Surprise Dinner: Pasta all’Amatriciana
Cochinita Pibil (Roasted Pork with Achiote sauce)

Grilled Whole Porgies

As a parent, I often feel like the French in 1940—that is well prepared for the last war and losing the current one. Not that parenting is a battle, but, unlike the Maginot Line, the analogy still holds. I’m good at fixing the things of the past, yet I tend to lose track of what is coming next. For example, I spend money on their shoes while failing to sock some away for their college expenses.

The same mentality, apparently, holds with blogging. A few weeks ago, when the weather was warm, I meant to write about my latest grilling feat—whole porgies. But I got distracted, and now it is fall. Still, there are going to be a few nice weekends coming up (I personally guarantee it!) and you may yet have time to enjoy this quick (and fairly easy) outdoor treat.

Whole porgies have a few big advantages: they’re cheap and incredibly delicious (when they are fresh, at least) and they cook quickly. One disadvantage is that they are bony fish, but if you can get past that, you’ll be fine.

If you can, have your fishmonger clean them for you. If that’s not an option, you can scale them without making a mess by using the side of the fork or bread knife, while holding the fish inside a brown-paper bag. Then you’ll need to slice up the belly, pull out the guts and gills, and give it a good rinse.

Rub the sides of the fish with olive oil, and slice the fish about three times on each side. Stuff the slits with fresh thyme, and throw some more of the herb in the belly for good measure.

Get a good fire going (or turn on your gas grill and heat the rack) and grill the fish about three minutes on each side. That’s all there is to it. Really, they’re easier to grill than to find the time to write about. Enjoy!

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