Orange and Herb Grilled Oregon Rockfish
It only made sense that I had lost custody of one of the finest grills ever made in my divorce. Yes, I'd flipped a few burgers and steaks and grilled the pizzas over the years, but the grill was for the most part man's domain. So I left behind the gargantuan manly three-element gas grill with an ancillary side burner and all the bells and whistles in exchange for a more diminutive and delicate charcoal-burning Smoky Joe.
My first summer as a suddenly single after 28 years, I learned to love that Smoky Joe. After work on summer nights I'd wrap a meal of various vegetables, maybe a piece of protein of some kind, herbs or a sauce in foil and toss on the hot coals. Meal for one! I had friends over for smoky kebobs or pizzas. It is during this summer that I also made one of my most important pairing discoveries: A charcoal-blackened hotdog is a perfect match for a Cabernet Sauvignon.
A Girl and Her Grill, ThenAs I was falling in love with being at the helm of a charcoal fire, a larger grilling surface to cook for a crowd was in order. This is a picture of me, gleeful upon lighting the first fire in my newly-assembled (by me!!) grill. The sense of accomplishment, both on the assembly job and on claiming the title of grill-master was heady.
That was a few years ago. Now, My Baby once again does the majority of the grilling, but knows enough to hand over the matches and spatula when I get the urge to be in charge. I recently read several articles on grilling a whole fish, something I'd not done before and was eager to try.
fish markets in our nearby city, and recently went to choose the perfect whole fish. Away we left with a gorgeous orangish-colored Oregon Rockfish.
A few minutes on each side over medium-hot coals rendered a truly delightful pescine dinner. Served with a warm potato salad, grilled whole carrots and asparagus and our delicious leaf-to-root salsa verde, it was a lovely summer's eve meal.
A Girl and Her Grill, Now
One of our favorite Oregon wines from one of our favorite Oregon wineries provided the perfect backdrop for the fish. Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2008 Sauvigonon Blanc carries many qualities of the New Zealand sauvies My Baby and I grew to love while honeymooning there. Perhaps the most playful of Reustle's mostly elegant wines, their 2008 (a sold-out vintage) Sauvignon Blanc has notes of passion fruit and other tropicals atop bright limey citrus, and a zippy acidity for an overall experience I can only sum up as fresh and summery.
Carrot Top Salsa Verde Condiment
To the Ladies: For a Thrill, Seize the Grill!