Is there a better finish to a gorgeous summer weekend than a quiet dinner in the backyard?
I kept this one very basic: grilled fish and corn. Both came from the Sunday Long Beach farmers market. My fish guy, Pete Siracusa from J&P West Coast Fish, says this is black sea bass, which Google tells me is a kind of grouper caught on the East Coast.
That’s not a fish I’m familiar with, so I kept it simple -- just basic salt and pepper and cook until done. It’s meaty like white sea bass but, to my taste, much milder in flavor. Whether that’s a good thing depends on how you feel about fish. For me, I think I’ll stick with white sea bass when I have the choice.
There’s probably no dish that heralds the start of summer like grilled corn. You can find all kinds of different ways to fix it, but again, I stick with the simplest. Leave the corn in its husks, soak it in water for 30 minutes or so before cooking, then grill it for 15 to 20 minutes, turning it every so often. (I know that’s vague, but this is summer, right? Relax a little.)
“But what about the tassels and all that silk?” I hear you asking. No problem. They stick to the husks when you peel them back after cooking. No muss, no fuss. And it may be just my imagination, but I think the corn is improved by steaming in the husks. The biggest problem with corn today isn’t a lack of sweetness, but a lack of true corn flavor. I think steaming in the husks intensifies that.
But one way or the other, I’m not going to worry about it too much. It’s summer, after all.
Photo credit: Russ Parsons