Local fish never tasted so good!
Last week I took a gamble and headed out to Race Point in Provincetown with a friend at 4:30AM to try my luck fishing for striped bass off the beach. After a little effort and a lot of luck I wound up catching several fish, among them a spectacular 36″ bass which quickly found its way into the cooler. It was the ideal sized catch for feeding a few friends so I quickly made plans and stopped by Angel Foods to pick up a few ingredients including a few bottles of Truro Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. The day was already off to a spectacular start and only got better as the evening rolled around and friends ushered in with a haul of fresh garden vegetables so fresh they still had the vines on. In my opinion, there is no better meal than a fish from Cape Cod waters paired with sublimely simple backyard vegetables and a local wine. Here is how that evening’s meal was prepared.
Grilled Garden Vegetables:
Pre-heat your grill and a seasoned or non-stick steel grill pan. Chop your vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and whatever else you can procure) leaving any small tomatoes whole. Coat them with ample amounts of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. It should take a little less than 15 minutes to cook everything in the pan over a high heat. Ideally the vegetables should be lightly charred but take care not to cook them so long that they turn soft. Serve hot with fresh herbs and another drizzle of olive oil.
Grilled Striped Bass:
Use fresh fillets that are at least 1″ thick (thicker fillets make them easier to grill). The first step is to coat the fish so it will not stick to the grill. Yes, you can oil the grill but you must coat the fish properly if you want to keep the fillets intact. My favorite way to do this is to brush down each fillet with mayonnaise….yes, I said mayo and no, you won’t taste it when they’re done. It’s a sure fire way to keep any fillet from sticking to grill grates. From that point season each fillet with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and place directly on a medium heat until the fish is opaque but still moist in the center. The total grill time on thick fillets should be about 5 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook. When done, serve with lemon wedges and some additional salt and pepper. Preparing the fish as simply as possible lets all the flavors of the ocean and the smoke from the grill come together.