Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilling and Slaw

As I mentioned in last week's post, I had the annual grill fire. What I didn't mention was, I think the grill is toast. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the coating on the inside appears to be peeling off, most likely due to too many degrees of flame licking at it over ten years. It was a wedding present, so it's fitting that it's going out within days of our tenth anniversary. I have thought it was too bad to use many times before, but the plastic-y peelings drifting onto the food have even swayed my loving husband.

What all this means is, I'm using the charcoal grill. For those of you who swear by gas, you won't care, and for those of you who swear by charcoal, you already know, so this is for those who waffle between the two, feeling a little like frauds for using gas but feeling a bit too lazy, or overwhelmed, or short on time to use the hibachi: charcoal grills are fun! If you start the fire early enough, it doesn't actually add time to meal prep. You can't run out five minutes before you want to cook and start it, but with a little forethought, you're good. You can make a salad in the meantime, or weed the garden.

Okay, my plug is over. It won't stop me from getting a new gas grill, should one appear on the horizon, but it's nice to reconnect with the old fashioned method of cooking.

One last time, we had soft-shell crabs. They're only around for a week or two more, so overdose now. Tonight, I did a different salad base than last month's recipe, but it was equally yummy. We had it with monkfish, The Lobster Tail of Fish, as we call it in my house. It's dense, meaty, chewy, slightly sweet. It takes drawn butter, too, but then, what doesn't?

Grilled Monkfish Tail

Serving size depends on size of fillet. If you are only eating this, you need 1/2 pound per person. If served with something else, less is needed.

If your fishmonger fillets the tail for you, skip ahead to the next step. If you start with a whole tail, gently and carefully cut along either side of the backbone, taking small slices to get as close to the backbone as possible. You should end up with two long, thin fillets.

Grill over medium heat for three or four minute per side, depending on thickness of meat. I had 3/4 inch fillets.

Dip in drawn butter.

Soft-shell Crab with Tomato Cucumber Salad

Serves 2

Pat 2 soft-shell crabs dry and salt and pepper both sides.

Grill over medium heat until they turn pinkish orange and are firm when you press on them, approximately 4 minutes per side.

Serve over a salad of:

3/4 cup tomato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3/4 cup cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 cup kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

How funny that Keja posts a coleslaw recipe the same week I do. Or not, since we are splitting a CSA share.

Coleslaw Keja Wouldn't Eat

Serves 4

Grate 3 cups cabbage

Add mayonnaise to taste, approximately 3/4 cup but start with less and add as needed

Add 1 TBSP pickle relish

Salt and pepper to taste (cilantro salt is great in this)

Coleslaw #2

Serves 4

Grate 3 cups purple cabbage

Grate 1/2 cup carrot

Add 1/2 cup raisins

Add mayonnaise to taste, approximately 3/4 cup but start with less and add as needed

Add salt and pepper to taste