By Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD at LMC
With longer days and warmer temperatures, we start to look to our outdoor grills for preparing tasty meals. We especially like to cook meat on the grill. One of the best meats we can grill is seafood. We are recommended to eat two or more servings of seafood a week for the heart healthy benefits fish can provide. Luckily, we are blessed to live so close to the coast with its variety of fresh seafood offerings. However, you may have heard to beware of some fish or to pick “sustainable choices.”
What is Sustainable Choice Seafood? It’s fish that is caught or farmed in a manner that considers the long-term vitality of the species. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website has pocket guides that can be downloaded and printed for each region of the country that lists best choice, good alternative, and fish/seafood to avoid that may be overfished or come from areas of the world where there is concern for how the fish are caught or raised. For the more tech savvy, there is a downloadable app: mobile.seafoodwatch.org
In our region some of the best choices and good alternatives are found off the coast of the Carolinas: Shrimp, Oysters, Cod, Halibut, Red Snapper, Grouper and Flounder just to name a few. The best part about serving seafood is the ability to get it to your plate fast.
• 1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen fish steaks or fillets (such as tuna, sea bass, swordfish, or salmon), cut 1 inch thick
• 6 garlic, peeled and quartered
• 1/2 onion, quartered
• 1/2 red sweet pepper, quartered and seeded
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
• 1 1/2 cups fresh arugula or spinach (optional)
1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Place fish in a shallow dish. Set aside. For marinade, in a blender or food processor combine the garlic, onion, sweet pepper, wine, oil, ketchup, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cover and blend or process until finely chopped; stir in the cilantro.
2. Transfer half of the marinade to a small bowl; cover and chill until ready to serve. Spoon remaining marinade over fish; turn fish to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, turning fish occasionally.
3. Drain fish, discarding marinade. Grill fish on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, gently turning once halfway through grilling time. If desired, serve fish over arugula or spinach. Top with reserved pepper mixture.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.