Monday, April 12, 2010

Fish on the fire!

Well, I made a genius move today. I bought this nice slab of Arctic Char at Bloblaws and really wanted to cook it over charcoal. (Charcoal, char, how could I resist?!) The trouble is that fish fillets can be tricky on the grill, and even trickier at the uneven/inferno temperatures you get over the coals. I don't have one of those fancy fish baskets, so I dreamed up this alternative, and it worked just dandy!

I used my wire racks -- the ones for cooling baked goods. (I"ll tell you right now that this trick will give your wire racks a bit of a "patina" from the smoke, oil, and heat -- it will come off if you're a fan of SOS pads, or oven cleaner, but I'm not so I think they may end up devoted to this genius method -- or my cookies may be a little fishy from here on in. Whatevah!) First, I oiled the feet side of the racks (this way, there are little metal supports to keep the fish from getting smushed).

Then on went the fish. I add some salt and pepper, and also added some Baharat -- a Middle Eastern spice mix that I made a whole bunch of the other day. Baharat is a mix of pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other good stuff that worked wonders on this fish! (You could use curry, or nothing, or wait til I get around to posting the Baharat recipe!)

Put the other rack on top so the feet are down.

Then on the grill -- skin side down to start. This little Weber is great for this since the racks hang over the edge and you can grab them easily. This should work on a son-of-Hibachi or similar grill too.

Needless to say, you need a pair of grill gloves to pull this off. But, any self respecting (and arm hair respecting) charcoal griller has these on hand (HAHAHA) at all times. Just pick up the fish and racks like a big metal sandwich and flip it when needed, or drain the fat if there is a flare up, or hold it up from the coals if it seems a little too hot. (As you may gather from the above, there is no precise method or timing here -- flip when you think you should, have a sip of beer when you want, move it around now and then, and the whole thing should be done in around 10 minutes -- or more -- or less.)

Back inside, the beautiful result! But if you want to keep it beautiful, be careful here. Get a fork and use it to gently poke any stuck fish crust back through the grate as you gradually lift the top rack off. Just ease the cover off from one end to the other -- kind of like pulling off a stuck bandaid, now that I think of it :D

And voila! Serve up with some leftover Persian rice, and maybe some vegetables. Mmm-mmm good!

A cool side effect is you get these neat fish skin waffles too (if you're inclined to eat such things...).

p.s. The favas are up!

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