Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spicy Grilled Marlin with Cucumber-Avocado Relish

For the fish:
Marlin steaks (swordfish would be good, too) (as many as you need)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Cayenne pepper
Chipotle chili powder
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
1 large clove garlic, finely minced or crushed (if you're not a garlic fan, you could omit this, but it's great)

For the relish:
1 cucumber, seeded and diced finely (I prefer English [seedless] cucumber, although you do still need to seed it.)
1 avocado, diced
rice vinegar (I used Nakano Red Pepper Rice Vinegar)
fresh Italian parsley, about 2 tablespoons diced finely
Salt and freshly-ground pepper

Start by making the marinade for the fish. The amounts that you want depend on how many marlin steaks you're cooking; I cooked 3, and I used about 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, a sprinkling of cayenne and chili powder (a little goes a long way on both), 1 very fat clove of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. If you don't like spicy, I'd omit the cayenne but not the chili powder; just use hardly any. Marinate the fish for at least a half hour, but 2-3 hours would be fine, too.

In the meantime, make the relish. Dice the cucumber and avocado, add the rice vinegar, and then add the fresh parsley (if you only have dried parsley, it would be better to omit it. Cilantro would be good, too, but Michael hates it). Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill. (You could make this relish spicier by adding jalapenos or onion, but I wanted a cool complement to the marlin marinade.)

Grill the marlin, and this is the tricky part because marlin gets both dry and tough if you overcook it. I grilled it 4 minutes/side on medium heat, and that was too much (we have a huge Weber grill, so this would really depend on what you're grilling on plus the thickness of the steaks... these were a good 1.5 inches, I think). Next time I'll try 3 minutes; they would be better.

I served these on a bed of greens and drizzled a little of the marinade over the top; you could also use it as a dipping sauce (especially if you overcook the marlin!). Put the relish on the side. We also had brussels sprouts and a few lima beans; lovely plate in shades of green. I really should have taken a picture.

No comments: