It began with an unexpected beauty of a day. The sun was up and seemingly fully charged, showing improved strength on this, the official first day of spring. “Possible record breaking heat today” the voice of the weather forecaster muttered in the background. After giving the television the ol’ side eye, I meandered out in these early hours, immediately feeling the impending summer-like day, mosquitos and all. Gazing over the yard, like the caretaker of one of those rolling, sprawling homesteads, I locked on the grill, reflecting that sun in a way that beckoned my attention on this gloriously well intentioned morning. “A little later” I thought, “and we’ll get to grilling something. Too pretty of a day not too” Not that I’ve ever shied away from grilling in bad weather though, I thought to myself. But when everything related to nature is happy and bustling out here, well, it gets me wanting to get busy myself.
Thoughts on possible grilling menus raced through my mind. But the thought that stuck with me was the struggle I had that morning getting that last button on my jeans secured, hehe. What could make my favorite pair of jeans shrink after all this time. I asked myself. or maybe it was…well, lets just say maybe it was another reason. Anyway, how about we shake it up and grill a lighter dinner today, just in case? Something considered healthy, yet is downright flavorful too. Yeah, let’s do that. So we’ll grill up a couple of cod filets on the old salt block, complemented with a parsley, garlic, and caper infused Verde sauce.
The sauce is quite simple, and nearly a Chimichurri sauce. The basic recipe for this type of uncooked sauce can be found by following this link in the New York Times Food Section. In my best hunting and gathering mode, I rounded up the needed ingredients. I came up with 1/4 cup of olive oil, a couple large cloves of garlic, (As you can see, I was heavy on my garlic, but you know, vampires and mosquitos and such) 1 Tbsp of capers, about 3/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, and about a teaspoon of anchovy paste, which is not fun to look at or think about, but dang if it’s not delicious in this recipe. Into the blender this all goes to get a vibrant green sauce that also smells pretty damn good.
This mixture is able to be set aside for now. Room temperature is fine if it’ll be used within a couple of hours, and it will, because while this was being measured and mixed, the salt block was being heated up to cooking temperature on the grill. First warming on the indirect side of the coals, gradually moving closer to the fire until its finally located directly over the coals and sizzles when a drop of water is left to fall on the surface. The fish would get great flavor from this salt block and the green sauce, so all I felt was necessary to add was seasoned pepper, sprinkled over the fish on both sides. Putting that fish on the sizzling salt block would be a quick cook, and give this grill jockey only a few minutes to standby and enjoy the day that developed around me.
For after 4 minutes, those cod pieces were ready for their final fish style flipping, and they performed admirably.
A few more minutes on the B side and these white fish beauties were ready to get all dressed in the flavorful Verde sauce. Complemented with roasted broccoli and a couple of fresh tomatoes, this Salt Block Grilled Cod with Verde Sauce combines a healthy choice with that desired wood smoke taste and that all important need for a guy to be outside, play with fire, and tinker around, all while hanging out with his grill.
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired