Dinner With My Family #29: Grilled Fish Fillets with Tomato and Corn Relish

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Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians.

By fish fillets, of course, I’m speaking of whatever type of fresh fish you prefer – swordfish, salmon, catfish, or whatever else you like.

In our case, we used fresh catfish fillets. These fillets had never been frozen and were actually caught in a river just a day or two before we prepared them. They smelled, looked, and tasted delicious.

What You Need
Obviously, you’ll need several small fillets of whatever type of fish you prefer. For this recipe, we’re using an amount that adds up to about two pounds of fish. We’re also using a bit of olive oil to brush the fish with before grilling.

Corn and tomatoes from garden

For the corn and tomato relish, you’ll need four ears of corn and two large whole tomatoes, as well as a bit of basil (fresh or dried, whatever’s easier for you). These are easy to acquire in the mid-to-late summer.

You’ll also need a grill, of course.

Cooking fish on grill on cedar planks

In our grilling process, we used two small cedar planks to grill the fillets on. These are not required – the planks were gifted to us by a friend. If you do have an opportunity to use them, they do add a certain character to the fish, but I’m not convinced I would invest any of my own money into the planks.

The Night Before (or Early That Day)
One step you can take in advance is to prepare the vegetables. Roughly chop the tomatoes and store them in a bowl.

Cutting corn from cob

You’ll also want to shuck the corn, then use a knife to slice the kernels from the ear. It’s pretty easy to do – just start at one end of the ear and guide the knife below the kernels. If you cut too deep, you’ll feel a lot of resistance, so just let the knife guide you.

Preparing the Meal
Preparing the relish is quite easy.

Corn relish

Simply put two tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, spread it around, and heat it over medium-high heat for a couple minutes. Add the corn and stir it regularly, waiting for the kernels to brown just a bit.

Then, add the tomatoes and either two tablespoons dried basil or 1/2 cup minced fresh basil. Keep stirring and cooking for about another minute, then turn off the heat. Your relish is done.

The fish is even easier. Start your grill, lower the rack until it’s close to the flame, and turn up the heat to high. Brush the fish with some olive oil and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, then put the fillets right on the grill.

Grill the fillets for four minutes, then flip them (unless you’re using the wood planks, in which case you don’t flip). Allow it to grill for four minutes more, then use a thin knife to check the center of one of the fillets. Depending on the type of fish, you’re probably looking for a white flaky texture to indicate doneness. If you’re unsure, check the temperature, as fish need to have an internal temperature of 140 F to be done.

Take the fish off and serve with the relish and perhaps some vegetables on the side.

Finished meal

Optional Ingredients
If you wish, you can marinate the fish as you desire. Lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, and many herbs and spices are common things to add to grilled fish. When accompanied by the relish, I like the fish to be nice and simple, but experiment! Do things that seem tasty to you!

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14 thoughts on “Dinner With My Family #29: Grilled Fish Fillets with Tomato and Corn Relish

  1. The relish sounds good. Here in Oregon we had our first fresh corn this week, a variety called “rocket”. Small ears, but very sweet and delicious.

  2. Tomatoes taste much better if they haven’t been refrigerated, so I’d recommend chopping them up when you’re ready to make the dish.

  3. The pictures in this post are much better than usual. So whatever you did this time around, keep it up.

    We do eat with our eyes, indeed!

  4. I’m with Marta – these are the best food photos I’ve yet to see posted on TSD. When I first saw the post, I thought “wow, this looks really good and surprisingly different from the usual stuff.” Then I realized that it wasn’t the recipe (there have been other good recipes), but the quality of the photos. Well done!

  5. I think the lighting is better in these photos. Thank you for not giving us another recipe with beans. We don’t eat fish but I might make the relish this week to have with chicken or beef.

  6. Because of PCB levels (polychlorinated biphenyls) in fish caught in rivers, in your case, bottom-feeding fish (carp, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, freshwater drum, bullheads, sturgeons, buffalos, carpsuckers and other sucker species); you must not feed this to your family.

  7. I read on a reputable site that farm-raised catfish are not as healthy as wild catfish in river or ocean (?). There are fewer nutrients of the type we need in the farm raised, and for some other reason I’ve forgotten.

    Also, in the health stuff I’ve been reading on diabetes and recent heart attack, swordfish is a huge no-no and definitely not worth the higher price you pay for it. Doublecheck lots of things you eat. Just google and usually check the first page of whatever comes up. They usually do the better stuff first.

  8. Farm raised fish is not automatically good for you. The stuff raised in the US is considered safe. The stuff coming out of Asia much more dicey.

    As far as is having less nutrients, I think the jury is still out and would greatly depend on what techniques the farm that raised that fish used and what it was fed, the population density, water flow rates and many other factors.

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