Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Grill Option: Fish

Pile of scallions
I've mentioned previously how owning a grill has already drastically improved our summer dining experience; it's great to have an option for dinner that doesn't require turning on the oven in our already stifling kitchen. However, one thing I haven't discussed here is the learning curve. Not everything we grill turns out perfect, in fact, we scorched a spatchcocked chicken pretty bad a couple of weeks ago (we ate it anyway, picking off the burnt skin bits, and it was still juicy and good).

181/365: Fish in a basket!

Then there was this halibut. I knew we would need a grill basket if we wanted to grill seafood or other delicate things. What I forgot was that the grill basket would get hot and the fish would stick to it. I marinated the fish in lemon thyme and olive oil, but I didn't oil the basket. When we tried to turn the fish out onto a platter it came off in big chunks, bits of skin clinging to the hot metal and generally looking quite sloppy.
First of July Dinner

It still tasted good, and the grilled scallions were a nice smoky counterpoint to the fish. We ate it with some grilled zucchini and grilled lemon wedges (thanks for the tip, Mr. Bittman) and a piece of toasty bread piled high with Foxboro Cheese Company's fromage blanc.

So tell me, oh ye grillmasters, other than oiling the basket better, what can I do to improve my grilled fish? Should I use a firmer fleshed fish? Or a whole fish? Or do I just need to practice more? I await your guidance.


  1. Adrienne,

    I think you are quite brave cooking a flaky white fish on the grill! I'd never attempt such a feat and it sounds like it came out pretty well overall. Maybe I'll give it a try!

    I would definitely recommend a more firm fish like salmon or tuna though -- that's what I usually do on the grill. I often just use a piece of tinfoil for the scaly side if I'm worried about the fish falling apart on the grill (not very fancy, but it works).

    I also like to have a surf and turf combination -- I will often buy a bunch of lobsters all steamed up and then shuck the meat, and then bring out the lobster tails as needed and baste them with olive oil and garlic and throw them on the grill for a few minutes and they're really good with steak!

  2. Thanks for the tip Jess, we'll try a firmer fish next time!

    I've gotten comments on Twitter and facebook too advocating the use of just the grill (no basket) and cedar planks. Also, very high heat. Thanks for the advice, friends :)

  3. yeah, i've definitely lost some flakey white fish, but firmer ones hold up, and i'm sure grilling a whole fish would be fantastic if you were up for it :) i miss my grill... when's the next cookout?

  4. I need a grill basket although it sounds like it may be better used with just veggies. Still haven't tried fish on the grill. Maybe it's time. I'll make sure to oil the surface first :)

  5. Ladies...it sounds to me like we need to start a grill girls anonymous group ;)

  6. Try monk fish... My all-time fav!
    Spice it up with a nice fiery rub and top with a fleshy fruit salsa or compote.
    -Sarah (kate's sister)