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Friday, October 1, 2010

Grilled Tilapia with Charred Sweet Corn Relish

This post is going to be short and sweet because that’s what this recipe is. Simply seasoned, grilled fish served with an herbaceous, but light, corn salad. It’s perfect for those summer nights where you want to enjoy grilling outside but don’t want to be responsible for a half rack of ribs, a dozen wings and a burger. The charred corn gets such a delicious sweetness from the grilling, but be careful! There will be sizzling and popping and some of the kernels most likely will explode – hopefully not in your direction!

The basil is a prominent flavor in the salad, but not overpowering at all. I made two versions, one with the onions and tomato, and one with just the corn and herbs (as the hubby does not enjoy the ‘other stuff’). Both salads were delicious, but I did enjoy the depth that the other veggies gave to mine – the warm corn and onion paired with the cool tomato was great.

Grilled Tilapia with Charred Sweet Corn Relish
Adapted From Chase http://chaseblackwell.com/grilled-tilapia-with-charred-sweet-corn-relish/

Serves 2
1 pound Tilapia, sea bass or favorite white fish
2 cobs of sweet corn
1/4 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 sweet onion
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade (you can substitute cilantro for a Mexican-themed twist)
1 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 chive sprigs, finely chopped
1 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp virgin olive oil (plus more for grilling corn, onions, and Tilapia)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat a grill to a high flame (you can also use a broiler to diminished results)
To begin, shuck the corn and toss the cobs in either butter or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Slice the sweet onion and do the same (toss in olive oil or butter and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper).
Grill the onions and corn until well-charred. Beware of potentially eye-poking-out flying corn kernels!
Allow the corn and onions to cool. To make removing the kernels less messy, cut the corn cobs in half and carefully remove the kernels from the cobb with a sharp knife. Roughly chop the onions into 1/4″ thick pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the corn, onions, quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Again, the relish can be made at least a few hours before grilling the fish.
***Add in the fresh basil chiffonade, chopped parsley, chives and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Grilling The Fish

Take these few easy precautions to prevent the fish from sticking.

1. Dry the Tilapia with paper towels until no moisture remains on the towel.
2. Toss the fish in a high-heat, refined oil such as canola, peanut, or extra-light olive oil.
3. Thoroughly clean and oil the grill grates.
4. Season with salt and pepper just before grilling to prevent the salt from drawing moisture out of the fish.
5. Let the fish cook, flipping only once. This will allow the protein structure on the outside of the fish to fully form and remove from the grill, thereby allowing it to not stick to the grate, like we want.
Otherwise, pay careful attention, get used to touching the fish as it grills, looking for a slightly springy texture, and go with your gut instinct. If you think it’s done then it probably is. And if not, now you know what not-done-fish feels like. Grilling is as much an art as it is a science– and there’s no room for thermometers when grilling fish!
Plate and serve hot with the relish and your favorite glass of white wine.



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