What's better than firing up the grill and enjoying a meal of freshly cooked meat, seafood, and vegetables with friends and family? Not much. But we know that grilling can be a bit intimidating for everyone from the novice chef to the most experienced cook. In honor of National Seafood Month, to help you fire up your grill and partake of that summer fun, we asked some pros for the best tips and tricks on summer grilling. We've already covered everything meat lover's need to know earlier this week. So today, we're all about seafood.
First up, be patient and generous. Chefs K.C. Fazel of Los Vegas’s Tender Steak & Seafood, Carey Yorio of Goya Foods, Saul Ortiz of Las Vegas’ Tacos & Tequila and Greg Bastien of Chicago’s Tavernita stressed the importance of pre-heating and oiling the grill. Be generous with your fuel source when initially starting up the grill (you don’t want to refuel while you are cooking, which could make your food taste like ash or flames) and oil up the grill with plenty of non spray oils before you start.
Next up, marinate. When marinating seafood, only marinate for 15 to 20 minutes, otherwise you may end up with ceviche (not bad, but likely not what you’re going for).
Ortiz says the trick to grilling seafood is to incorporate fresh rubs to enhance and balance the seafood taste with that of grill. He grills scallops by marinating them first with fresh squeezed citrus juice from orange, lime, lemon and grapefruit, and herbs including cilantro, thyme and lemon grass. Then, he places the scallops on the grill on medium heat.
He recommends fresh mojos (try this Mojo Criollo) for soft seafood such as scallops, oysters, squid and octopus. For heavier seafood such as shrimp and lobster, try a thicker sauce. And be careful with sweeter glazed marinades, the sugar burns quickly.
Finally, patience is key. Don’t move the fish until fully seared, otherwise it may fall apart. That means no poking, proding, or taste testing, as hard as it may be. Cook fish for about 10 minutes for each inch of thickness, but remember: fish will continue to cook after it’s off the grill. You may want to slide your fish onto a platter a minute or two before it's done so you don't over cook.