Well, it’s just not that normal to have banana leaves in your backyard. Unless, of course, you happen to live in South Florida or another place in the tropics.
So, being a rather resourceful person (or at least I would like to think of myself that way) I decided that I would try using banana leaves to cook whitefish on the grill.
One thing I forget to do was read directions, as is often the case. A lot of times I try things by trial and error and some could consider this a personality flaw because I would often make things a lot easier if I just read the directions first. But, well, that’s just not my style but I am working on it..
1) First, make a simple marinade for the fish. I used a citrus jalapeno marinade.
2) Also, go ahead and soak your skewers in water so they don’t burn on the grill.
1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice
1 jalapeno diced
4 + gloves of garlic
1-2 tblsp. honey (optional)
salt to taste
3) Let the fish marinade about 30 minutes before grilling.
4) So, back to the fish. After cutting some banana leaves, warm the grill up. Place the banana leaves on the grill (on a medium setting) only for a few minutes so the banana leaves are pliable. You want them to be pliable to wrap the fish in. (this is the part I forgot to do initially)
Take the banana leaves and cut them in half; you will use half per piece of fish. If you are really good at this you may be able to wrap more fillets utilizing less leaf. I went through a lot of trial and error so I guess I am lucky I have a tree in my backyard
Wrap the fillets with the leaf piece and secure with a skewer. Do this for each filet. The packet is going to steam itself on the grill leaving you with a healthy way to eat fish without all the breading and fattening sauces to go with it. The marinade and banana leaves are what lend this light dish its flavor.
Grilling time: on a preheated grill at medium heat, cook the packets approximately 11 minutes each side, or less. You will have to be your own judge depending on the thickness of your filets- if they are thick you should go longer. We are not doing sushi here.
I put corn on the grill at the beginning of the grilling process, and then I added small heads of romaine near the end. I drizzled the romaine leaves with olive oil, sea salt and pepper first and grilled until wilted. (see recipe for grilled salad- this is awesome and super easy to make).
As I flipped all the fish on the other side, I also put frozen rolls on the grill to round out the meal. This would be a great time to put some fresh cut french or cuban bread slices with butter or olive oil on the grill. If you are a garlic fan, at the beginning of heating the grill, place garlic wrapped in foil and let it cook for the duration of the grilling process. Then, voila- you have roasted garlic to spread on your bread.
Dinner is served: Citrus grilled whitefish with corn and grilled romaine lettuce and roasted garlic cuban bread. Ay, dios mio!!