Photo © Valery Rizzo
So I got the first fish from my CSF (Community Supported Fishery) with Mark and Bianca of Mermaid's Garden. This week's fish was Baby Blues caught by fisherman Nat Miller from Montauk, Long Island, using pound netting, a very old and humane catch method. Mermaid's Garden sends you this great weekly info about the fish, how it was caught, by whom, and suggestions for storage, cooking and recipes.
Grilling was recommended for the Blue Fish and I have to admit I was a bit intimidated, did I need a special fish holder, do I cook it right on the grill, would it fall through the grating? But fish is meant to be scooped up out of the ocean and grilled outdoors! Bianca assured me it would be fine directly on the grill. So my husband and I set out to grill our baby blues for the very first time on our very tiny Weber grill out in the backyard.
I decided to try Mark's Grilled fish with Charmoula. Charmoula is an herb and spice mixture used throughout South Africa. You use most of it as a marinade for the fish and reserve the rest to serve with the grilled fish. You can find Mark's version on Mermaid Garden's facebook page and all I can say is this was one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten!! There is a reason he is the chef from Palo Santo! I used the parsley and cilantro from my garden and substituted red pepper flakes for the jalepeno pepper and ground cumin in place of toasted cumin seeds. I also realized I used all of the reserved marinade on the finished fish rather than the tablespoon recommended for each fillet in the recipe...whoops sorry Mark. It was still amazingly delicious to me and I successfully grilled my first fish! I paired the fish with a simple salad of escarole, thinly sliced red onion and pumpkin seeds dressed with some grated Pecorino Romano, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Visit Mermaid's Garden's Facebook page more info about their CSF and beautiful photos of the local fisherman with their catch.