According to various sources (including, if memory serves, a Nero Wolfe mystery by Rex Stout, but I've checked it elsewhere since) Shish or Sheesh or Seekh means skewered and kebab means roasted meat. So, logically, I should be calling these sheesh fish (or "sheesh feesh" for those with Dr. Seuss tendencies). But Fish Kebab kind of rolls of the tongue better. And you all know what it means. Skewers of roasted fish.
To make a kebab out of fish, you need a special fish. As I mentioned not long ago, tuna responds well to grilling, its dense flesh holding together in spite of the magnetic pull of the barbecue grill. (Yes, I know what Alton Brown says about the grill needing to be hot enough in order for the food not to stick. I can have those bars hot enough to burn the food to a crisp and sometimes it still sticks. Go figure.) So what works even better than tuna on a grill? Monkfish, my friend, the "poor man's lobster". Monkfish really does have the chewy meatiness of, well, meat. And like meat, it tastes wonderful with a sprig of rosemary. And like nearly everything savoury in the world, it also tastes better with a bit of bacon. The bacon keeps the fish from drying out and also adds a wonderful smoky flavour to the kebab. It's one of my favourite summer dishes: simple, (relatively) healthy and delicious.
But wait - that's not all! In this post you'll not only learn about the amazing monkfish/bacon/rosemary combination, but you also have the non-meat-eater's option: monkfish with lime and lemon thyme. Yes, I ran out of bacon, but I didn't run out of ideas. And the lime and lemon basil combination was pretty tasty too.
And the recipes? Well, sometimes the ingredients and process are so simple they hardly feel like a recipe:
Monkfish, rosemary and bacon fish-kebabs
Take some monkfish and cut it in cubes about 3 cm or a little over an inch on each side. Place a rosemary needle on each fish cube and wrap them in American (streaky, for the Brits in the crowd) bacon. Thread them on a skewer, alternating with plump fresh cherry tomatoes and halved spring onions. Cook on a hot grill, turning every few minutes, until the bacon is crisp, the fish cooked through and the tomatoes slightly charred and soft. You don't even need a sauce; devour them as they are.
Monkfish and lemon thyme fish-kebabs
Take some monkfish and cut it in cubes about 3 cm or a little over an inch on each side. Brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with lemon thyme, a sprig or so per cube. Slice a lime in paper thin disks and alternate them with the fish skewers. Cook until the fish is cooked through. Give them a good grinding of fresh black pepper before serving with fresh lime wedges.
I love my Weber grill.