Food Wise, By Terry Jordan, RD
Of course we all enjoy our burgers and steaks during the summer barbecue season.
With variety being the spice of life, why not open up your palate to the world of grilling options that are available? Make seafood stand center stage in your next barbecuing experience.
Seafood is naturally high in protein, a good source of omega-3 fats and provides a large array of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to health. Not to mention it is delicious.
There are so many exciting ways to prepare seafood, you should not have to eat your fish the same way twice:
- Use grilling planks or grilling wraps to add “smoky” or “woodsy” aromas.
- Pre-soak grilling planks in wine, beer, or apple cider vinegar and other herbs and spices instead of plain water for added flavour.
- Put a spin on a typical “main and side dish” dinner by putting cooked seafood in a bun for a tasty burger or on top of greens and other vegetables for a delicious, full-meal salad.
- Try a variety of “no salt added” seafood seasonings.
- Mix and match herbs and spices to make your own seasoning mixes such as: garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and cayenne pepper.
- Cook seafood on a bed of lemon slices, orange slices or other fruits or vegetables for added flavour and to keep it very moist.
Here are a few additional tips for barbecuing fish, in order to keep it from coming apart and falling through the grill.
- As noted above, a wooden grilling plank will add flavour to fish; it will also keep your fish intact. To prepare a plank for using on the grill, soak it for a few hours or overnight so it will not burn as easily. After soaking, brush a small amount of oil on the plank to prevent sticking and place the seafood and plank directly on the grill. Always use safe grilling practices.
- Cedar grilling wraps are another option that can be soaked in the same way as a plank, but require less soaking time as they are much thinner. Place the fish inside the wrap and tie together with butcher’s twine or even a green onion; place on the grill with the seam facing up.
- Also available are fish grilling baskets which are wire baskets with a handle that keeps the fish enclosed. These allow you to flip and move the fish without it falling apart.
- Or simply wrap fish fillets or other seafood such as shrimp or scallops in tin foil.
Most seafood products do not have long cook times, and it can be easy to overcook it when only judging by its look. For moist, great tasting fish, use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature by placing it in the thickest part of the fillet. Rare, medium and well done temperatures are 120 F, 125 F and 130 F (49, 52 and 55 C) respectively.
If you are concerned about the overfishing of our oceans or environmentally unsustainable seafood farming practices, you can keep in mind that as part of a national Loblaw initiative, Atlantic Superstores are moving towards carrying only sustainably sourced seafood products. Look for seafood products with the Marine Stewardship Council seal, such as PC Blue Menu Sustainably Sourced Wild Nova Scotian Sea Scallops, or the new PC Fresh Water Yellow Perch fillets, as well as numerous options at the fresh seafood counter at the Truro Superstore.
Cedar Wrapped Cod with Maple Mustard Glaze
2 PC Gourmet Cedar Wraps plus 2 raffia strings2 tbsp (25 mL) maple syrup1 tsp (5 mL) butter1 tsp (5 mL) cider vinegar1/2 tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme1 pkg (280 g) PC Wild Pacific Cod Skinless Fillets thawed1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt *omit to reduce sodium content1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
- Soak cedar wraps in water for 20 minutes and strings for five minutes. Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. In small saucepan, combine maple syrup, butter, cider vinegar, mustard and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil until reduced by half, about one minute. Set aside, covering to hold warmth.
- Pat cod dry; season with salt and pepper. Drain wraps and strings. Place one cod fillet in centre of each cedar wrap, working with the natural curve the wrap gets while soaking. Fold sides of cedar wrap over cod and tie with string. Place cedar packets on grill seam side up. Do not close lid. Cook packets for five minutes; turn and cook another five minutes or until fish is cooked through.
- Place grilled cedar packets on serving platter. Cut off string, leaving fish on cedar wrap and brush fillets liberally with warm maple syrup mixture.
Makes two servings
Per serving: 180 calories, 3g fat, 710mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 0g fibre, 26g protein
Recipe source: www.pc.ca
Terry Jordan is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Have a nutrition question? Want to book an appointment or educational store tour for yourself or your community group or business? Contact me by phone at (902) 921-0700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, drop into the Truro Superstore on Monday, July 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Look for me at my booth to get your nutrition questions answered in person.