Cooking Cove: Grilling goes modern

Cooking Cove: Grilling goes modern

Foil-Wrapped Scampi and Linguini

By Barbara Beltrami

Except for a carefully manicured lawn or oversized SUV, I think there is nothing as emblematic of suburbia as the outdoor grill. However, in these days of more conscientious and healthful eating habits it is likely to conjure up an image rather different from that of former times. Then, Dad, garbed in a chef’s toque, oversized potholder mitt and motto-inscribed apron, stood in a cloud of black smoke flipping hamburgers, spearing hot dogs and slathering ribs and chicken with viscous crimson sauces. 

These days the grill still signifies suburbia, but the fare is just as likely to be fish, shellfish or veggies doused with marinades of oils, vinegars, juices and herbs or rubbed with spices, and it’s just as likely to be Mom wielding those tongs or spatula. The weather is warmer, spring is here and summer is just around the corner, so uncover that grill and get going!

Margarita-Marinated Grilled Swordfish

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 pounds swordfish, cut into 4 pieces

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup tequila

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup chopped onion

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 lime, quartered

2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


Rinse swordfish steaks and pat dry. In a shallow nonreactive dish combine lime juice, tequila, oil, cumin, onion, salt and pepper; add swordfish, sprinkle with half the cilantro, cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Turn, cover and marinate 30 minutes more. At midpoint in marinating process, prepare the grill and preheat on medium. After the hour of marinating, place fish on grill and cook, gently turning once, 3 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on its thickness; baste with leftover marinade. Remove from grill, garnish with fresh lime wedges and remaining cilantro; serve hot or warm with a bean salad.

Foil-Wrapped Scampi and Linguini

Foil-Wrapped Scampi and Linguini

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

¾ stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons dry white wine

4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

Juice and zest of half a lemon

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound linguini


Prepare grill on high heat. Tear off two pieces of 18-inch-long foil; lay on top of each other. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; transfer to center of foil; fold long ends of foil over each other to create a seal, then bring short ends up and fold tightly to ensure that the packet is completely sealed. Let sit while you bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions; while pasta is cooking, place foil packet on grill. Each should take about 8 to 10 minutes; pasta is done when al dente; shrimp is done when completely pink. Place pasta in a large serving bowl; open packet carefully to let steam escape and empty contents over pasta. Toss and serve immediately with a crisp green salad and dry white wine.

Grilled Potatoes and Vidalia Onions

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1/3 cup olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

4 Vidalia onions, peeled and cut into ¾-inch-thick slices


Preheat grill to medium-high. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine olive oil and salt and pepper and with a pastry brush, coat both sides of potato and onion slices with mixture; place on grill and turning once when bottoms of slices are dark brown, grill until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm with grilled fish, shellfish, meat or fowl.


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