Seafood cooks so quickly it almost seems like too much trouble to grill it - especially if, like me, you insist on grilling over charcoal. You spend 45 minutes getting the fire right and then five minutes actually cooking before letting the fire die. Nevertheless, some seafood just seems to be made for grilling. Salmon is an obvious choice, but trout is a related option, particularly if you can get whole trout. Shark and swordfish steaks do particularly well with a Jerk Seasoning and I love grilled tuna steaks. But perhaps my favorite is grilled shrimp.
Add-onsBecause the fish grills so quickly, you have time to grill other things such as asparagus, summer squash or eggplant, even potatoes, plantains, peaches, and pineapple have time to cook. This means that instead of needing a big grill, you can make the most of a small Weber Smoky Joe.
This Greek recipe calls for frying the cheese, but the same characteristic that makes it friable also makes it grillable – although your best bet for grilling is haloumi because it particularly resists melting. Just add a squeeze of lemon for a great pre-dinner appetizer.
I first had grilled shrimp (prawns) at a restaurant in Cairo, Egypt. I'd asked a fellow student at the American University out to dinner and found a classy restaurant on the banks of the Nile. I was quite taken with Colleen, a surprisingly sophisticated country girl from Kansas and I was also taken with the shrimp, which were huge and grilled with the shells on.
Grilled Tuna: Fire-touched Succulence
No recipe here. Just sprinkle a couple of tuna steaks with some Spanish smoked paprika, then drizzle them with fresh lime juice and let them marinate for an hour. Grill over a hot fire for three minutes per side (for medium rare) and serve with either Romesco Sauce or Paprika Ailoi. Simple, succulent, seriously good.
Like the saganaki above, this recipe doesn’t call for grilling but works beautifully on a grill. Brush the asparagus spears with the vinaigrette then grill off the direct heat until just tender. Serve with more vinaigrette.
Again, this recipe doesn’t call for grilling – but I grilled it the second time I made it (using plantains). In this case, par-boil the sweet potatoes or plantains until not quite tender. Then season and grill over medium heat until cooked through – about 3 minutes per side.
These lovely gems - and they do look like gems - can be either a side dish, or, topped with slightly sweetened mascarpone cream of vanilla ice cream a grilled dessert. Don’t let the chipotle pepper put you off, they’re only as spicy as you want them to be and the spice really spikes the peaches sweetness.
You can make this ice cream with frozen rhubarb, but as usual fresh is best. the ice cream has a nicely tart flavor that is a great ending for a grilled meal and, like lemon, sets off fish delightfully. If you drink, I suggest a glass of iced coffee with cram, sugar, and a small shot of cognac in it to go with the ice cream.