All of us here in Brew City know how to properly cook a sausage over the slow burn of charcoal or the increasingly popular gas grill, but when you are hosting a soiree at home or just making a nice dinner for two, sometimes it's more fun to toss something a bit less traditional over the flames.
Here is a basic fruit salsa and fish meal that requires minimal preparation time, creates few dirty dishes, and will impress guests, or, better yet, will make a delicious easy meal for one with leftovers for lunch the next day.
Contrary to popular belief, fish is a snap to make on the grill, even if you've never cooked it before, so do not be afraid. In this case, we have used tilapia, but you could easily substitute any other fish; halibut, sea bass, walleye, even cod if you so desire. When fish is no longer translucent and it gets a nice flaky texture, it is finished, and it will only take a couple minutes.
Position fish directly over your heat source and expect to grill about 4-5 minutes a side per inch; in the case of tilapia or other thinner fillets, it will need as little as 2 minutes per side. Use a spatula and tongs to flip the fish when grill marks form on the first side. The result will be a beautiful, delicious and simple presentation.
Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Asparagus
1 pineapple cut into 1-inch cubes
1 diced red onion
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 diced jalapeno pepper
Skewers (preferably metal; if you use wooden skewers, soak them in water overnight, first)
1 package frozen tilapia fillets or 1 lb. fresh tilapia fillets
Cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Non-stick cooking spray
1 bunch fresh green asparagus, washed and trimmed (bend asparagus to see where the ends naturally snap off and then trim all pieces to match)
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Skewer Pineapple on skewers and lightly season with sea salt. Skewer asparagus and drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle tilapia with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Prepare your grill and when you are ready to grill the fish, spray the grate lightly with a nonstick cooking spray. Place the pineapple, the asparagus and the fish on the grill. When the pineapple and asparagus start to show grill marks, flip the skewers. When the fish is cooked through and begins to flake, remove all items from the grill.
Remove pineapple and asparagus from skewers. Plate the asparagus and tilapia.
In a small bowl, combine diced red onion, jalapeno, pineapple chunks, and cilantro. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the pineapple salsa and serve over the fish.