Sunday, May 29, 2011

Surf and Turf

Not in the way we usually think of surf and turf when we dine out in a nice restaurant, I’m thinking of a select piece of fish on the grill accompanied by a small column of shrimp on a skewer, paired with the lovely bounty of my salad garden.
 Baby lettuces and spinach
 Radishes and Turnip Greens
Onions, Scallions and Garlic
The afternoons have been sunny and nearing a comfortable warmth.  The rains have politely stayed away until night and into the mornings so it feels, finally, like spring.  The grill is reasonably clean (as clean as it will ever get) and whatever char is still on the grates will probably stubbornly be there forever.  But the heat of the fire will burn off anything that is problematic, so it’s good to go.  I don’t like grilling in the winter because it’s cold and wet and absolutely distasteful to my way of thinking.  I’m not a macho griller but spring, summer and fall give me opportunity to enjoy the best of the grilling experience.

Joe and I have a compatible division of labor:  I plant and he loves to weed.  He’s timid about weeding aggressively for fear he will tear up some precious thing I planted and want to treasure always.  So, he stays to the perimeter of the beds and I attack the big things with a vengeance.  He cleans up after my destructive war on weeds and I can move on to my singular passion of anything and everything to do with the kitchen.  He cleans up after me there as well, which I appreciate immensely—especially if we have company.
 Shrimp and Albacore in Marinade
This evening would be dinner just for the two of us.  I could have dragged out some of the leftover stash in the freezer, but I wanted to do something a little different, and on the grill that I had prepared for a good season of grilling splendor.  I had two steaks of wild-caught Albacore tuna that I had gotten on sale and some frozen shrimp (farmed far away—before my environmental sensibilities had fully kicked in).  One steak would be enough for both of us if I added a skewer of shrimp for each of us.  I could freeze the other for another time.  No asparagus spears were ready to harvest but I found a young onion tucked in with the lettuces and there were some partial peppers that really needed to be used. A little bit of Papardelle from Trader Joe’s would complete the dish.  That plus a bounteous salad from the salad garden and we would have our own “Surf and Turf”.
I made up a marinade that is worth repeating every time we have fish—or a mild meat—like a chicken breast or a pork chop.
Marinade for Fish
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sweet red chili sauce (in Asian section of grocery store)
2 chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 albacore tuna steak
8-10 large shrimp (31-40 per pound)
Combine all ingredients in bowl or plastic Zip-Lock bag.  Mix well and put in fridge for about an hour.
 On the grill
 Ready to serve
Heat grill to high.  Skewer shrimp on two sticks.  Put steaks, shrimp and vegetables on grill.  Brush vegetables with light balsamic vinaigrette (in beaker of Kitchen Essentials).  Brush fish and shrimp with marinade.  Turn all in five minutes and brush again.  Move shrimp to cooler part of grill and finish cooking fish and vegetables about five minutes more until done.  Serve immediately with papardelle that has been tossed into fresh greens (in this case, baby turnips).  
That and a salad from the garden?  What could be better?


  1. My mouth is watering :)
    It's fun to imagine you stopping to take pictures amidst your flurry of cooking activities!

    (your lettuces look beautiful)

  2. Thank you Kimmie! You have been an inspiration for me! :)

  3. You have a wonderful menu there. I was totally impressed, especially after reading that you are tightening your budget. I bet you spent more on that one meal than I spend in a week. But I sure enjoyed the tuna vicariously! And I liked your eggs in the previous post, too.

  4. Believe it or not, the tuna was $4.00 for both of us and the shrimp was about $2.00. The rest of it pretty much came from leftovers and pantry and garden. Thank you so much for your comment. I'm kind of new at this and am very appreciative of whatever feedback I get! And I love those eggs every morning!