Monday, March 24, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Grilling Tips for Fish

Spring is in the air and with you can find those of us who simply can't wait any longer to start grilling.  Well, I've given up almost all red meat but eat my weight in chicken and seafood/fish.  Most of the time I cook my fish in the oven but love the taste that grilling, especially with charcoal gives to any meat and even vegetables.  This year I plan on trying my hand at grilling fish and to do that I did a little research so I can get it right the 1st time, I hope.  Here is what I found.

1.  Use a hinged grill basket to keep delicate fillets or whole fish intact as you turn.  But before adding your fish to the basket, spray it inside and out with oil.  (I've seen these baskets in many of my local stores but never really paid attention as to what they were used for.  I feel sure they would work well for shrimp too as well as vegetables.  For my oil spraying I think I'll use non-stick spray.  It works very well when sprayed on the racks of the grill so I'm sure it will work great with the baskets.  And clean-up should be a breeze too.)

2.  Cook fish or seafood 4 - 6 inches from the heat, turning only once and brushing occasionally with oil or marinade to prevent drying.  (I've never used a marinade on my fish when cooking them in the oven but I can see why it would be needed on the grill.  I would think a little lemon and maybe some herbs would be good.)

3.  Be careful not to overcook fish as it will become tough and dry.  (I have a feeling this is something I'll have to play around with.  I know when fish is done when cooked in the oven so it shouldn't be too hard to determine on the grill.)

4.  Don't use leftover marinade from raw fish or seafood on your food unless it has been thoroughly heated first.  (I feel sure this is for the same reason as chicken and any other meat.  What I usually do when I marinade any meat is make up just a little extra for basting.  This should work with fish too.)

5.  To test for doneness, press the flesh of the fish with your fingertips.  When the fish is done, it is "just firm" - raw is soft and overdone is hard and firm.  (This method works for me with fish no matter how I cook it.  I did find that the general rule for cooking fish on the grill is 10 minutes for each 1" of thickness.)

Now that I know a little more about cooking fish on the grill, you can bet I'll be giving it a try and soon.  My favorite?  Nice thick slices of Cod.  Nothing better in my opinion, unless you offer me flour battered, deep fried like you find at Captain D's!  With a little Malt Vinegar of course.

I did run across a Rosemary-Thyme Marinade that I plan on trying so I thought I would share it too.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Combine all ingredients, mix well and set aside until ready to use.

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