Grilled Swordfish with Baby Clams

Grilled Swordfish with Baby Clams, Wild Leeks, Asparagus, and Retsina-Scented Lemon-Mint Broth

I think this is one of spring’s best dishes. It’s light, aromatic, and easy to put together. It’s best made in a saucepan called a sauteuse, a large shallow pan with handles that can serve as a saucepan, casserole, or Dutch oven.

Any flaky white fish such as snapper or wild striped bass can be used in place of the swordfish. You’ll know the grill is hot enough to cook the fish perfectly when you can hold your palm about 2 inches above the grill for 2 seconds any longer and the grill is too cold, any shorter and it is too hot.

What you will Needed

  • 12 ramps
  • 18 pencil-thin unpeeled asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
  • 30 clams in the shell, such as Manila or Mahogany
  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Six 7-ounce, 1-inch-thick skin-on swordfish steaks
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup retsina wine
  • 3 cups Clam Broth
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon torn fresh mint leaves, plus 6 sprigs for garnish

What to do

  1. Wash the ramps well and trim off the roots. Using a small sharp knife, cut the white part off on the bias and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut the leaves into 1/4-inch-wide- strips. Set both aside, separately.
  2. Cut the top 1 1/2 inches from each piece of asparagus. Cut the remaining spears crosswise into 1/8-inch pieces. Set aside.
  3. Using a rough, green kitchen scrub pad, vigorously wipe the clams clean under cold running water. Place in a large bowl of cold salted water and swish to purge the clams of any sand. Drain and repeat twice more. Drain well and set aside.
  4. Clean and lightly coat the grill with olive oil. Preheat to medium high.
  5. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of the swordfish with some of the olive oil. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay the fish directly on the grill and cover. Grill, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn, cover again, and continue to grill for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and the skin is lightly charred. Using a fish spatula, transfer the fish to a large serving platter. Tent lightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauteuse over medium heat. Add the white pieces of ramps along with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until the ramps are quite fragrant and beginning to soften. Do not allow them to take on any color.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine, stirring to blend. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the pan is almost dry.
  8. Add the broth, followed by the clams. Add half of the lemon juice, cover, and bring to a bare simmer. As soon as the mixture comes to a simmer, begin checking the clams. As they open, transfer them to a saute pan fitted with a lid using a slotted spoon. Continue removing clams as they open. This method speeds the cooking and keeps the claims from overcooking. Discard any clams that don’t open within 8 minutes.
  9. Add about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid to the clams and then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Cover and keep warm.
  10. Taste the cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add the asparagus and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately fold in the reserved ramp leaf strips. Add the spinach, mint leaves, and remaining lemon juice along with the zest. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning. You should have a clear, vibrant broth with a perfect balance of light flavors. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  12. Place 3 asparagus tips equidistant around the edge of each of 6 large shallow wide-rimmed soup bowls. Ladle an equal amount of the ramp-asparagus mixture in the center. Place 3 clams between the asparagus tops and a piece of swordfish in the center. Carefully ladle the broth around the edge without allowing it to splash on the fish. Place 2 clams on top, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve.

Posted in Recipes

Greek Grilled Whole Fish

Grilled fish with bones keeps the flesh moist and flavorful. Some people don’t like looking at a whole fish, however, so you can also remove the head and tail, leave the fish intact, and lightly score the skin. You’ll need an outdoor grill and wood chips to grill a fish successfully. A fish grilling basket is also helpful.

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 cups of wood chips, preferablly cherry or pecan
  • Olive oil for the grill
  • Six 1 1/4 pound whole red snapper, bass, porgy, or other small whole fish, cleaned and gutted (scales, gills and fins removed)
  • About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek Oregano
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, membrane removed, and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

How to make this Greek recipe

  1. Place the wood chips in cold water to cover. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the grill and lightly coat the rack with olive oil.
  3. To prepare the fish, using a sharp boning knife, make a slight insertion at the top of the dorsal fin just below the head and continue making a slight incision, pressing the knife against the bones all the way down the spine stopping just above the tail. The head and tail should be intact. Turn the fish over and repeat the process on the other side. This will make it easy to pull the flesh away from the bone once cooked.
  4. Drain the wood chips and place them on top of the hot coals in the grill. The chips will ignite and emit a flavorful smoke.
  5. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the fish with some of the olive oil. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay the fish directly on the grill and cover. Grill, covered, for, 10 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque, and the skin is lightly charred.
  6. Using a fish spatula, transfer the fish to a large serving platter. Brush the fish lightly with olive oil again. Cut each lemon in half crosswise, and squeeze one half over each fish. Sprinkle with oregano. If desired, garnish the platter with some diced tomatoes and chopped chives.

