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How to Grill Fish, plus a Father's Day Weber Giveaway!

Does Dad love to grill? Surprise him this Father's Day with a great new grilling book and a Weber Smokey Joe! You can win both in the giveaway below...

A few weeks ago I chatted with Weber expert and author of Time to Grill Jamie Purviance, at the "Chill and Grill" Festival in Lincoln Park (same place where I got the pizza grilling tips). Jamie and I talked about the touchy topic of how to grill fish. Watch this short video for a few tips:

Quick tips from Jamie:

1) Make sure the grill is CLEAN. Fish tends to cling to a dirty grill.
2) Make sure the grill is HOT. Fish also tends to cling to a grill that's not hot enough.
3) Turn the fish as few times as possible (only once, ideally), and use a rolling motion with your tongs, rather than going underneath with a spatula and scraping it off the grill.
4) Start your fish grilling adventures with fish that's meaty (tuna, swordfish, salmon) and eventually work your way up to flakier types as your confidence grows!

Here's a recipe from Time to Grill to get you started...

Salmon Fillets with Fennel-Olive Tapenade

(pictured above)
Serves:  6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Grilling Time: 8 to 12 minutes

1 medium fennel bulb, about 1¼ pounds, with stalks attached
1 cup garlic-stuffed green olives (about 20)
Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

6 salmon fillets (with skin), each 6 to 8 ounces and about 1¼ inches thick, pin bones removed

1. Cut the stalks from the fennel bulbs. If desired, finely chop and reserve the fronds for garnish. Cut out and discard the tough core from the bulb. Roughly chop the bulb. In a medium pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fennel for 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve and then run cold water over it to stop the cooking.

2. In the bowl of a food processor combine the fennel with the olives, orange zest and juice, tarragon, and 3 tablespoons oil. Pulse the mixture and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally until you have a coarse texture. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).

4. Generously coat the fillets with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper.

5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the salmon over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until you can lift the fillets off the cooking grate with tongs without sticking, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the fillets over and continue cooking to your desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes for medium rare. Slip a spatula between the skin and the flesh and transfer the fillets to serving plates. Serve warm with the tapenade and garnish with chopped fennel fronds, if desired.

©2011 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Time To Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission


Now for the giveaway!

I'm giving away TWO copies of Time to Grill. I really like the way it's set up. Each two-page spread focuses on one main ingredient. On the left page is a "beginner" recipe, and on the right page is a more "adventurous" recipe. ONE lucky winner will also win a Weber Smokey Joe. This scaled-down version of the classic Weber kettle is perfect for balconies, picnics, weekends at the lake...it really is a wonderful grill for a city dweller. I've had one for years and it keeps going!

1) In the comments below, tell me your biggest grilling blunder, question, or problem.
2) Contest ends tomorrow, June 8 2011, at noon Central. The 1st and 2nd place winners will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow afternoon on Second City Soiree Facebook page.
4) Rules: one entry person. Must be US citizen 18+.

Good luck!


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Reader Comments (9)

I was wondering if there are any other things you recommend grilling other than the typical chicken, veggies and stone fruit? I love to grill but find that I can get stuck in a rut/routine with what I'm cooking. Thanks!

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay F

nothing worse than running the propane tank dry in the middle of grilling a steak.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin R

Love this giveaway! I always find that I never grill enough vegetables and would love ways to grill more veggies! I don't like the basket methods... :S

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNelly Rodriguez

Fish on the grill baffles me...every year I think I've got it & it turns out I don't. I'll have to try the "rolling motion" described above!

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

I would love to grill some fish for my father. Loves it. Each time I have done it --well let's just say that it hasn't worked out.
He loved it when my brother made it for him and I tried to replicate it but not very well.
I would love to know how to grill the fish to his liking. He and my mother prefer fish over meat or chicken so this would be a great help.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

My biggest blunder while grilling was walking inside while grilling burgers one night. I got distracted and when I went back out, flames were shooting out the back of the grill and had melted the vinyl siding on the house! Needless to say, I didn't enjoy my burger =)

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Cooke

I guess my question would be can you actually grill a pizza? I've heard of it, but I'm scratching my head on how you can actually do that!

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I know how you find out how to grill a pizza -- Alton Brown did it on one of his Good Eats shows. Looked very yummy too.

My hubby does all the grilling around here. According to him I could cut myself with a cotton ball so who knows what would happen with fire! I have grilled hot dogs in the past, annoying little things keep rolling in between the spokes down into the fire.... I only sacrificed a few doggies to the great fire god of the grill and managed to save the rest, but it is better for my hubby to handle it. We love fish and it would be awesome to try it on the grill, but lately with it being 100+ degrees down here it is too HOT to grill outside. It makes everything cook REALLY fast! You almost do not need to turn the grill on.

The only other thing that I ever grill is marshmallows - I like to catch them on fire and get them crispy for everyone else to eat. ;)

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Not for an entry. I'm saving for a big Weber grill for our new backyard, but wanted to comment that that recipe sounds delish. I usually just put my fish on a piece of foil to avoid the sticking issue. Wonder how that affects taste and actual cooking. Hmmm.

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