I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Have I mentioned that this marinade rocks?

That's what I kept saying all through dinner. It's really that good.

This morning we took a multi-generational jaunt to Alemany Market. R. and I were so happy to be back in The Land of Fabulous Produce. We planned to go to Ferry Plaza, craving perfect tomatoes and ceviche tostadas, but Papa & Ma'na suggested Alemany and suddenly that sounded perfect. Halfway through the market, we agreed on a menu for that night: striped bass on the grill, beet salad, fresh black-eyed pea salad and grilled summer squash, and a nectarine and berry tart. What's not to like?

We brought home four bright-eyed striped bass, and Papa gutted them, R. scaled them and Ma'na cleaned them up, while R. cleaned up all the scales in the back yard. Iwas ready to say "Never again!" to gutting/scaling, but when I tried the fish that night, I was converted. So sweet, so firm, so outstanding. And I like to think my marinade helped...

Herb Marinade for a Whole Mess of Whole Fish
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 T chopped fresh marjoram
2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
2 T. minced parsley
2 T capers
1/8 c Meyer lemon-infused EVOO
1/8 cup EVOO

Combine ingredients thoroughly. Place the fish in a zip lock bag. Spoon marinade into the cavity of each fish, then pour remaining mixture into the bag and rub all over the fish. Refrigerate for a few hours.

When you're ready to eat, open a bottle of crisp white wine, pour glasses all around, and heat the grill to medium hot. This might be better grilled over charcoal, but we use gas. So place the fish on a medium-hot grill for four minutes, turn over and grill for another four minutes.

Bone at table and enjoy.

Grilled Squash to Go With
I learned a nice trick from the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook. I roasted some beets, and the folks at Chez Panisse suggest marinating the vegetables in a vinegar-based mixture for at least 30 minutes before adding any oil. It makes for very sprightly flavors, so I decided to try it on the squash, which can be a little bland. I mixed minced garlic with salt, 1 teaspoon of Boulettes Lebanese 7-Spice and a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar, added the 1/2"-thick slices (lengthwise) of assorted summer squash and zucchini, and waited a bit before adding 1/4 cup of EVOO. Summer squash is a much more porous vegetable, so 10-15 minutes is sufficient. But try this next time you grill squash.


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