For my birthday this year, I wanted one simple thing: a nice piece of grilled Snapper or Grouper covered in a fresh, zesty Chimichurri sauce made by my brother-in-law, Galen. His version of this condiment is so mouth-wateringly delicious; it should be a staple on every table. We call it, “Galen’s Fish Sauce” but it probably deserves a better title than that. I think “The Best Sauce in the World for Grilled Fish” is probably appropriate.
About a year ago, Galen made this sauce at a family dinner, and since then, my taste buds have been craving the sauce’s satisfying and tangy flavor – they just couldn’t get it out of their little taste bud minds.
Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce typically used on grilled steak. It’s similar to a pesto but made with cilantro and lime juice rather than basil and lemon. I’ve tried several other recipes for Chimichurri and none of them have turned out as well as Galen’s rendition – he has nailed it. His topping has just the right amount of bite — the perfect amount of fresh garlic and jalapeno that wakes up the flavor of the fish and says, “Hello, mouth!” when you take a bite. A drizzle of the sauce just oozes into the flaky fish, giving its mild flavor a nice refreshing kick. It’s spicy, citrusy and healthy; so I think it is an excellent match for Florida fare. Fish and Chimichurri = one fit and fantastic-tasting meal.
If you have any fish in your freezer or a fresh piece of fish that you’ve just brought in from the boat – try this recipe! It works well with Snapper, Grouper, Trout, Redfish, Snook, Mahi-Mahi and even Sheepshead.
Thanks to Galen for making me this delicious dish for my birthday AND for sharing his recipe with us! Enjoy!
Galen’s Grilled Fish with Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 small jalapeno
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 grouper filets (or other white fish) 8-10 oz. and 3/4 – 1 inch thick is best
Sauce: Remove seeds from jalapeno and finely mince. In a small bowl, combine the minced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to combine, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or more before serving to allow flavors to come together.
Prepare the grill (for optimum flavor, use real lump charcoal – it does make a difference!)
Fish: Rub the fish with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Clean grill grates well and carefully coat them with oil before fish goes on to help prevent sticking. Place fish on grill, turning only once, until just opaque throughout, roughly 10 min. total.
Transfer the fish to the plate, place a small spoonful (or large) of sauce on each piece of fish and serve immediately. Pass the remaining sauce around the table.
What’s your favorite sauce to use on grilled fish? Share your recipe with us!
Article by Amy Imerman
You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the girl. I grew up in Bradenton and moved to NYC when I got an internship at the David Letterman show (don't worry, I wasn't one of the interns who had an affair with the boss!) I eventually scored a job at CosmoGIRL magazine and then at MTV. But no matter how cool the job was, I hated dressing in layers, sweaters make me look bulky and I missed wearing flip-flops every day. I also missed my family. So, after 9 years of drinking waaay too many Cosmos and eating waaay too many BBQ nachos at Virgil's in Times Square, I moved back to the sunshine state. My life is now ruled by my two-year-old daughter, Olive. She loves going to the beach and playing in the sand. Just like Mommy.