Lunchbreak: Sepia chef Andrew Zimmerman makes grilled white fish in banana leaf

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123 N. Jefferson Street
(312) 441-1920

Grilled White Fish in Banana Leaf

4 5-6 oz pcs. halibut filets
1 recipe Achiote Marinade
4 pc banana leaves about 12” x 12" with some 1/4”x 6” strips for tying
4-5 ears corn, shucked
1-2 zucchini, washed and sliced long ways 1/4” thick
2 red bell peppers, washed
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut in 1/4” slabs
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus some leaves for garnish
the juice of 2-3 limes
2-3 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Rub the halibut filets with the marinade about 3 hours before you want to cook them.  Start a charcoal/wood fire or light up the gas grill.  Soften the banana leaves by lightly running them over the fire.  Put the fish in the center of the leaf and fold it up and over to completely encase the fish. Tie with one of the strips of banana leaf.  Grill the red pepper until it is charred all over and peel it, seed it and cut it into medium dice.  Put it in a bowl.  Grill the red onion until tender and chop it up and put it in the bowl.  Brush the zucchini with a touch of oil and salt and pepper and grill it until tender.  Dice it and put it in the bowl.   Add the Mexican Oregano, Lime juice, Olive oil, and chopped cilantro and taste it to make sure it is delicious.  Keep it warm but not hot.
Move the coals to one side of the grill or turn off one side of the grill.  Put the Banana leaf packets just off to the side of the heat.  We want them to get hot and steam mostly.  Cook them about 8 minutes and then test with a thin metal skewer.  If it is a bit hot the fish is done.  Divide the salad among four plates and cut the banana leaves open.  Put a piece of fish on top of each pile of salad.
Achiote Marinade

35g Annato seeds
25g black pepper corns
5g Mexican oregano
5g cumin seed
10g canela (Mexican Cinnamon)
45g garlic cloves
2g cloves
15g orange zest
10g lime zest
Juice 1 orange
Juice 2 limes
15g agave nectar
150g veg oil

Blend until smooth and pass through a fine strainer.
Alternatively you could take about 5 Tbs of prepared achiote paste from any area Mexican Grocery and mix it with the lime and orange juice and zest, agave and oil to get something similar and faster.)

Cool Operator

1.5 oz Death's Door Gin
2 oz cantaloupe juice
.5 oz lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz Cocchi Rosa
small pinch of kosher salt
mint sprig garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker.  Add ice.  Shake and strain over ice. Garnish with mint.

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