Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fish if you don't really like it / Stuffed Trout and Grilled Tuna

Fish was a Christian thing from the get go. I recently read a book which explained that the very first Judeo-Christians had issues resolving their Jewish practices and their Christian beliefs. To avoid a conflict, especially when it came to keeping kosher, they ate fish which is outside the kosher laws for meat. Apparently, this became so ingrained that the fish was an early symbol for Christianity. Whether or not you buy that explanation, fish was definitely a part of being a Catholic Christian . The early Church established rules of abstinence to include Fridays, Ash Wednesday and the octaves of most major feast days like Christmas. In Italy, surrounded as it is with the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, fish is a regular part of the diet , and if you were an Italian American growing up in the 50's (before they changed the abstinence laws), fish was at the very least, a weekly part of your meals. Thankfully for me, fish is also a part of The Wife's diet. Guyana, known as the Land of Many Waters has lots of fish which saves me from having to cook all vegetarian meals for her.I'm posting these two recipes together for those cooks who are timid about cooking fish. The first,stuffed trout is a very sweet and mild tasting fish. I had my fish monger split and remove the spine bone, but you can accomplish the same by buying two fillets.You simply bake this lovely fish for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. A tip: Use fresh breadcrumbs. Mix the crumbs as you like with a little garlic, some chopped olives, pignolli or sun dried tomatoes, parsley and olive oil. The crumbs should look and feel like wet sand. Put a little olive oil or white wine in the pan. I served mine with yukon gold potatoes which I boiled, riced then mixed with melted butter and seasoning and baby spinach sauteed in olive oil with garlic.

My second dish came about because of the scary unseasonal weather (auguring the destruction of the planet) we had in New York yesterday. I have some pictures to help.

The first thing necessary is to mix together a marinade. Mine always have oil, vinegar, lemon or lime and flavoring. If I add a sweet element, I like to balance it with heat. So, this has the juice of two limes, about a TBS of brown sugar, Siracha chili sauce (to taste), 4 TBS Canola oil, a smashed clove of garlic, 2 tsp of ginger paste, 2 TBS of soy sauce 2 TBS of white wine and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. It came to about a cup of liquid for 3 skewers of ahi (yellow fin) tuna (about 12 cubes). Keep the tuna covered in the refrigerator for 4 hours or so.

About an hour before TW showed up, I washed and spun dry the lettuce. In a separate bowl, I mixed an avocado,some marinated artichoke hearts, tomatoes,olives, sliced onion and a vinaigrette I made with olive oil, lime, fresh thyme and basil.

 Get your grill hot over Medium heat, or if you're doing this over charcoal, wait till the coals are completely white. Then, carefully grill the tuna turning the skewers to get an even browning of all sides. (You may find it necessary at the end to remove the individual pieces from the skewers and cook the pieces that need it a little more) Mix the salad, plate it and place the warm pieces of tuna over the salad. Serve with some nice crusty bread.

If you don't like either of these dishes, stick to chicken.


  1. This looks wonderful, Joe. In my more wicked moments I wonder how our diets might have changed if the apostles had been cowboys rather than fisherman. There is, however, much to commend fish and your recipe sounds scrumptious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  2. LOL@ cowboys! Blessings to you, Mary.

  3. Jesus and the 12 Amigos. "We don't need no stinkin' fish!"

  4. Joe, we have to stop this ;-). Have a great evening.