To Grill or Not to Grill …
Healthy Tips From Jane
by Jane Collinge Mack
My husband and I were away in Washington, DC for some graduation festivities. My oldest daughter was in her last year of a medical school residency program, and there was a lovely dinner for those last year residents.
No sooner did we get home, when my husband announced that “we” ate too much food over this past weekend and we need to diet. We need to concentrate on eating more fish and vegetables. I had to chuckle to myself, because the only way my husband eats fish is when it is battered in flour and bread crumbs, then fried. This method of cooking fish is not going to help his diet. So I started to experiment with some marinades where fish could be either used for sautéing, or grilling.
The marinade is simply ½ cup of orange marmalade jam and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. This can be either a marinade or dipping sauce. It gives a unique flavor for fish and is a lot easier then flouring and frying fish.
Before cooking the fish of your choice, baste the fish with the orange marmalade and soy sauce mixture and let the fish rest for ½ hour. If you’re going to grill the fish, wrap the fish in tin foil along with 1 tsp of oil or butter and then place on the grill for about 6-7 minutes.
Marinading Fish Before
If you’re going to fry the fish, add about the same amount of oil or butter per filet. I fried about 6 filets and used about 2 tablespoons of butter. When I fried the fish, there was some liquid that was produced, and it looked disgusting at first, but after it cooked for awhile, it became a caramelized reduction sauce. Keep turning the fish so that the filet can be coated with the caramelized reduction sauce.
My family loved the fish and my husband didn’t complain because the fish wasn’t fried.
For vegetables, there’s nothing like grilled vegetables.
- Sometimes I place the vegetables in tin foil or sometimes I use a vegetable grilling wire basket. The vegetables are a little crisper in the wire basket, as opposed to grilling vegetables in a foil wrap.
- Grilling vegetables in foil will still give some charcoal bits and flavor but will be softer rather then crisper. Grilling in foil almost steams the vegetables.
- When I grill vegetables, I try to use several different types of vegetables; sweet potatoes, eggplant, onions, zucchini.
- I also try to incorporate a new vegetable. This time I also added a chayote.
I have to say, I’ve looked at this piece of agriculture in the supermarket for months wondering whether it was a fruit or vegetable and how to eat it. One day, I found someone looking at a chayote and I asked her how it tasted and how to cook it. She said peel it and core it, add onions, garlic and potatoes and fry it up, and she thought it tasted good.
So, I thought I could add the chayote to my vegetable mix and camouflage it as just a regular old vegetable; grilling it up with the others. A chayote looks like a pear. Another name for chayote, is pear squash, but it is technically in the melon, cucumber family because it grows on a vine the way melons and cucumbers grow. But when you cut the chayote in half, it has a core like an apple or pear.
So how does the chayote taste? Good I would say! But you’ll have to try it and decide for yourself.
Jane Collinge Mack has been a Pitman resident for the past 15 years and is the owner of Jane Mack Consulting Inc.
Jane is a regular writer for The Women of Gloucester County online magazine and is our Executive Homemaker columnist. From gourmet cooking to troubleshooting old mainframe systems, she will share great ideas and fun tips with us.
Jane is also the mother of three daughters and is married to Rick, a pretty handy guy himself.