To keep your kitchen a little cooler this summer, put your outdoor grill to work. To save time you can buy salad dressings and salsas. But to enhance your food’s taste make them with fresh ingredients.
4-6 fish fillets
Italian dressing (homemade or store-bought)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Mango salsa for topping
Marinate the fish fillets in the Italian dressing for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. Drain marinade. Melt butter in a small bowl, add garlic powder and set aside. Place tin foil over grill grates and spray with vegetable oil. Carefully place fish on foil and brush with garlic butter blend. Cook until flakes with a fork. Squeeze lemon wedge over the fish and serve with a dollop or two of mango salsa.
Easy Italian Dressing
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (dry ingredients in an envelope or bottle)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Add the olive oil, vinegar, Italian Seasoning and parmesan cheese in a glass quart container or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. If refrigerated ahead before grilling, allow dressing to reach room temperature to loosen olive oil and shake well again before serving. It will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If cheese is omitted, you may store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Fresh Italian Dressing
If you’d rather use fresh ingredients to use immediately, replace the dry Italian Seasoning in Easy Italian Dressing recipe with:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Grilled Crappie Fajitas
1 1/2 pounds crappie fillets cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
4 10-inch corn tortillas
Combine lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and 4 tablespoons of the fresh lime juice in a resealable plastic bag; add fish. Seal and shake; chill 30 minutes. Grill fish, covered with grill lid, on a grill rack coated with nonstick cooking spray or place aluminum foil over grates and sprayed with oil. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. You may broil fillets instead of grilling.
Load up each tortilla with grilled fish and then ad lib with toppings to suit your tastes:
Chunky guacamole or avocado
Red onion slices
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 ripe mangos, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup packed with fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 large lime, juiced (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
In a serving bowl, combine mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Salt to taste and let salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer then add to your fajitas.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup mango, diced
1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon hot pepper, chopped (jalapeño, scotch bonnet or habanero to suit your taste)
2-3 tablespoons honey (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cover and cook 5 minutes, add mango, orange juice, hot pepper and honey. Stir well. Simmer uncovered for about 7 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender, season with salt, place in a bowl, cover and keep in a warm oven. Spoon mango sauce in the center of each plate. Set a fish fillet on top.