Many people grill year-round, but our grill hibernates during the winter. 😦 Thankfully, it is unseasonably warm here this week (Yay!), so I am going to share a couple of belated grilling recipes.
This first recipe is an adaptation of a Turkish dish typically made with local swordfish and fresh bay leaves. This version, from David Tanis of The New York Times, uses firm-fleshed halibut with thinly sliced lemons and onions. The fish is only marinated for an hour, grilled, and served with a wonderful and fresh cucumber-yogurt sauce.
- 1 ½ pounds boneless halibut or other firm-fleshed fish
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 garlic clove, grated or smashed to a paste
- 8 bay leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 small cucumber, about 2 ounces, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Cut halibut into large chunks of equal size and thread onto skewers. You should have 4 kebabs weighing about 6 ounces each.
- Lay them in a shallow dish. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a mixing bowl, put cumin, coriander, paprika, red pepper flakes, onion, lemon, minced garlic and bay leaves. Add olive oil and stir together.
- Spoon mixture over fish skewers and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Put yogurt in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then add garlic paste, cayenne and cucumber.
- Mix mint, dill and parsley together, add half to yogurt mixture, and reserve the rest. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Heat a grill or broiler. When it is hot, cook skewers for about 2 minutes per side, until just opaque. (Leave some lemon, onion and bay leaf clinging to fish, so they char a bit.)
- Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining herb mixture, if desired. Serve with yogurt sauce on the side.
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