favorite things and honestly cherry anything pretty much makes me happy. Even cherry ring pop!
I had Mahi Mahi as protein so I decided to make a rustic cherry sauce to go with it as the highlight of the blog this week. I had previously picked up dried Thai chile peppers and was dying to try to cook with them for the first time! Hello delicious sauce! Kind of like me, a Spicy.Cherry.Sauce! Womp Womp
1/3 C dried sour cherries, reconstituted in hot water
5 dried Thai chiles
10 oz black cherry spread
4-5 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced paper thin
First and foremost, use a black cherry spread that is sweetened with fruit juice and the only other ingredient is pectin. I found this fancy one while I was shopping in the South End. Whole Foods has its own brand though that is much cheaper and equally tasty. Melt down the cherry spread over medium-low heat then toss in chile peppers and sauté, stirring frequently. Let it cook down and soak up the heat a bit. Then toss in the reconstituted cherries and stir. After the sauce has thickened back up a little, toss in the mushrooms and sauté them, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms get soft. Stir in a pinch of salt at the end. Do not skip this, the heat won’t come through as well without it!
Spoon the sauce over a piece of simply seasoned (salt and pepper) mahi and a vegetable. I used asparagus that I simply sautéed in a pan. Thing is, you do not need extra seasoning on your plate because this sauce is bold, complex and delicious.
I’m not sure what it is about mushrooms and cherries that makes me think of autumn, but this was terrific. I mean really super! If I did it over, I’d probably try it with duck breast instead, however, this was fantastic and didn’t overpower the fish at all. If you try it with duck breast, tag me on Instagram @bigeatersmallbody and let me know how it was! And if you need a tip on how to cook that duck breast, comment on this or on the photo on Instagram!