Man, how I’ve missed grilling this abysmal winter. Usually we grill all year long, provided there’s no snow on the deck blocking our access to the Weber. Not so this year, as everyone in the Northeast knows. While snow on the grill has melted away, there’s still a mountain of permafrost between us and it. We’re supposed to have a stretch of 3 days coming with temps in the 50’s, so as soon as that white barrier is gone, I am making this dinner for us! The fish, the salad, the potato and the iced tea:
GRILLED SWORDFISH WITH CHIMICHURRI MARINADE
1 lb swordfish at least 1″ thick, cut in half to serve two
3 T olive oil
juice of one lime
1 T cold water
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1 finely minced small shallot
Enough cilantro, basil and mint to yield about 1/3 cup after chopping (if not all fresh herbs are available, use any two out of the three)
1/4 t each salt & pepper
Pinch of hot pepper flakes
Combine all chimichurri ingredients in a small bowl and then marinate the fish in about half of it, spreading on both sides, 30-60 minutes in the fridge. No longer, or the lime juice will affect the texture of the fish. Grill on high heat 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness, and serve with the remaining marinade spread on top.
SUMMER SALAD OF GREENS, FRUIT & ROQUEFORT
This is my favorite salad to have with anything off the grill. It’s highly adaptable, so I’ll describe it in narrative form rather than do ‘ingredients’ and ‘preparation.’ The combination is spring mix or Boston lettuce, one kind fruit cut into bite-sized pieces (peaches, nectarines, strawberries), some dried cranberries or cherries, some nuts (pistachios, pecans, walnuts) and really good blue cheese. The best is Societe Roquefort from Trader Joe’s. Toss everything but the cheese together with a light amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Then plate, sprinkle the cheese over the top, and drizzle some stripes over it with a balsamic reduction. TJ’s actually sells Balsamic Glaze in an 8.5 ounce squeeze bottle, so use that if you can find it. Otherwise, make your own by reducing some balsamic with a bit of sweetener (sugar, maple syrup or honey) and let that cool before using it.
PERFECT BAKED POTATO
I discovered this technique from America’s Test Kitchen and have used it ever since for baked potatoes that are crisp-skinned on the outside, creamy on the inside. Preheat oven to 425 (I use my small convection oven for this – it doesn’t heat up the kitchen or use as much electricity as the big oven). Rub your potatoes with olive oil and then with a generous amount of kosher salt. Then massage your hands with the salt and olive oil left on them to give you a quick exfoliation (bonus!). Bake for about one hour, remove with a kitchen towel and use that to rub off the excess salt. Squeeze the potatoes gently, then split down the middle with a fork and dress with s&p and sour cream. Add a little horseradishand/or scallions to the sour cream if you like – we do.
QUICK PITCHER OF ICED TEA
Our favorite for this is Republic of Tea Ginger Peach – we buy it online in 250-bag bulk. Add 10 tea bags to a large Pyrex container of about 3 cups boiling water and let steep. Fill a gallon pitcher with some cold water and pour the tea concentrate into it. Squeeze out the tea bags as much as possible into the cold water and then fill the container with more cold water to make one gallon.
That’s the meal, now let’s bring on some warm grilling weather!