When I saw the recipe for “Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Thai Coconut Sauce,” in the July 2010 issue of Bön Appetit, I knew I would not be grilling this fish (I have only my small apartment kitchen!). A grill pan on my gas stove top is often my salvation. I was interested in the mix of coconut milk and clam juice and lime juice and ginger, here. Rather than use mahi mahi -- which is a firm white fish -- I used cod -- a versatile, white, mild-flavored fish (like haddock and pollock). This recipe gave me what I hoped for: the fish was firm and the sauce was tangy.

Lacking fish sauce in my pantry, I tossed 4 anchovies into my sauce (clever, no?). I omitted the serrano chile (in the interest of my young child’s palate), and added 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the final sauce. My cod needed to “grill” in its pan for a total of 14 minutes. The fish was very easy to prepare. The limey ginger sauce was a treat. And this tasted great when served over my next recipe…the “Wild Rice with Shiitakes & Toasted Almonds,” from The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook, by Joyce Hendley and the editors of Eating Well.

I associate wild rice with its high price, long cooking time, and “painstaking harvest.” It’s actually a delicate grass, grown in water, and not a member of the true rice family. It cannot be rushed. So I took a deep breath when I faced this recipe, agreeing to the cooking conditions that wild rice demands. I simmered the shiitakes and wild rice in vegetable-bouillon broth for 55 minutes. As forewarned, the final cooked product did not taste like rice. This stuff was earthy, smooth, and was perfect combined with the shiitake mushrooms and crunchy sliced almonds. My final combo needed 1/4 tsp. black pepper. It was nice to take the time to cook this dish. I recommend it.

Bottled Clam Juice (8 oz.) = $1.80
Shiitake Mushrooms (3 oz.) = $1.45
Scallions (1 bunch) = .46¢

RECIPES: firm white fish withstands a tangy sauce, while a bed of smooth wild rice is a warm blanket of comfort
first take at least an hour to ready the wild rice, then prep the sauce and grill the fish in roughly 30 minutes
TASTES: a quiet sauce of coconut milk is zapped by salty clam juice and tangy lime juice and ginger; cooked wild rice tastes like what’s good about this earth

Next time, I will delve into the September 2010 issue of Everyday Food, to make the “Six-Ingredient Chicken Noodle Soup” and the “Fresh Corn Spoon Bread.” See my delicious meal when you come back to my site on Saturday, September 18.