Two summer delights that Californians and Napa Valley residents enjoy are great seafood and plenty of opportunities for grilling. But putting those two together can make for a superb culinary alternative to the typical barbequed tri-tip or steaks.
When your grill recipes include grilled seafood, the options are as wide as your tastes. And it doesn’t hurt that most seafood selections are not only delicious but healthy. Besides, who doesn’t need a little “brain-food” once in a while?
Grilled Seafood Tips for Fresh, Local Seafood for Napa Valley Summer Festivities
Tossing some hot dogs or even hamburger patties on a grill is not a particularly complex cooking operation. And while some grilling aficionados may disagree, most anyone can successfully pull off a tasty hot dog and burger grilling.
But maybe not so much with grilled seafood, however.
Many seafood items can be especially challenging to cook on a grill because their texture causes them to stick to the hot grates easily. Gauging correct temperatures is also a bit tricky since each type of seafood will require slightly different cooking times and temperatures.
And, as the folks at The Spruce have noted,
“Cooking fish can be stressful for beginners. It seems fragile, delicate; it’s expensive (at least relative to, say, hamburger), it has bones, it has a face—whatever it is, there’s an intimidation factor for sure.”
A few tips to encourage those who may be new to grilling seafood include:
- A clean grill is essential for grilling fish. Because fish is delicate, it can stick to your grill, making turning it difficult.
- Any fish can be grilled, but some varieties and cuts are sturdier and easier to work with, such as halibut, swordfish, salmon, and Mahi-Mahi.
- One inch should be the minimum thickness of your fish steak or fillet. The thicker the steak, the more forgiving it will be. Brush the steaks with oil, season them, and grill for 7 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness, turning them once halfway through.
- Let your fish come to room temperature before grilling by leaving it covered on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes.
One more thought when grilling seafood, especially fish – avoiding the common mistake of having dry, overcooked fish.
This can be easily avoided, according to an article from The Better Fish,
“Get the Grill Hot
The key to tender grilled fish is starting with a hot fire. This will lessen the amount of time the fish will cook overall, thereby preventing the meat from getting too tough. It will also help caramelize the fish and allow grill marks to form (a must for that perfectly-grilled fish look). A hot fire will help prevent the dreaded grate-sticking, too.
Brush the Fish with Oil
To help seal in some of the natural moisture, pat the fish dry and coat it with vegetable or olive oil. This is particularly important for firm-fleshed fish like salmon, halibut, or tuna, which can go directly onto the grate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or other seasonings as desired.”
Three Great Grilled Seafood Recipes for Your Next Cookout
One of the best things about seafood is the sheer variety of fish and shellfish products to choose from. And one of the best things about grilling is its versatility as a cooking method, especially for seafood.
We’ve trolled through the vast sea of recipes available for grilled seafood and reeled in three superb catches to inspire your next grilled seafood adventure.
A Simple Yet Scintillating Grilled Salmon Recipe
From the digital shores of Allrecipes.com we managed to land this top-rated grilled salmon recipe.
Essentially, grilling salmon filets is fairly simple and straightforward. But what really completes a superb grilled salmon dish is the marinade.
As Allrecipes points out with this particular recipe,
“A simple soy sauce and brown sugar marinade, with hints of lemon and garlic, are the perfect salty-sweet complement to rich salmon fillets.”
- 1 ½ pounds salmon fillets
- lemon pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Original recipe yields 6 servings. You can find the recipe directions and tips here.
Make a Big Splash with This Grilled Shrimp Recipe
Probably one of the seafood products that offers the most variety of serving possibilities, shrimp is just as great from the grill as it is basted and served with fettucine.
This sweet and spicy grilled shrimp recipe that we caught at the Tasting Table website,
“…incorporates both sweet and spicy flavors, which work incredibly well together. This would be an excellent dish to serve during to the family in the summer, or it would be great to make if you’re having a group of friends over.”
Created by recipe developer Hayley MacLean, this dish is not only incredibly flavorful, but it’s relatively easy to make and requires minimal ingredients.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Servings: 3 Servings
- ⅓ cup chili garlic sauce
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- fresh chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
You can find the recipe directions and cooking instructions here.
A Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe for an “Upscale” Grilling Lure
While fish and shrimp “on the barbie” will elevate any barbecue outing, there is little that can match the glitz of a grilled lobster tail recipe.
This popular recipe from the food blog, Momsdish, is “tender, full-flavored, and tastes like it came straight out of a fancy steakhouse kitchen. So easy!”
Lobster dishes can be complex and nuanced. However, as Momsdish food blogger Natalya points out,
“Lobster tails aren’t only perfect for grilling, but they also get such a wonderful, smoky flavor. We keep the ingredients list slim and for good reason – you don’t need to fuss around with lobster too much to make it fabulous. A little garlic butter and lemon goes a long way…”
- Servings: 4 servings
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- 4 lobster tails
- 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
- 1 tsp avocado or olive oil
- 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For illustrated recipe directions, options, and grilling tips, simply click here.
Cal Mart is Your Napa Valley Grocery Store Destination for Grilled Seafood Supplies
Everyone knows that one of the best parts about outdoor cooking is loading up on great ingredients and grilling essentials. And for Napa Valley and Calistoga residents, Cal Mart wants to be your local grocery store of choice.
As an independent and family-owned grocery store, Cal Mart has consistently provided a unique, enjoyable, and memorable shopping experience for our customers for over five decades. In fact, Cal Mart has become the local “go-to” destination for fine Napa Valley wines, fresh meats, exotic cheeses, and a wide variety of specialty food items.
For over 50 years, Cal Mart has been a preferred shopping destination and a Napa Valley tradition in Calistoga, California. And during that time, Cal Mart has also become known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
So, when you’re shopping for your grilling recipe ingredients, as well as desserts and drinks, you can depend on Cal Mart to be your source for genuine Napa Valley grilling supplies.
At Cal Mart, not only do we provide a wide variety of great seafood and shellfish products in Meat and Seafood department, but we also have a fantastic selection of quality wines and craft beers to go with your grilled seafood recipes.
And while you’re shopping, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and maybe treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea from our Coffee Bar.
Remember that, at Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!