The weather during the past two weeks has been wonderful and we try to enjoy it to the hilt by having our meals in the garden. The cool weather also means that outdoor grilling won’t be synonymous with a steam bath. Hence, I heard no complaints from my husband when I suggested grilling fish for lunch yesterday. We bought a kilo and a half of tilapia (St. Peter’s fish) from the Antipolo market, three different varieties of lato (seaweeds), talong (eggplants) and ripe sweet mangoes and had a pretty awesome lunch.
This entry is not about grilling fish. I don’t think there is any recipe to be written about grilling save to say that when you have the fish cleaned and gutted in the market, tell the fish monger you intend to grill them so that the scales are not removed. The scales will help a lot to make sure the fish won’t stick to the grill. They will also prevent from scorching the fish flesh. Only the scales will get charred and you can easily peel off the skin along with the scales. That should take care of all the alleged cancer causing properties of charred fish or meat.
I bought three varieties of lato to go with the fish. Not that they really taste different — they all have that sea-salty flavor and slimy texture. I just thought that the variety would add interest.
All that lato on the plate weighed 1/4 kilo and cost PhP 20.00. The favorite question among the lato buyers in the market yesterday morning was, “Wala bang red tide?” Nah, it isn’t red tide season and eating lato is quite safe.
I also prepared a simple eggplant salad to go with the fish and complement the lato.
Two eggplants were grilled with their skins on. When they were tender, I peeled off the skins and cut the flesh into chunks. I placed them in a bowl with some chopped tomatoes and onions, smothered them with vinaigrette, added a little salt and freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
If the coloring of the photo looks a tad reddish, that’s because there was a large umbrella over the table — you know, the kind that goes through the center of the table. The sun was overhead and my husband did not want to do the grilling under the sun, so…
If this dreamy weather continues over the next couple of weekends, we will probably do more grilling before the summer heat is upon us.