No fish story, this fresh-catch feast is fast, easy and delicious.
By Lisa Readie Mayer
Whether you caught it yourself, or reeled it in from the supermarket, a catch-of-the-day dinner is the perfect ending to a fun day of boating. Fish is low in fat and calories, high in protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and super tasty. But, the fact that it’s ready in a flash, may be the best reason to put fish on your dish more often.
Wonderful though it may be, there’s nothing worse than closing up the cabin the morning after a seafood feast, only to return to that telltale smell a week or two later. Grilling fish and seafood outdoors is a great way to keep the odors out of the cabin, plus, a hint of grill smoke really enhances the flavor of the fish.
Whole fish, firm-fleshed fillets, steaks, and large shellfish can cook directly on a well-oiled grilling grid. Thinner, flakier fillets and small shellfish do better on a grid topper, grill basket or cedar plank so they hold together without falling through the cracks of the grid.
In Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon, the cedar plank is not just a grilling platform, but a star “ingredient,” imbuing a delicious, subtle smokiness to complement the tangy glaze. Got picky eaters among the crew? Hook ’em with a mild, flaky fish that takes on the flavor of the sauce or accompaniment. Here, mild trout turns out moist and delicious in the microwave – who knew?! – and gets a savory flavor from its Greek-salad-inspired toppings of tomato, oregano, olive oil and feta cheese. While the fish cooks, mix up a Lake Breeze for guests. It combines coconut liqueur, cranberry and pineapple juices, and fizzy lemon-lime soda for a refreshing sipper.
Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon
On the Grill
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, or one large fillet, (about 11/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cedar plank, soaked in water for one hour
Place salmon fillets in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Combine mustard, maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl and pour over salmon, making sure to coat both sides. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium heat, about 350 degrees. Place soaked plank on the grill grid, close the lid and heat for three minutes. Using tongs, flip the plank, and place salmon directly on heated side of the plank. Grill, with lid closed, for 12 to 15 minutes until salmon is medium or done to your liking. Remove salmon from plank and serve.
Tip: Eliminate any lingering fishy smells in the microwave by boiling half a fresh lemon in a bowl of water for five minutes in the microwave.
Trout with Herbs & Feta
In the Kitchen
4 trout fillets
4 teaspoons olive oil
12 slices Roma tomatoes
4 (1- to 2-inch) sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed from stems
8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Place fillets in a greased, microwave-safe dish large enough to fit all four pieces (or, if preferred, prepare fillets individually in four separate dishes). Drizzle each fillet with 1 teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with lemon-herb seasoning. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, turning back one corner to vent.
Microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes (or, 11/2 minutes, if cooking one fillet at a time). Uncover dish. On each fillet, arrange 3 tomato slices and sprinkle with one tablespoon of the feta cheese and ¼ of the herbs. Cover and vent; microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes more (or, 1 to 11/2 minutes if cooking one fillet at a time). Fish is done when it flakes easily when tested with a fork.
1 teaspoon coconut liqueur
4 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces lemon-lime soda
Pour coconut liqueur, cranberry juice and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Add soda and garnish with a twist of lime.
The color of this cocktail evokes the old seafarers’ saying: “red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”