Posted in Recipes

Ouzo Cured Salmon with Fennel and Dill

Since the Greeks enjoy many different types of cured fish, thought it would be a great idea to do a Greek spin on the traditional Scandinavian gravlax. I have to thank my chef de cuisine, John Piliouras, who is terrific at charcuterie and curing, for helping to devise what I think is a great recipe, the sweet, fatty salmon is cured with the usual sugar, salt, and dill and then “Greekified” with a strong hit of ouzo and fennel seed and pollen. The pungent sweetness of the anise flavors is the perfect foil for the fatty, succulent salmon.

If you can’t find the fennel pollen, don’t worry; it’s not essential to the perfect cure. I can tell you that this truly is “phenomenal” served with warm pita and a glass of ouzo.

Ingredients needed

  • 1 whole salmon, 10 to 12 pounds, tail and head removed, gutted, cut lengthwise in half, and boned to make 2 fillets with skin
  • 3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fennel pollen
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 6 cups chopped fresh dill, including stems
  • 3 cups ouzo

How to make it

  1. Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to fold in half and then totally enfold the 2 fillets. Set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and salt with the pepper, fennel pollen, and toasted fennel seeds in a medium mixing bowl, stirring to combine well. Set aside.
  3. Lay the salmon fillets out on a clean work surface, skin side down. Using tweezers or needle-nose pliers, carefully remove and discard any pinbones remaining in the flesh. Using a sharp knife, trim off the thin belly meat, leaving an almost perfect rectangle of fish.
  4. Place the double layer of cheesecloth on a clean work surface. Generously sprinkle the sugar-salt mixture down the center, spreading it out slightly so that the fish will lie on a comfortable bed. Lay the fillets skin side down in the center of the sugar-salt cure, with the interior edges touching. Generously coat the top of each fillet with a coating of the sugar-salt mixture. Cover with the dill and then sprinkle on the remaining sugar-salt mixture. Drizzle the fish with half of the ouzo. Place one fillet on top of the other to put the fish back together. Wrap the fish packet with the cheesecloth to enclose it. Drizzle the remaining ouzo on the cheesecloth to almost saturate it. Working carefully so that you don’t lose too much of the curing mixture, tightly wrap the packet in plastic wrap.
  5. Place the wrapped fish in a dish or on a platter large enough to hold it flat as well as to hold the liquid that may seep out as the fish cures. Place a heavy cutting board or other heavy objects on top of the fish and refrigerate for 2 days, turning every 12 hours or so.
  6. After 2 days, unwrap the fish and separate the fillets. Quickly rinse off any remaining curing mixture under cool water. Do not soak. Pat dry with paper towels. If not serving immediately, separately wrap each fillet in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. The gravlax may be stored, refrigerated, for a week or so.
  7. When ready to serve, using a slicing knife, cut each fillet, on the bias against the skin, into very thin, skinless slices. Serve with warm pita bread and thinly sliced lemon and, of course, a glass of ouzo!

Posted in Salmon Recipes

Dill Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce

This delicious recipe, will serve up to four people, and it only takes 10 minutes of cooking time. However, 3 hours of marinating is necessary for the tasty goodness.

Ingredients you will need

  • Four skinless fish fillets (you can use red mullet, john dory, perch, to name a few)
  • 1.5 tbs lemon pepper
  • 1-2 depending on your taste buds, freshly chopped dill
  • .33 cup of lemon juice

Ingredients to make Lemon Butter Sauce

  • Two tbs of lemon juice
  • .5 cup of cream
  • forty grams of butter
  • Two tbs of fresh chopped chives

How to make the Dill Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce

  1. Grab the lemon pepper and sprinkle it on the fish fillets, and you want to place the freshly sprinkled fillet in a shallow non metallic dish. Integrate the dill into the lemon juice, and then place over the fish. At this moment you want to refrigerate, and cover the dish.
  2. Heat up the grill, and cook the fish for about two minutes on each side. As always, you can do the flake test with a fork.
  3. Now…. in order to make the lemon butter sauce, do the following. Take a small pan, and simmer the lemon juice until it is reduced by half. After that, you want to remove the pan from the heat source, and take butter, and begin whisking it in little by little until most if not all of the butter has finished melting.
  4. At this point, you are about ready to eat and serve your dill fish with Lemon Butter Sauce. Just take the fish and pour the butter sauce gently on top of the tasty Dill fish. If you’d like to an extra touch to the recipe, you can also sprinkle some chives on top of this dish, or even serve it with a side of bread.

Posted in Recipes

Grilled lime cilantro ahi with honey glaze

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound yellow fin tuna fillets
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Mix together olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. Throw in the tuna fillets and make sure they get covered. Let the tuna sit in the fridge in this sauce stuff over night.

Make the grill hot and non stick. Mix together the honey and some olive oil and cilantro and keep it handy.

