Summer time an’ the livin’ is easy—which means that the grilling/barbecue season is here. But, you know what, kiddies—is it going to be the same old franks, burgers and half-burnt chicken? Now, not that there’s anything wrong with franks, burgers and half-burnt chicken. But why not try something different and out-of-the ordinary, like grilling fish? You heard it right: fish, like in seafood. Fish is perfect for barbecuing and grilling. It’s moist, delicious and easy to cook. Probably easier than grilling a steak.
Definitions are in order here. To my mind, grilling is just that: roasting meat outdoors over an open fire, grill, framework, or pit. Barbecue is when you add a highly seasoned sauce. So, wanna barbecue fish? Just add your favorite BBQ sauce. It’ll probably be better for you than some contaminated, e-coli meat.
Below are given two simple but scrumptious (I love the word) fish dishes. Both are made with what in the Old World is known as “al salmoriglio”—with an oil and lemon sauce. Better tasting and healthier for you, believe me. Both recipes can be cooked on a charcoal grill, brazier, or gas grill. In each case, preheat the brazier or grill. If you don’t have an backyard and a grill, you can also cook the fish in a broiler. In the first recipe given, you have to marinate the fish. This gives it a richer flavor. In the second recipe, marinating is not necessary, if you’re in a hurry. Both recipes will yield about 4 servings.
PESCE AL SALMORIGLIO (Fish steaks with oil and lemon sauce)
In a covered bowl or container, combine 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add to the marinade 2 pounds fish steaks (swordfish, salmon, cod, halibut, or tile fish) cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Refrigerate for 3 hours or, better yet, overnight. Turn fish several times in the marinade. Preheat grill; and brush grill with a little olive oil. When grill is quite hot, place fish steaks on grill and cook quickly over high heat. The fish should be close to the surface heat, and it should take about 2 minutes to cook on one side. Turn over quickly but carefully and cook about 2 minutes or slightly longer on the other side. Do not overcook or fish steaks will become too dry. Remove fish from grill and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste. (Note: in this recipe, the basil is optional.) Mix well and set aside. Preheat grill; and brush grill with a little olive oil. Grill fish as noted above in recipe I. Transfer to a warm platter and pour oil and lemon sauce over the fish.
There you have, friends. Now you can truly impress your neighbors and loved ones the next time you use the old grill.