Well, it turns out that there's another benefit from using those little conveniences. You wind up with a jar containing just a little bit of "stuff" in it, and this becomes the basis for a sauce or a marinade. The all-but-empty mustard jar, the jam jar that's been scraped, but not perfectly, the pickle juice that's left after the last pickle is gone. They all cry out for imagination and perhaps some vinegar and soy sauce, shaken vigorously to capture those last bits and cleaning the jar quite thoroughly.
I went to the Farmer's market last Sunday, and came home with a luscious, thick piece of Mahi Mahi. I knew I wanted to grill it, and I also knew that I wanted to do something different than I usually do, which is to use a rub of brown sugar, cumin, chili and I don't remember what all else. I was looking for another direction. So I turned to Epicurious and found a recipe for grilled mahi mahi with avocado melon salsa. (Click here for the link to that recipe.) That recipe calls for Jamaican Jerk seasoning, and clearly it presupposes that you have this in your pantry. Not me. So I hunted for a recipe for it. There was a dish listed somewhere in Epicurious that gave ingredients for this concoction. I had them (except for one). I was set. Oh my, does this look promising!
The idea for grilling the peaches came from reading Jenn over at The Leftover Queen. She has a mouthwatering post on grilled figs, which just made me want to lick the screen! Didn't have figs. Bummer. But, I had peaches, so I wasn't out of the game after all! I mixed some olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, brushed it on the peaches, and put them on with the fish.
So here, with notes on my own slant on things, is the recipe I used:
1 onion, chopped (this is the one thing I didn't have)
2/3 cup finely chopped scallion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup minced pickled jalapeño pepper, or to taste (wear rubber gloves)
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 drops of Tabasco, or to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 thick fillet of mahi mahi, or any other thick fillet, suitable for grilling
1 tablespoon olive oil
Brush fish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread seasoning in dish. Dredge fish in seasoning, turning to coat. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side.
So that's the way the script is written for this dish. But here's the thing: I didn't mince garlic cloves. I used the remains of what I had in the little jar, dumped the rest of the seasonings in, closed the lid and shook that jar like I was mixing paint. The other thing? Airhead here forgot that she had the grill on. No, I mean I really forgot. As in, I drove off and left the grill going. A gas grill, in fact. (I'm an Aquarian, OK? That stands for "space cadet" sometimes!) I don't know how long it was before the OMG, I LEFT THE GRILL ON! hit me, but I drove home to find that the house hadn't burned down, but the grill was definitely hot! I thought about Terry B's post over at Blue Kitchen, where he grilled chicken in hoisin sauce, and his advice to not cook it over direct heat, and to walk away after you've covered it. Wellllll........I certainly didn't need to cook anything over direct flames with a grill this hot, so I turned the gas off, slapped the fish and the peaches on and walked away.
20 minutes later, I opened the lid to find a couple of perfectly cooked peaches, and an almost perfect slab of mahi mahi. I turned the flames on again, flipped the fish, removed the peaches, lowered the lid and gave it another 2 minutes -- just enough time to get that grilled thing happening on the second side. What can I say? This dish turned out to be knee-buckling good, if I do say so myself! I still have 3 more peaches in the fridge (also from the Farmer's market), and if there's any gas left in the grill, they are going on!
Oh, and one last comment. Sometimes you've "got it", and sometimes you don't. I'm not satisfied with the photos this time, but I wasn't going to go image-less. So forgive me, dear readers. If you want to see a staggeringly good photo of a grilled fig, go visit Jenn's website. Then you'll understand my inspiration.