Salt Crusted Rosemary Grilled Trout

27th August, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Light Mains, easy, seafood

There are plenty of summer weekends left ahead of us, so the opportunities for getting outside to cook are plenty. Grilled trout is one of those things that I love, but after a while, we’re all looking for ways to give it a little more gusto. Here’s one. It’s quick, simple, and best of all, absolutely delicious.

Start with beautifully fresh, cleaned and scaled trout, with the heads on so you can see their still-bright lil’ eyes. And, if their eyes are not bright, find a fish monger who isn’t trying to sell you Tuesday’s fish on Friday. Figure on one fish per person.

Rub the cavities with a little garlic, then season with a little squirt of lemon juice, and some freshly ground black pepper, and stuff them with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Then, massage the fish, front and back, with olive oil, and crust with coarsely ground sea salt. The salt will actually seal the juices in, season the flesh, and help keep the fish from sticking to the grill.

Over hot coals, or high heat if using gas, pre-heat the grill for ten minutes. You want a good sizzle when fish hits iron, so get it hot. Place the fish at an angle on the grill, cover, and sear for about a minute or so, until the fish releases easily. (If using coals, or you’ve got a heat diffuser over your gas burner, throw on some rosemary sprigs, dipped in water, to get a nice smoke going.)

Then, lift the fish carefully, and rotate them about 60Ëš, and sear, covered, for another minute or so. We’re looking for a nice grill tattoo. Turn the fish over, and repeat.

Remove to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for a few minutes. Fabulous! The flesh will be moist and wonderfully flavored. You can fillet them before serving, or teach your guests how to do it themselves. The whole fish, prepared this way, makes a lovely presentation. (The skins will be far too salty for all but the truly salt obsessed, so don’t serve the fish on a bed of anything, other than perhaps some sprigs of rosemary, or the bed will get salty too.)

Serve with a side of polenta and a Minted Cucumber and Tomato Salad for a lovely summer supper. Enjoy!

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Pan Seared Scallops with Scarlet Runner Beans

22nd June, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Light Mains, Starters, easy

A couple Saturdays ago, I was pouring over the beans at Rancho Gordo (don’t I lead a fascinating life?), looking for something new, something I haven’t tried, something fun. Molly asked, “Have you tried the Scarlet Runners? They’re huge and really good.” No, I haven’t. She pointed to the bags, and, of course, I had to bring some home. (Food follows me home the way stray kittens follow kids.)

Where the beautiful, big runner cannellinis (see recipe) leave off, these things start. Dried, they’re about an inch long, deep maroon, speckled with black and purple and tan, and once soaked, gain about 50% in size. Lovely! I spent much of my 45-minute drive home thinking about what I’d do with them. (Yes, when I shake my maraca, you can hear the beans rattling.)

Just look at them! Up there, in the photo! Those are not small scallops, and the beans aren’t exactly dwarfed by them. Have I convinced you? They’re big. And, delicious. They have a wonderful meaty texture, and a firm skin that allows them to keep their shape. Enough about the beans…

The diver scallops are seared to Maillardize their naturally sweet juices, and present some enticing color. If they’re still cool in the centre, they’re cooked just right. Texturally, they harmonize wonderfully with the beans, and the combination of flavors is magical. Enjoy! Read more…»