Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Addition to the House

We finally did it! My housemates and I bought a large grill for our back deck. We have been making due and hosting 3 July 4th barbecues on a very small Coleman grill. A days ago, my boyfriend called and said that he had had it and was going to buy a larger grill. He's the one who's usually stuck grilling all of our hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers, etc. for our barbecues and had gotten fed up with being a slave to the tiny Coleman grill.

Our new Charbroil grill.

We wanted to make the inaugural meal cooked on the grill special, and since my boyfriend was close to a fishmarket when he called me, I suggested that we grill some fish. I thought that he would bring back salmon. I told him no tuna because of my concerns with mercury exposure. He came back with 2 very large pieces of Chilean sea bass. It was probably the most expensive fish that I've ever cooked but it was well worth the effort.

First, I rubbed the pieces with salt and pepper and olive oil. Then I cut slits along the pieces and stuffed them with slivers of garlic, sprigs of rosemary and slices of lemon. We fired up the grill and placed them, skin side down, on to cook.

Now, I've never grilled fish before and this was a pretty expensive fish to be experimenting with, so I checked out Mark Bittman's instructions on grilling fish. He said that the way to bring the fish up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. When I got my handy thermometer out and poked into the flesh of the fish, I was surprised to find that the internal temperature was 30 degrees or so. The fish was still frozen in the center. What to do?

I turned the heat on the grill down to medium low and slow cooked the fish until the internal temperature reached 120 degrees. It took about 30 to 45 minutes. I took it slow because I did not want to overcook the fish in any way.

In the meantime, I peeled and prepared 1 pound of tiger shrimp and marinated it in a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt, pepper and dried red pepper flakes. I threaded the shrimp on skewers and grilled the shrimp after I had taken the sea bass of the heat. I think shrimp is one of my favorites foods. It's stores so easily in the freezer and thaws quickly in a water bath. And it cooks up quickly. I cooked my skewers for 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other.

Shrimp skewers
The Chilean sea bass was wonderful. It was sweet with a subtle flavor. We ate it with rice and boiled green beans mixed with chow chow. A great way to inaugurate our new grill.


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