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Bluefish on the Grill or Griddle

Many people don’t like bluefish because it’s too “fishy” they say.  If you keep in mind that lobster was once a throwaway “fish” that no self respecting person would lower themselves to eat, you may think differently.  Now, monkfish, the “poor man’s” lobster-look-alike, is almost as expensive as lobster!  Bluefish is starting to show up in fish stores. Pretty soon, bluefish may rule! Right now they are plentiful, and fun to catch. 

Alex and I happen to like it just the way it is, but my mom and dad did not, despite catching tons of bluefish this time of year.  So my dad experimented until he found just the right amount of fishiness to satisfy my mother’s palate.  His secret is about to unfold.

Clean and fillet bluefish.  Remove scales.  Cut into portion sizes.  Wash fillets in salt water.  Make a dilute solution of vinegar and water: say 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 quart water.  Soak fillets in the vinegar solution at least one hour in the refrigerator, or longer to remove more of the fish oil.  You can adjust the vinegar concentration to your liking. Discard the vinegar solution when done. Pat dry.


Yum, bluefish for dinner!

Bluefish on the Griddle

When ready, pat fillets dry, then coat first in seasoned flour (salt, pepper, etc), then in beaten egg, and finally in bread crumbs (unseasoned).  Fry in melted vegetable shortening (Crisco) or a 1:1 mix of oil and butter (oil keeps the butter from browning too much) until golden brown on both sides. Garnish with lemon or lime.  Serve with tartar sauce, new potatoes boiled in salt water with fresh dill, and salad. Magnifique.

Hint: You can prepare the fish in advance and chill in the fridge for several hours. That keeps the coating together and it is less likely to fall apart when frying.

Bluefish on the Grill

Prepare bluefish as above if you prefer less fishiness.  Otherwise, place fillets in aluminum foil, pat with butter, season with salt and pepper, a touch of paprika and thyme, layer with lemon slices, and fold up the foil to make an enclosed pouch.  Place on grill for about 30 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. 

Grilled vegetables in a pouch

To go with the fish, slice up vegetables and make a foil pouch just like for the grilled fish.  Include onions, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms – whatever is available.  Sprinkle with seasonings like salt & pepper, herbs de provence and pat with butter.  Seal it up and cook alongside the other pouch for the same amount of time.  Delicious and nutritious!  Also a nice color contrast to the fish. 

Left over fish? Check out our Fishcakes!

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