George Reis, chef-owner of Ocean restaurant, Birmingham, Ala., is an enthusiastic champion of grilling fish and fruit as a refreshing twist on summer dining. With the home cook in mind, he’s worked out some easy and visually appealing combinations of seasonal fruit and fresh seafood.

He has adapted the three following recipes for cooks to try: halibut with peaches and shallot-mustard vinaigrette; seared scallops with char-roasted figs and cipollini onions; and red-curry glazed grilled pineapple with wild salmon.

He also serves up a few tips on choosing and preparing seafood.

Grilled Halibut and Peaches With Shallot-Mustard Vinaigrette
Ingredients
1 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted

4 halibut filets, about 7 ounces each, preferably Alaskan (see note)

Olive oil, as needed

Optional garnish: Julienned green onions
Method:
Combine mirin, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add peaches, coat well and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare grill. If using gas, set to medium-high; charcoal should be a medium-hot coal base.

Season halibut with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Place on well-oiled grill and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, on a “low-spot” (slightly cooler) on the grill, place peaches flesh side down. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until well marked, turn over, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Peaches should be just soft.

Center 2 peach halves on each plate and place a fish filet on each. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons Shallot Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows), and garnish with julienned green onions, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.
Shallot Mustard Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 teaspoon plus 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
Method:
In a small skillet, saute shallots in 1 teaspoon olive oil until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Whisk in vinegar, mustard and parsley. Gradually add 2/3 cup oil, whisking constantly.

Makes 4+ servings
Note:
Alaskan halibut is a sustainable fish population at this time.
Seared Scallops With Char-Roasted Figs and Cipollini Onions
Ingredients:
1 pint fresh figs (preferably black mission)

1 pound cipollini onions

3/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

16 large scallops, silver dollar-sized, 11/2 inches thick (see note)

6 to 8 cups baby greens salad mix
Method:
Light or preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place a cast-iron griddle or pan on the grill to preheat.

Trim stems off figs. Clean onions but leave whole. Toss figs and onions with enough olive oil to coat lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place onions directly on the grill and begin to roast. Grill until well marked and fairly soft, 3 to 4 minutes per side over gas, 6 minutes on charcoal. Put figs in a small, perforated pan on the grill and cook until they begin to blister or break open, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Roughly chop onions and figs; toss with 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

Season the scallops to taste with salt and pepper, and enough olive oil to coat. Place about 1 tablespoon olive oil in the preheated cast-iron pan and place scallops on it. Cook until a caramelized crust appears, 2 to 3 minutes; turn once and heat through, about 1 to 2 minutes more.

Toss baby greens with 4 tablespoons of Light Dressing (recipe follows); place scallops on them and top with fig and onion mixture.

Makes 4 servings.
Light Dressing
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Whisk together all ingredients.

Makes about 1 cup (more than required).
Note:
Farmed bay scallops are a good choice.
Grilled Red Curry-glazed Pineapple and Wild Salmon With Baby Arugula
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (see note)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 golden-ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch spears

For the salmon:

1/3 cup light soy sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped green onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

Four 7-ounce wild salmon filets, de-boned, preferably king salmon
Method:
Blend curry paste and oil together and rub into pineapple spears. Allow to sit 1 hour.

Combine soy sauce, orange juice, lemon zest, onion and oil to make a marinade; add salmon filets and marinate for 30 minutes.

Prepare grill; if using gas, preheat to medium-high; allow charcoal to burn down to a medium-hot coal base.

Drain salmon, reserving marinade. Place salmon on well-oiled grill, and grill for about 4 to 41/2 minutes per side, for medium. At the same time, grill pineapple spears, turning once after 2 to 3 minutes; then cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

Place a serving of grilled pineapple on each plate, top with salmon and arugula, and drizzle with some of the reserved marinade.
Baby Arugula
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups baby arugula
Method:
Combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper; toss with arugula.
Note:
Thai red curry paste is available at Asian markets, or in the Asian food section of your supermarket.
All recipes developed by George Reis, chef-owner of Ocean restaurant, Birmingham, Ala.


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