Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jerk Fish with Grilled Ratatouille Salad

I was in the mood for the flavors of the Caribbean, notably I wanted some jerk. Jerking is a style of cooking native to Jamaica where meat is dry rubbed or marinated in a wet marinade made of a fiery mix of spices. The two main flavor profile that are present are allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. But I didn't feel like firing up my grill. So I grabbed my grill pan some of my jerk seasoning and got to work. To help balance out the meal I put it together with a Grilled Ratatouille Salad. I seasoned the salad with fresh garlic, herbs and balsamic dressing.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

3/4 c. balsamic vinegar dressing
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 medium eggplant cut in half
2 large red peppers cut in half
2 medium-sized zucchini cut in half
2 medium-sized squash cut in half
1 medium red onion cut in half
3 plum tomatoes cut in half
1 whole jalapeno
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Sea salt

If you are using an outdoor grill allow for your grill to heat for about 10 minutes, if you are using a grill pan allow to heat up for 5-7 minutes. Place all the vegetables with the exception of the basil, sea salt and cracked pepper in a large bowl or shallow baking dish. Pour balsamic dressing and garlic over the vegetables and  allow to marinate for ten minutes before grilling. Start in batches by places vegetables on the grill pan or outdoor grill for 3 minutes at 45 degree angle. After the allotted time turn in the opposite direction for another 2 minutes. Flip the vegetable over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. You don't want the vegetables to be soggy when you finish they should still have some bite to them. Remove and place grilled vegetables on a sheet pan, repeat the process until all the vegetables are cooked. Place the vegetables on a cutting board and cit into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces (1 by 1). Drizzle any extra marinade atop of the vegetables and season with salt and sprinkle with basil. Keep warm on the side.

Jerk Marinade

1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
2 Tbsp dark rum
2 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 red onion, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped
4 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 Tbsp dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp ground allspice
4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp molasses
4 (4 oz) tilapia fillets or other firm white fish.
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
3-4 Tbsp canola oil

Pre-heat the oven to the broiler setting for about 5 minutes. Combine everything except the fish in a blender and process until smooth, pour into a resealable container and set aside for later use. Jerk marinade can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Heat a pan large oven-proof enough to accommodate all four pieces of the fish over medium high heat, season one side of the fish with sea salt and pepper. Pour oil into hot pan and immediately start cooking the fish, cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and brush on jerk marinade. Place the pan in the oven close to the heat source for about 2-3 minutes. The amount of time will depend on what type of fish you use. Remove fish from the oven it should flake easily when slightly pulled apart. Mound Grilled Ratatouille Salad in the center of the plate, top with the Jerk Fish and serve with any extra juices collected from the grilled salad as a finishing sauce.Search Amazon.com for Walkerswood


  1. Thank you for the jerk marinade recipe. I've been needing one! Is there a substitution for the rum? I don't drink alcohol or use it in my cooking.

  2. Thanx for the comment,you can substitute apple juice for the rum.

  3. Thanks for the great jerky info...