The massive heatwave two weekends ago released my summer urge to head to the beach, and I had a lovely beach excursion all planned out for this past Sunday. I woke that morning to a dreary rainy day, not the beach weather I was expecting. Through my disappointment I decided if I can't get to the beach, I'll bring a part of it to me and headed out to my fish monger to pick up something I could throw on the grill.
While fish is no stranger to my grill, I am admittedly not much of seafood eater, but am on a road to changing this. When looking for a piece of fish to cook, I wanted something hearty, not overly fishy, and that would stand up to being grilled. My fish monger recommended the striped bass as the freshest fish of the day meeting my requirements. I grilled this up with a light rub and topped it with a roasted salsa, working in flavors I really enjoy to put me on track to being a serious seafood eater. Even though I would have preferred this with a fresh, cool salsa (although roasting isn't a bad idea with this salmonella scare we got going), the rub/salsa combination ending up being the perfect compliments for the fish. The spicy rub brought out the taste of grilling, while the acidity of the salsa balanced nicely with the seafood flavor, and the whole thing left me exclaiming, "Why haven't I eaten this more often?!!?!?" Now I've found my anticipation to hit the waves has been replaced by excitement over my next adventure in grilled fish.
- For the rub
- 2 teaspoons pure chile powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 striped bass steaks, cut 1 inch thick
- Extra virgin olive oil
- For the salsa
- 4 medium plum tomatoes, 3-4 ounces each, cored and quartered
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
- 1-2 jalapeños, stemmed, quartered, and seeded
- 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Lightly coat the fish with the oil and season evenly with the rub. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
In a large bowl mix all of the salsa ingredients. Pile salsa ingredients in a large sheet of aluminum foil and then fold in the edges to make a sealed packet.
Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly. Place the foil packet with the salsa ingredients directly over the coals and grill until the tomatoes are soft and the chiles are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the packet from the grill, open the foil, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Pour the contents of the packet into a food processor or blender and pulse just enough to make a chunky salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Clean and oil the cooking grate of the grill. Place the steaks directly over the coals, cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the steaks and continue to cook until fish is just opaque in the center, another 2-3 minutes. Remove the fish from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes. Top steaks with the salsa and enjoy.