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Cooking with Rebecca Bent

Monday, September 1, 2008

Easy End of Summer Recipe: Reinvent a Favorite with Grilled Fish

grilled fishWith summer coming to a close, I have my sights set on finding the perfect grilled fish recipe. So, to get some ideas, I e-mailed everyone I knew for input. As I sifted through the responses, I discovered that all the suggestions had one recurring theme: stick to what you know and focus on the details to make a big difference...

Therefore, in the spirit of great advice, I decided to reinvent my favorite dish, The Caesar Salad. And accomplished that by topping the salad with grilled Rockfish and also making homemade baked chesse croutons and zesty Caesar dressing.

If you are serving this dish for dinner, consider a chilled sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio for white wine, or for red wine, room temperature Shiraz.

Caesar Salad and Grilled Fish and Crispy Croutons
Makes 2 Heaping Servings

For the Fresh Fish:
2 hearty 6-ounce fresh fish filets (I recommend: Striper –aka Rockfish in Maryland or Salmon. And we sell them both! Click here to go to the fresh fish web page.)

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

For the Crispy Croutons:
1 large slice fresh bread, just use your favorite, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup finely chopped parsley

For the Dressing and Salad:
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
Droplets of freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 heaping cups baby romaine leaves or 1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
¼ red bell pepper, sliced into thin spears for garnish

Place the oven rack on the middle shelf of the oven and heat the oven to 400° F. for at least 10 minutes.

While the oven is heating up, prepare the fish for grilling. Heat a well-seasoned grill on medium heat. Place the fish filets on a clean place and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and oregano. Place the fish, skin side down on the grilling grates and grill for 12 to 15 minutes or until its flesh turns opaque.

While the fish is on the grill, prepare the Crispy Parsley-Parmesan Croutons. Spread the bread out on a sheet pan and sprinkle it with olive oil and place it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. The bread should start to toast. Once it does, remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle it with the Parmesan cheese and the parsley (in that order) and place it back into the oven for 2 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt and bubble slightly.

While the fish is grilling and the croutons are baking, prepare the dressing and salad. In a large bowl combine the anchovy paste, garlic paste, Dijon, lemon, pepper, salt, Parmesan, and olive oil and whisk until well combined. Add in the romaine lettuce and toss everything together until the leaves are well coated.

To assemble, evenly divide up the salad between two plates. Using a spatula, scrape off as much crispy parsley-parmesan croutons as you want and lay it on the mound of salad. Cover the croutons with the grilled fish filets and top it all off by garnishing the fish with a few spears of red bell pepper. Serve immediately.


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