Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Fire up the grill for a fast, flavorful dinner

By JANINE GILBERTSON May 01. 2018 8:59PM
Grilled chili lime pineapple. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Now that the snow has melted and warmer weather is upon us (for now, at least), it’s time to break out the grill and enjoy some outdoor cooking.

This makes me particularly happy when it comes to fish. I prefer to cook fish outside on the grill to avoid the fishy smell that can linger in the kitchen when you cook indoors.

Cooking fish on the grill can be a challenge. Some white fish, like haddock, tends to fall apart or flake when cooked, which is a problem if you attempt to grill it. One way to skirt the issue is to season the fish and wrap it in a foil packet and place it on the grill. This method is nearly foolproof and mess free and allows the fish to develop incredible flavor.

If you’re firing up the grill to cook your main dish, you might as well grill up a side dish and some dessert too.

To round out the grilled haddock dinner, I also grilled some baby gourmet potatoes tossed in a little olive oil and Kosher salt. Once the potatoes were cooked, I whipped up a grainy mustard dressing with a little apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise, which gave the potatoes a nice tangy flavor. The whole thing was much simpler to prepare than a traditional potato salad. Of course, it’s not as fast as picking up prepared potato salad at the grocery store, but I find most store bought potato salads to be expensive, bland and drowning in mayonnaise, so the few minutes it took to whip up my own version at home was well worth the effort.

You can also grill dessert while you’re at it, and pineapple is an excellent choice for grilling. Simply slice some fresh pineapple, brush it with a little olive oil and set it on the grill for a couple of minutes. If you want to add a little kick to your dessert, squeeze some fresh lime over the pineapple and sprinkle on a pinch of chili powder. One bite and you’ll forget winter even happened.

Grilled Chili Lime Pineapple

1 fresh pineapple

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 fresh line, cut into wedges

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

To prepare the pineapple, cut off the top and remove the outer skin. Slice the pineapple into circles about 1/4 inch thick, then cut the circles in half. Set in a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil, then flip to coat both sides of each slice. 

Set the pineapple slices on a grill heated to medium high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until there are visible grill marks, then turn over and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 

Remove from grill and squeeze fresh lime wedges over the pineapple, then sprinkle with chili powder and serve.
Tender white fish like haddock is easier to cook on the grill (and it develops great flavor) when you wrap it in a foil packet. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Grilled Haddock

2 lbs fresh haddock

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp parsley

1 fresh lemon

Cut a large piece of aluminum foil and place the shiny side up. Set the haddock in the center of the foil. 

Slice the lemon into wedges and squeeze the lemon juice over the haddock. Break the butter into several small pieces and dot the haddock with the butter. Sprinkle the minced garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and parsley over the haddock. 

Fold the right and left sides of the foil towards the center of the fish, then fold the top and bottom to the center. The fish should be totally encased in the foil. 

Set the foil packet on a grill heated to medium high and cook for about 12 minutes or until the fish is no longer translucent and cooked throughout. 
Dijon-dressed grilled potatoes (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Dijon Dressed Grilled Potatoes

1 lb gourmet baby potatoes

1 medium onion, quartered

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

1 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes in half, set in a bowl with the onion and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and then stir the potatoes to coat well. 

Heat a grill to medium high. Place the potatoes and onions on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the potatoes and onions are browned on the outside and tender in the center. Remove from grill and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and onion and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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