#easymeals

Whole Grilled Fish with Fresh Herbs and Citrus

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I used to be intimidated by recipes calling for whole fish, even after growing up with a fishing rod tucked under my arm, and even after culinary school where we covered all things fin fish. Last summer, I explored grilling whole fish. It was a lot less intimidating to work with them outdoors on a gas grill. I’ve since tested and adapted these recipes for indoor cooking, because let’s face it, we all don’t have the option of grilling all the time.

This is the start to a perfect summer night meal, when you want to expel as little effort as possible to eat something light and full flavored. Pair with some grilled vegetables or a salad and you’re a star, a sea star.

What follows is a formula for simple whole grilled fish with herbs and citrus served in 4 of my favorite ways (I’m sure I’ll be amending this in a year or so with 2 additional ways). You can easily modify this formula to fit your favorite flavor combinations, seasonally available produce and local flavor. Or you can jump straight to my recipe for Whole Grilled Trout with Cilantro, Mint, Nam Pla Prik, and Cashews, which you won’t regret one bit.

WHOLE GRILLED FISH WITH FRESH HERBS & CITRUS - 4 WAYS

  1. Lemon + Parsley + Garlic + Pepper + Olive Oil garnished with Hazelnuts

  2. Orange + Parsley + Oregano + Olive Oil garnished with Olives + Capers

  3. Orange + Lime + Cilantro + Serrano + Cumin garnished with Avocado + Tomato

  4. Mint + Cilantro + Thai basil + White Pepper + Kaffir Lime Leaf garnished with Toasted Cashews + Nam Pla Prik Thai Chili Lime Sauce

Serves: 4 - 6

What You Need:

  • 3 small whole fish, such as branzino, trout or red snapper, scaled, cleaned, & heads removed or butterflied, about 1 pound each

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ - 1 teaspoon ground pepper or other spices or spice blends

  • 1 - 2 bunches of fresh herbs

  • 2 - 3 limes, lemons or oranges, sliced or juiced for dressing

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • ¼ cup nuts, lightly toasted

  • 1-2 chili peppers, such as jalapeno, serrano or Thai bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced

  • ¼ - ½ cup olives, pickles, capers, or caper berries

What You Do:

  1. Sprinkle sea salt and spices on the insides of the fish. Stuff each fish with few herb sprigs (leaving stems intact) and a few citrus slices.

  2. Brush the outside of each fish lightly with canola oil.

  3. Heat a grill on high heat.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare any sauces or garnishes. Juice or slice the remaining citrus, toast nuts, slice peppers, tomatoes or other fruits, pluck herb leaves from the stems and discard stems.

  5. Grill the fish over high heat, turning once, 6-7 minutes per side or until skin is crisped and flesh is flaky.

  6. Serve immediately garnished with toasted nuts, additional citrus, herb leaves, and more per suggestions above.

No grill? No problem. You can also cook this whole fish under the broiler in a cast iron skillet or broiler safe pan. Heat the pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Add the prepared fish to the pan and place back under the broiler for about 6-7 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5-6 minutes on the other side.

No grill? No problem. You can also cook this whole fish under the broiler in a cast iron skillet or broiler safe pan. Heat the pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Add the prepared fish to the pan and place back under the broiler for about 6-7 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5-6 minutes on the other side.

Chili Maple Glazed Squash with Runny Eggs

In my classes and conversations with many home cooks and those eager to become home cooks, I hear the same repeated request: Healthy. Easy. Meals. So here’s one of my favorites that meets this criteria and then some. As a sheet pan supper, you’ll only be washing one pan after you stuff your face with wholesome goodness. And since the incredible edible egg is the star protein, equally acceptable for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and of course BRUNCH), it’s easy on the wallet. The chili maple glaze turns the squash into crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, candy that even squash resisters can’t stop eating.

You can use any type of squash, but I find delicata or acorn work best in this dish, since the roasted skin is deliciously edible, upping the convenience and health factors (thank you, fiber). If butternut or another variety of squash is more readily available to you, go for it. Whichever you use, cut the squash into symmetrical crescent-shaped slices that can be ingeniously arranged to contain a cracked egg.

Make this for dinner on a weeknight. Make it for brunch and impress your friends. Make extra and put the leftovers inside a taco.

CHILI MAPLE GLAZED SQUASH AND RUNNY EGGS

Serves: 4 as a main dish

Acorn squash cut into crescent shaped slices and tossed in chili maple glaze before roasting.

Acorn squash cut into crescent shaped slices and tossed in chili maple glaze before roasting.

What you need:

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or canola)

  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or shoyu or soy sauce)

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced or grated

  • 1 inch piece ginger root, peeled, minced or grated

  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle chili flakes, optional

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 acorn or 2 delicata squash, about 2 pounds

  • 8 eggs

  • 2-3 scallions, sliced at an angle

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Delicata squash after roasting, ready to get brushed with more glaze, and arranged for the eggs to get cracked on top.

Delicata squash after roasting, ready to get brushed with more glaze, and arranged for the eggs to get cracked on top.

Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced scallions and more glaze.

Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced scallions and more glaze.

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice into ½ inch-thick crescent shaped slices. (Peeling delicata or acorn squash is optional.)

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari, garlic, ginger, and chipotle chili flakes.

  4. Season the squash pieces with salt and add to the maple syrup mixture. Toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  5. Spread the squash in a single layer on the parchment lined sheet tray, reserving the extra glaze. Bake 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown on the underside.

  6. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the squash, brush with additional glaze and return the pan to the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until squash is browned on both sides.

  7. Arrange the squash so that two half moons create a circle with a well in the middle. Drop one egg into each well. Season with salt. Return the pan to the oven and bake 7-8 minutes or until whites are solid and yolks are cooked to your preference.

  8. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, scallion slices and more chili maple glaze. Serve immediately.