Intro: Gourmet BBQ'd Poached Mango Strawberry Fish Filets
I came across a recipe for BBQ'd poached fish filets a couple of years back where you wrap the filet and an ice cube or two in aluminum foil and then BBQ it. The ice cubes melt and the water/steam poaches the filets. Adding an ice cube isn't really enough to give the filet a good poach and often the outer portions would burn by the time the thick parts of the filet were cooked properly. After burning a few filets, I realized that there is a better way. Since my filets were already frozen, it didn't make sense to thaw them and then add ice cubes to BBQ. Using already frozen filets result in a perfectly poached entree in 12-15 minutes every time!
I've experimented with the ingredients of that first recipe and came up with this mango strawberry recipe. The beauty of this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make. The results are superb and tastes like a gourmet chef cooked it. Your friends and family will be amazed and astonished (seriously)! And something I never thought about until I wrote this Instructable is that it's pretty healthy too - bonus!
It is also extremely flexible in the ingredients and everything substitutes out easily. You don't need lots of ingredients either. The key is moderation as the flavors will blend together when poached (steamed).
I think that this could be an ideal commercial frozen food entree for your local supermarket. Package it up, ready to throw on the BBQ. Someone could make a nice business doing this.
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients
The secret to this recipe is moderation. You don't need much. And it is a very forgiving recipe - almost impossible not to work out wonderfully. For one filet, you will need:
1/2 Mango sliced into small strips - I prefer the yellow mangoes as they have more fruit (smaller seed)
6 capers - they add a unique hidden flavor. If you didn't like capers before, you will love them in this recipe
One frozen fish filet - I like basa but it works well with haddock or any of your favorite mild flavored fish (do not thaw!)
1 slice of a small onion
1 tablespoon of diced green, red, orange or yellow pepper, I don't know the real amount as I just cut up a little pepper and throw it on.
A sprinkle of Montreal steak spice which is a black pepper based spice mix
1 large strawberry quartered
The beauty is that you can use orange, lemon, apricots, raspberries, apple, pear, peaches, blackberries, grapes, bananas or whatever you have on hand to substitute. Be aware that blueberries will turn the fish grey/green which tastes great but will look unappetizing. You can use fresh fruit or even frozen fruit both work excellently.
You can experiment with different vegetables also. I've been thinking of trying a dash of dejion mustard but it would have to be very little as you don't won't any one flavor to over-power the others.
I suggest that you choose your veggies and fruit for dynamic colors for presentation purposes. It must look as good as it tastes.
While you are gathering the ingredients, go turn on the BBQ...
Step 2: Create the Masterpiece
Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is just for carrying. The aluminum foil should be large enough to completely wrap the fish filet. Put the fish filet on the aluminum.
Sprinkle the filet with the Montreal steak spice then add the capers strung evenly across the fish. I ran out of capers when I made this instructable so you won't see them in the picture. Take the onion slice, cut it in half and sprinkle across the filet. Put the mango slices around the filet with the strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle the green pepper across the top.
By the way, there's no right or wrong order of adding or placing the ingredients. The filet will be poached and the flavors will be blended in anyways. Might as well make it look pretty while we're adding ingredients anyways!
Step 3: Wrap Up and Get to the BBQ
Wrap up the filet in the aluminum foil so that no filet is seen. Then take it to the BBQ.
Step 4: Checking the BBQ
The BBQ temperature should be between 375 and 425 deg F. It was on the hot side here but it really didn't matter much. It just means that it will cook a little faster. And depending on your BBQ, you may have hot spots on the grille. The front of my BBQ cooks more evenly then the back which has more flame.
Step 5: Place the Filet on the BBQ
I placed the filet towards the front of my BBQ because the back is hotter and has direct contact with the flame which increases the chances of burning. The front is "cooler" and has a more "even" heat which is what I want.
I'm only cooking one filet but you can fill the BBQ up as much as it will hold. I've had 3 filets going at once - it still took about the same amount of time to cook. The recipe is so easy to substitute, you can have your guests or family make their own special combos!
Step 6: Check at the 10 Minute Mark!
Put the timer on for 10 minutes. Normally it takes about 15 minutes to cook and the 10 minute mark is a good time to check. You can pull the aluminum foil apart with your fingers without getting burnt but you might want to use a fork if you do not have old calloused hands like I do.
Check the thickest part of the filet with a fork by poking it. There should be NO resistance as that would be futile - sorry had to add that last part for you Trekkies! The fork should go in easily. If you feel any resistance, wrap the fish up again and come back in 3 to 4 minutes.
This filet wasn't ready yet, so I wrapped it up, turned on the timer for 4 more minutes.
Step 7: Checking the Filet Again..
Four minutes went by and back to check the filet. Open up the aluminum foil and poke with a fork and no resistance - beautifully poached filet!
Step 8: Lifting the Filet Off the BBQ
When you placed the filet on the BBQ, it was frozen and quite solid. Now it is quite soft and filled with juices. You will need a spatula and something else like a fork to lift it and place it on the cookie sheet. The cookie sheet will catch any liquid that will drip.
Step 9: Serve It on a Plate!
Serve it on a plate in the aluminum foil and let your guests open it. The aroma that rushes out when opened is fantastic. Each bit of the fruit will explode with flavor. The fish will be a cornucopia of flavors from all of the ingredients. It is a great day to eat fish! Serve with a side of rice and voila - a masterpiece!
Step 10: No BBQ - Use the Oven.
You can use an oven if you don't have a BBQ. I cook the wrapped filet on a little grille that sits on top of a cookie sheet so that the hot air will circulate under the filet. I found that I had to set the oven temperature to about 425 to 450 deg F and it took almost twice as long to cook. So expect that it will take 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure that you check regularly to see if it is done! Poke a fork in the filet if there is resistance, it needs to cook longer. It should be so tender as to fall apart in your mouth.