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You know that saying about how a person’s taste changes every seven years? Well, I never put much stock in that, but I think it might be true. You see, I never particularly liked fish. Being that I live in Louisiana, that’s practically a crime against nature. People stare when I tell them that I don’t like fish. Well, the tide has turned and I actually craved this sandwich for days and days. I’m not saying that I’ll be eating tuna or salmon anytime soon, but a nice tilapia or black drum filet I can handle. Baby steps.

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This sandwich is my incarnation of a sandwich I had a few years ago while vacationing in Pensacola, Florida at Hemingway’s Island Grill. I used the Aloha Fish & Chicken Rub from Red Stick Spice Company. It was the perfect blend of garlic, onion, sea salt, sesame seeds and chiles. As per the instructions on the bag, I mixed the dry rub with 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil to form a paste. I then spread the paste on the fish filets right before grilling on my indoor grill (it was raining so I couldn’t use my outdoor grill).

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Island Spiced Fish Sandwich

  • 1 oz Aloha Fish & Chicken Rub (see notes)
  • 2 – 3 Tble olive oil
  • 1 lb fish of choice (I used black drum), cut in 4oz filets
  • 4 King’s Hawaiian sandwich buns (see notes)
  • 4 leaves Bibb or Butter lettuce
  • 4 tomato slices

Heat grill to medium-high. Mix spice rub with olive oil until a smooth paste is formed. Spread paste liberally on both sides of fish filets. Grill fish filets 2-3 minutes per side (times may vary widely depending on the type and cut of your fish of choice) until fish is firm and fully cooked. While fish filets are grilling, heat bun and prepare lettuce and tomato slices. When fish is completely done, assemble sandwiches. Serve with pineapple salsa (recipe follows).

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Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large or 2 small jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small purple onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato or 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt + pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve cold.

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Notes:

  • You can order the Aloha Fish & Chicken Rub from Red Stick Spice Company. It’s less than $3 for a 1oz bag and she has great reviews for her quick shipping. If you have to have it right now, mix a little granulated garlic with some finely ground sea salt, sesame seeds and a few red pepper flakes and grind in a cleaned coffee grinder until mixture is a fine powder.
  • The King’s Hawaiian buns are a sweet bread. If you don’t want your bread to be sweet, then use a regular bun. It won’t hurt my feelings.
  • I used a black drum filet for this sandwich. If you can’t get black drum in your area, please choose a sustainable fish from your area. Tilapia would be another good choice, but use whatever is available to your local fishmonger.

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