Summer grilling season is here, which also happens to coincide with Gulf fishing season in Louisiana. Everybody with a boat -- or even better, a FRIEND with a boat -- will be getting out and trying to snag as many Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Red Snapper, Amberjack and of course, one of the state's signature gulf fish, the Redfish.
Redfish have a really firm texture that holds up well to cooking in dishes like a stew or a courtbouillion, and it's also great on the grill. If you have the chance, try and grab some filets "on the half shell," or with the outer scales still attached.
It works really well because the scales will help hold the fish together and prevent it from falling apart, should you happen to overcook it. Plus, they kind of catch any seasonings you might add and hold them into the meat. Although if you have some good, fresh fish you don't really need a lot of seasoning here.
Four large Redfish fillets, scales on
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh, cracked black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
Feel free to do the salt and pepper to your taste.
For an added kick, I made a version of maître d'hotel butter, a simple compound herb butter that can go on just about anything.
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dill
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp white pepper
You can make this first and just have it ready to toss on top of the fish when you serve. It's easy enough, it just takes a little time, so you may want to do it well in advance:
Melt half of the butter in a sauce pan, and add your seasonings. Stir and mix well for about a minute or two, then remove from heat and place in a small container. From there you just want to let it congeal -- you might even want to put it in the refrigerator to speed the process up -- and then mix well with the rest of the butter. It obviously helps if it's all good and soft.
1. Rinse your fillets and pat them good and dry. If you can feel any bones poking through the flesh, you may want to try and remove them as best you can without mangling the meat too much.
2. Prepare a gas grill to medium heat. Brush the grill with a little bit of vegetable oil, or just use cooking spray if you prefer, to make sure nothing sticks.
3. Combine the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Place the fillets, scale-side down on the grill. Brush with olive oil mixture a couple of times as the fish cook. When the meat starts to flake away from the scales a little bit, they're done.
Dab some butter on the fish and enjoy! Make sure to watch for bones. The recipe for the maître d'hotel butter should make more than enough for all four pieces of fish and some good warm bread after as well.