A Seafood Grill

| August/September 1994

Charcoal adds to the flavor of this tangy Thai Swordfish in Lemongrass-Sesame Sauce and an assortment of summer vegetables.

Fire up your grill and your ­appetite this summer with a tempting array of fresh seafood. Paired with versatile sauces, accompaniments, and marinades, fish can be a healthy, tasty addition to the repertoire of the outdoor cook.

The recipes on page 57 include a shellfish appetizer that cooks over coals as they heat up for the main attraction. For an entrée, choose from cod dressed in pesto, trout stuffed with rosemary, swordfish swimming in the flavors of Thailand, and orange roughy fillets marinated in a tangy cilantro-lime sauce. Try grilling vegetables and parboiled potatoes, and you’ve got an entire party meal off one batch of glowing coals.

These recipes are designed to be easy, fast, and flexible and to leave room for the creativity of the barbecue cook. The sauces and marinades may be used with different types of fish to match your mood or what’s available at the fish counter. (See below for tips on making substitutions in these and other recipes.) Cooking times vary according to the type and amount of charcoal used, the heat of the coals, and the distance from the grill to the coals, as well as the thickness of the fish. The recipes, which allow four ounces of fish for each person, can easily be increased to fit the size of your family or your appetite.

Seafood doesn’t need to be tenderized, but marinating it enhances the flavor. For easy cleanup, use a zip-style plastic bag to hold the fish and marinade. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Longer than that and the flavor of the marinade may overwhelm that of the fish; the acid in the marinade also may begin to “cook” the flesh.

Seafood needs only a few minutes’ cooking time, so watch it carefully. Place the fish directly on the grill, on a sheet of foil, or on a grill basket designed for cooking seafood and small pieces of food. Have the grill very clean to minimize sticking. Coat the rack with cooking spray, then allow to heat over coals for a few minutes before adding food, or brush the hot grill with oil. Place the grill about six inches from the fire grate. Baste fish with a bit of marinade before turning if it seems dry.

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