25 ESSENTIALS: Techniques for Grilling Fish
by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig
Harvard Common Press
$12.95/paper over-boards with covered spiral binding
Contact: Howard Stelzer
In 25 ESSENTIALS: Techniques for Grilling Fish, Karen Adler and Judith Fertig show readers that there is nothing mysterious or intimidating about preparing seafood on the grill. Each of the techniques is accompanied by a mouthwatering photo of the finished dish. The book’s lay-flat concealed spiral binding makes it easy to have nearby as a handy reference. The recipes showcase a range of seafood that includes trout, tuna, salmon, mussels, crab, scallops, and shrimp. Tempting recipes include Herb-Grilled John Dory with Rosemary Aioli, Cod in a Foil Packet, Venetian-Style Grilled Lobster, Char-Grilled Squid in Sherry Marinade, and Stir-Grilled Shrimp and Red Cabbage Po’ Boys. Adler and Fertig’s immense outdoor-cooking knowledge makes this guide a must-have resource for both novice and experienced grillers.
About the Author
Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, fun-loving friends from Kansas City, have collectively authored more than 20 cookbooks, with more than 10 on the subject of barbecue and grilling, including Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked. They teach cooking classes across the United States, and have been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and Southern Living, as well as in newspapers and on TV stations nationwide including the TV Food Network. Adler and Fertig hold the honorary degrees of Masters in Barbecue (M.B.) and Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy (Ph.B.) from the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s Greasehouse University. Please visit Karen and Judith at their website, www.bbqqueens.com.
Herb-Grilled John Dory with Rosemary Aioli
Grilling fish over fresh herb leaves and woody stalks is an aromatic tradition from the Mediterranean. Three herbs that develop woody stalks ideal for this purpose are thyme, rosemary, and lavender. Grilling your fish with the grill lid closed helps capture the smoky-herb flavor.
John Dory, also known as St. Peter’s Fish, is a firm-textured fish from the Mediterranean with moderate flavor. Feel free to substitute farm-raised catfish, monkfish, salmon, haddock, cod, or whatever is freshest at your fishmonger’s. Just remember to measure the fish in the thickest part of the fillet and grill it accordingly, 10 minutes per inch of thickness. To further heighten the flavor, brush the fish with olive oil using an herb basting brush.
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, to your taste
Kosher or sea salt to taste
4 John Dory fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
6 large fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, or lavender branches bundled together to make an herb basting brush
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Oil the grill grate or a perforated grill rack.
To make the aioli, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. (Aioli can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.)
Brush the fillets on both sides with olive oil using the herb basting brush. If you’re using charcoal, place the herb basting brush right on the hot coals. If you’re using a gas grill, wrap the herbs in aluminum foil, poke holes in the top of the packet, and place it near the gas jets or as close to the heat source as you can get. When you see the herby smoke waft upward from the herbs or foil packet, place the fish, flesh side down, on the grill rack, close the lid, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once halfway through. A fish fillet is done when it begins to flake when tested with a fork in the thickest part.
Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with the aioli.
Venetian-Style Grilled Lobster
Lobster used to be a poor man’s shellfish, back in the days when they were so numerous around Cape Cod that residents deemed them pests. Now, of course, lobster is a luxury food. Grilling them can seem daunting at first, but it’s essentially easy. Just make sure to take a cooler full of ice with you to the store for transporting the lobster back to your home.
You should buy lobsters live, and it’s just not right to put them on the grill alive. Plunging them into boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes will kill them and parcook them. Or, you can put live lobsters in the freezer for 30 minutes to stun them, then parboil or cut them in half. We prefer to have the fishmonger take care of the initial lobster preparation for this dish. But you must cook the lobster within an hour or so of cutting it in half because of the rate of bacteria growth on dead lobster.
The Venetian method for grilling lobster is simple: Brush both halves of each lobster with olive oil and grill, flesh side down, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until you see grill marks. Turn with grill tongs to cook on the shell side until the flesh is opaque all the way through. If you parboil the lobsters, the grilling time will be cut in half. Serve hot, in the shell, with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Of course, if you have your heart set on drawn butter with your lobster, who are we to deny you?
Eight 1-1/4- to 1-1/2-pound lobsters
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 lemons, quartered
Prepare an indirect fire in a grill, with a hot fire on one side and no fire on the other. Oil the grill grates.
Have the fishmonger cut the lobsters in half lengthwise and remove the vein and sac from the head, or do it yourself with a chef’s knife.
Brush both sides of the lobsters with oil. Place the lobsters, cut side down, on the grill for 4 to 5 minutes, or until you see grill marks. Turn the lobsters over and cook until the flesh is firm and white, another 3 to 4 minutes. If the lobster is not done, move to the indirect side of the grill and continue to cook for several more minutes, until the desired doneness is reached. Do not overcook or the meat will be rubbery.
Place lobsters flesh side up on plates or a platter, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with quartered lemons so each diner can squeeze lemon juice on the lobster, if desired.
This recipe may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipe from 25 ESSENTIALS: Techniques for Grilling Fish by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig
(Harvard Common Press, April 2010, $12.95/spiralbound)