Plop the tuna on the grill and close the lid for a minute. Flip the fish over carefully as to not turn them into fish burger making fire on the bottom by the coals. Close the lid again for a minute. Keep doing that and basting a lot until you think the fish are done. When they are almost done brush the honey stuff I told you to keep handy on both sides. Remember not to overcook the fish you probably aren’t the only one that has to suffer through it if you mess it up.

Posted in Recipes

Grilled halibut and butter sauce

  • 4 (6 ounce) fillets halibut
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat a grill for high heat. Make squish of lime and put juice on fish.

Grill fish fillets for about 5 minutes on each side and throw it on a plate Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter, remaining lime juice and cilantro.

Serve fish with the cilantro butter sauce.

See what I mean? Fish and butter. But its good stuff.

Posted in Halibut Recipes

Cedar plank grilled salmon with garlic, lemon, and dill

  • 1 (3 pound) whole fillet of salmon, skin on, scored to about the size of the pieces you want to serve, do not cut all the way through yet
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving

Soak an untreated cedar plank (or planks) large enough to hold a side of salmon (5 to 7 inches wide and 16 to 20 inches long) in water, weighting it with something heavy, like a brick, so it stays submerged from 30 minutes to something like 24 hours, your preference.

When you’re ready to grill get you a fire going in about half of the grill whether you’re using gas or char coal it has to be half of the grill. Let that heat up about ten minutes. While that’s heating up mix together the oil, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Put that on the salmon however you feel like putting it on the salmon. Try to coat the whole thing.

Place soaked cedar on hot grill grate, close lid, and watch until wood starts to smoke, if it immediately burst into flames you did something wrong… put the salmon on the hot plank and cook for about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes; serve with lemon wedges.

Posted in Salmon Recipes

Grilled fish tostada salad

  • 4 6oz Fresh Fish Fillets
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning blend
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 12 ounces finely shredded cheese (any cheese you like… all hail the power of cheese!)
  • 6 cups lettuce and salad-ish stuff
  • ½ cup Citrus Vinaigrette (Recipe below)
  • ½ cup cooked corn
  • 4 oz. sliced roasted peppers
  • 8 ounces Tomato Salsa (Recipe below)
  • ¼ cup Chimichurri Sauce (Recipe below)
  • 1 ripe avocado, quartered and cut into fan-ish thingy

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Next thing you do is season the fish on both sides with the creole seasoning and salt. Grill each side until the fish is done.

While the fish is grilling, if you’re quick about it, lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet. With something pokey, poke holes in the tortillas about half an inch apart. Put a thin layer of olive oil on them and bake for about 5 minutes in the oven you preheated at the beginning of this little episode. Dump as much cheese as you feel is needed onto the tortillas and cook again until melted.

Then, Place 2 tortillas on each of four plates. Toss spring mix with citrus vinaigrette, corn kernels, and peppers and mound one-fourth of mixture on top of each plate of tortillas. Sprinkle tomato salsa over salad mix.

When done, slice fish and place on top of salad, drizzle with chimichurri sauce. Top with avocado fan.

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2/3-cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • ½ tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bunch (1 ½ ounces) flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and minced
  • ½ bunch (½ ounce) cilantro, stemmed and minced
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • Scallion tops, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic

Combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Using a wire whisk mix until evenly blended.

Add all remaining ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, gently mix until evenly blended. The mixture should be highly seasoned; add more salt or vinegar, if desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Tomato Salsa

1 ½ lbs. plum tomatoes, diced
½ cup finely diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno (about 2 tsp.), stemmed and finely diced
1 tsp. Creole seasoning blend
Salt… as much as you feel like putting into it
Juice of one lime
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate.

Posted in Salad Recipes

Grilled Rock Lobster Tails

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 (10 ounce) rock lobster tails

Make the grill hot

Make squish of lemon and pour it into a bowl, mix in some olive oil, salt, white pepper, and garlic powder. Split the lobster tails lengthwise with a sharp thing and brush on marinade.

Make grill non stick and throw the lobster tails food side down on the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes. Turn and baste a lot. Lobster is done when opaque.

Posted in Lobster Recipes

Grilled Salmon Kyoto

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 4 salmon steaks (1 inch thick give or take)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In whatever you use for baking combine soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, oil, tomato sauce, lemon, mustard, green onion, garlic, and ginger. Place salmon in marinade and be sure to coat both sides. Leave in the fridge covered for about an hour.
Make the grill hot.
Take the fish out of the marinade and boil the marinade for about a minute.
Make the grill non stick and throw the salmon on there. It’ll cook for about 10 minutes. Turn it over after about 5 minutes and put the boiled marinade on it..

Posted in Salmon Recipes
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