We've talked before about grilling burgers. And most everybody loves a tasty burger, but sometimes we crave a more elegant repast. In the summer months, however, that elegance must still be executed on the grill. I don't care if the Queen is coming for dinner, I am not cranking up my oven in the dead of summer. Now, for all we know, Her Majesty may love to sink her royal choppers into a thick juicy burger, but probably not with a Commoner, and certainly not an American. With that in mind, we sought the advice of a pro.
We caught up with our friend Chef Bill Beck of Beck's Cajun Cafe in Reading Terminal Market recently and he gave us some great ideas for a more refined-though still grillable--repast.
|Whole Branzino, before Bill got hold of it.|
For the main dish, Bill offered up a whole branzino, about 1 lb. He recommends the following preparation: Stuff the cavity with a handful of fresh herbs--oregano, dill, thyme--whatever you have on hand. Coat the outside of the fish with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the fish on the heated grill, and cook about 5 minutes per side til fish flakes easily. When the cooking is complete, let the fish sit for 5 minutes; this makes for easier serving as the skin and bones will pull away from the flesh.
As a side, Bill suggests grilled sweet potatoes. These need significantly more time on the grill than the fish, and are cooked at a lower temperature, so should be done ahead of time. Prick the potatoes and wrap loosely in foil. Grill them slowly for about 1 hour on indirect heat til completely soft. (check for doneness at 45 minutes) Split the tops and serve with a sprinkle of Devil Dust, a slab of butter and a drizzle of molasses.
We're sure even Her Majesty will approve of this spread.