It’s finally here. The heady smell of freshly cut grass. The familiar feel of cool sheets on my sunburned limbs. The staccato laugh of the woodpeckers. Dust replaces mud. The seemingly endless overcast gray gives way to a temporary morning marine layer, complete with the unspoken promise of a bright blue sunny afternoon. The tinkle of lump charcoal as is takes the flame. Daylight is in surplus now, it’s hours are spent recklessly. I do so love Summer.
Trying to drop a few pounds, I’ve been focusing more on the grill this time of year. I’ve rediscovered just how wonderful grilled fish can be. To be specific, halibut steaks. My lovely wife and I took a quick run to Half Moon bay the other day to visit Princeton Seafood, a small seafood outlet on the commercial pier. It doesn’t get much fresher than this place, it smells of the ocean – briny and clean. I picked up a couple halibut steaks and brought them home to grill. They were seasoned very simply, just salt and pepper – I didn’t want to hide any of the fresh taste. If you’ve never had really fresh halibut, you must put that on your bucket list. What you get from the grocery store is bland and horrible.
I oiled a fish grate generously (if you want to grill fish, get one. You won’t regret it) and sandwiched my prizes in it. I was cooking this on my Weber kettle style grill over a hot charcoal fire – maybe 5 minutes a side – so it’s a quick affair. If you are doing likewise, I’ll add a quick tip. Find a brick and cover it with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place this on the far side of the grill. You can balance your fish basket between the brick and the lip of the kettle this way. Otherwise the basket doesn’t fit on the grill. You can also use this method for grateless grilling kebabs (they are suspended in the air over the grate). As I mentioned, grill your fish about five minutes a side or until it’s nicely browned and the fish flakes easily when poked.
I serve this with a lively sauce I usually put over anchovies. Sue me – I’m Italian. And I’ll even share it with you. I can’t remember where I got it, but it’s a staple around here.
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Minced Basil
- 1/4 Cup Minced Parsley
- 2 TBS White Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 2 Hard boiled Egg Yolks (Save the whites and mince them up for the salad)
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper to Taste
Stick the works in a food processor and zap it until it’s nicely combined but rustic. Serve a little over your fish and kill a few precious daylight hours with friends, family and loved ones. After all, it’s summer and they are there for the taking.