Isn’t it neat how the weather directly effects our eating habits? A month ago, a dinner of soup or stew or pasta wasn’t out of the question. But now the mere thought of turning the oven on makes me sweat. Thankfully, I have a talented grill-master of a husband who knows how to cook fish perfectly, so we’ve taken most of our food preparation outside.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been preparing a lot of bluefish. Caught along the East Coast, bluefish is meatier and more oily than a lot of other seafood from this region. It’s a turn off for some, but I find that grilling it takes care of the “fishiness.” The price of bluefish, which is usually found in local stores for $7 or $8/lb, makes it very appealing as well. We’ll often buy an extra portion or two to make this salad, which we enjoy for lunch throughout the week. Credit must be given to our friend, Kat, who served a bowl of this when we were together on the Cape last month and had mixed in some minced lemon slices. It’s a wonder I hadn’t thought to do the same before, since I’m known for adding lemon zest or juice to almost everything I make. It provides a surprising amount of zip, which is exactly what I want in summer fare.
Grilled Bluefish Salad
Grilled Bluefish (alone): Serves 4 for dinner
Grilled Bluefish Salad: Approximately 8-10 people for lunch
For the grilled bluefish
2 – 1 lb bluefish fillets, bones removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed
For the salad
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
2 grilled lemon slices, minced
Pita bread, for serving
1. Prepare the bluefish for the grill. Place the fish fillets in a large glass baking dish. Rub each fillet of fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry powder, and black pepper. Spread and gently smoosh (yes, smoosh) garlic slices and ginger into the flesh of the fillet. Top with lemon slices. Pour 3 tablespoons of soy sauce over the fillets. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. While the fish is marinating, prepare the grill. Pour some canola oil on a paper towel and rub this over the grates of the grill. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Once it has preheated, place each fillet, skin side down, on the grill. Close the cover of the grill and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until the fish is firm and starts to flake as you lift it. If necessary, cook for an additional 3 minutes and check again.
3. Transfer the fish to a large platter. At this point, you can eat some of the fish as a meal and just use leftovers for bluefish salad, or you can make one large batch of bluefish salad.
4. Before you make the bluefish salad, make sure the fillets have cooled. Once they have cooled, remove the skin from the fish. Don’t worry if a little remains. Transfer to a mixing bowl and flake the fish with a fork. Add the cucumber, carrot, shallot and minced grilled lemon slices. Add the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add salt and black pepper.