Social distancing may have dashed your dreams of a spring fish fry, a neighborhood cook-out, or a March Madness party. But that doesn’t mean your grill is off limits during this beautiful weather, folks.
In fact, in this time of self-quarantine and isolation, perhaps it’s more important than ever that we continue to do the things we love, as long as they don’t pose a danger to anyone else. For those who reign over the backyard when the weather’s warm, grilling is more than just a cooking method for preparing dinner—it’s an enjoyable, even relaxing activity that can ease our minds and lower our blood pressure.
The men and women of Alabama’s seafood industry are still working hard to harvest and process fresh product for us to enjoy, so visit your local market and stock up on the good stuff (don’t be afraid to stock up and freeze some extra product!), then try one of these grilled seafood recipes this spring.
Grilled Whole Red Snapper
Maybe this spring is the perfect time to finally try grilling a whole fish. And what better choice than Red Snapper, one of Alabama’s most iconic Gulf species. This recipe from Chef George Reis doesn’t require more than a few spices and dressings, and when it’s time to eat, your family will love digging in on these beautiful filets.
Grilled Red Snapper with Mango Salsa
If you prefer your Red Snapper gutted and filleted before it hits the grill, that’ll do just fine. In fact, Red Snapper is perfect for the grill, and you don’t have to do much to it—a half hour of marinating and some seasoning, then it’s ready for the grill. (Note: If you can’t find Red Snapper, we’d recommend Grouper, Mahi-Mahi, or Red Drum with this recipe.)
Grilled Cobia on Three-Bean Salad
Cobia season overlaps with the spring and summer months, so it’s ideal for grilling, really. And if you’re looking for a healthy meal to serve your family, this gem from Chef Chris Hastings is not only delicious but easy to fix. Simply combine the bean salad ingredients and cook your Cobia filets on the grill for 4-5 minutes each side and voila.
Marinated and Wood Grilled Royal Red Shrimp with Central’s Chimichurri Sauce
Royal Red Shrimp are one of the most beautiful bounties of our Gulf Coast, and they’re even more delightful when they’re on the grill. Chef Leonardo Maurelli III’s recipe calls for hickory wood chips to bring out the best in these tasty shellfish, and then the marinade and the Royal Reds’ natural flavor will do the rest. (Make sure you cook enough to share!)
Grilled Shrimp Tapenade Crostini
Whether you’re cooking up a fancy appetizer or a feast of Gulf Shrimp, you have to try Chef Brody Olive’s recipe. Pink, brown, or white shrimp will do nicely (shrimp season is almost here, you know), and all it takes is a couple minutes on the grill for each side. And don’t worry about plating this one prettily—throw those ingredients in and enjoy!
Chargrilled Oysters with Compound Butter and Romano Cheese
Grilling Gulf oysters is a time-honored tradition down here, and warm weather is no reason to pass on these magnificent mollusks. You’ll need to make sure your grill is blazingly hot, though; restaurants grill at temperatures as high as 750 degrees, but around 500 degrees should do at home. Then just add as much compound butter and cheese as you like!
Charred Gulf Oysters with Pimento Cheese
If you’re in the mood for two Southern staples in one dish, this one’s perfect for you. Chef Brian Paolina’s recipe is great for appetizers, mid-day snacks, or even a full meal if you’ve got enough oysters to go around. All it takes is 4-5 minutes on the grill for each oyster, then you’re ready to chow down on some Gulf Coast goodness.