Back to the Kitchen: Grilling Fruits of the Sea

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Fish is one of my favorite things and grilling is an amazing way to prepare it. Almost every species of commercially available fish can be grilled. Salmon, tuna, halibut and mahi mahi grill especially well; some smaller fish and shrimp will require extra care or even a grill basket. Make sure you bring the fish to room temperature and always oil the fish and not the grill. High heat is important to sear the fish instantly and keep it firm. Lower temperatures and slower cooking will dry the fish out and make handling it more difficult. Many people like there tuna rare…that would be about 3 minutes per side. I personally like all of my fish cooked through. Not overcooked, but cooked through. Believe me, I have taken much flack about this from chefs over the years, just another lesson for being true to your own tastes no matter what the “experts” say.

I always find room on my grill for some fresh veggies. Eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, onion and corn are especially good this way. You can brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper or brush with your favorite marinade. So fire up your grills and gather with friends and family for a perfect light summer meal.

Herbed Halibut

1/4-cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dried parsley

2 tablespoons dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

2 clove garlic, minced

4 (6 ounce) halibut steaks

Juice of 1 lemon

In a shallow glass dish, mix the olive oil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Place the halibut in the dish, turning to coat. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Lightly oil grill grate. Transfer halibut to the grill, and discard any remaining marinade. Cook halibut on preheated grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Shrimp with Ginger and Lime

2 pounds shrimp, frozen raw peeled and devained

1-cup olive or vegetable oil

1/4-cup sesame oil

2 tablespoon minced garlic

2 inches ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2-cup soy sauce

1/2-teaspoon red pepper

1 lime

In a large bowl combine oils, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pepper and lime. Drop in the shrimp and stir gently to coat well with the marinade. Let stand at room temp for 1 hour. Prepare the grill. Reserving the marinade, arrange the shrimp in one layer in a large grilling basket; close the basket. (You can also skewer them on 8 to 10 inch skewers. (Remember to soak if using wood.) Grill the shrimp 3 minutes 5 inches from heat then brush with marinade and grill for 2 more minutes. Turn and marinade and grill for 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and still moist and firm to the touch.  As I have said before with shrimp…don’t overcook. Serve over rice with grilled veggies brushed with the reserve marinade.

Grilled Swordfish in a Black Bean Sauce

2- 15 oz cans of black beans

1-tablespoon peanut oil

1 red onion chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1-cup chicken or vegetable stock

Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

6- 8 oz swordfish steaks

Peanut oil for brushing fish

In a saucepan, heat peanut oil and sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook until softened stirring constantly. Add the black beans and stock stir over medium heat until thicken and sauce reduces about half. Puree with an emulsion blender. I like to leave it a little chunky. Cover while preparing the fish. Prepare grill. (These can be done on the stovetop grill or broiler as well.) Brush fish well with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through about five minutes per side.) If you made the sauce ahead reheat. Place fish on a plate and spoon over sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Simple Fish Tacos

1/4-cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh limejuice

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2-teaspoon cumin

1/2-teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Old bay

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste

1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks


1 (8 ounce) container light sour cream

1 small can adobe chilies with sauce, purée red

Juice and zest from 2 limes

1/4-teaspoon cumin

1/4-teaspoon chili powder

1/2-teaspoon Old Bay

Salt and pepper to taste

1- (10 ounce) package flour tortillas

3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded

2 limes cut in wedges

To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, Old Bay, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours. To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and adobe puree in a bowl. Stir in the limejuice, lime zest, cumin, and chili powder, Old Bay. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed. Preheat an outdoor grill for high and place grate 4 inches from the heat. Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes. When the fish is finished place the tortillas on the grill and flip after about 1 minute. Flip and cook one minute longer and place each tortilla in a paper towel and fold in half to create a “taco shell.” Assemble tacos by placing fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.

Ginger Soy Salmon

4- 6 ounce salmon filets

Juice and zest of 5 tangerines or 3 oranges

1/4-cup brown sugar

1-cup soy sauce

1-inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a bowl mix all but the salmon. I like to marinade the fish in the sauce for about one hour. Grill over high heat for about 7 minutes per side.

Mahi Mahi and Veggie Skewers

1 large lemon

1Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup of Dijon Mustard

1/2-cup white wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 a teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1-pound Mahi Mahi

1 large red onion

16 mushrooms

2 yellow or green bell pepper

8 cherry tomatoes

In a small bowl, juice the lemon and add 2 teaspoons, plus two teaspoons zest. Combine the oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black and red pepper. Cut Mahi Mahi into 24 equal pieces. Cut onion in half and each half into quarters. Cut the bell pepper in half, de-seed it and cut into 16 pieces. Clean the mushrooms. Dividing equally and then alternating them, thread the mahi with all the veggies ending with the cherry tomatoes on 8- 12-inch skewers. (Don’t forget if using wood they need to be soaked in water for about one hour.) Brush with half the marinating mixture and let sit in the refrigerator for one hour. Prepare your grill. When it is ready, Brush the skewers with half the remaining marinade. Grill the skewers about 5 inches from the heat for five minutes. Turn over and grill about 5 more minutes until fish is lightly colored, firm to the touch, and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Serve at once.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Pineapple Salsa

! /4 cup of olive oil

Juice of one lime

Juice of one lemon

4 tuna Steaks, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.

Prepare the grill. Mix the oil and lemons and lime in a small bowl and brush over the tuna generously. Grill the tuna steaks 5 inches over the heat for about 6 minutes per side until they are firm to the touch. Remove from grill and serve immediately with a generous amount of salsa.

Pineapple Salsa

1 medium sized pineapple

Juice of 2-3 limes

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup very finely slivered fresh ginger

1 white onion, cut into thin slivers

1 Jalapeno, finely chopped

1/2 cup coarsely cut cilantro

Peel pineapple, remove the “eyes,’ then core. Slice and cut into thin, matchstick slivers. Add lime and lemon juices, ginger and onion. Taste for intensity of flavor; add jalapeño tasting until you reach the degree you prefer. (Caution: The heat will intensify as the salsa stands.) Just before serving, stir in cilantro and salt). Best served within an hour or two of mixing.

Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies.  Check out her websites and  Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON .



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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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