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Pair local seafood, crisp white wines

May 27, 2014 - 12:05am

Summer is the perfect time for crisp white wines. And when the heat lingers till dinner time, a light, simple meal from the outdoor grill seems just right. With the abundant variety of fresh fish in Hawaii, there’s no better combo for a quick meal. My favorite summer varietals are light, crisp, acidic sauvignon blanc, dry Riesling or pinot gris paired with grilled fish, summer tomatoes and zesty seasonings. Here are a few to try, from my grill to yours.

Grilled swordfish with spicy shrimp salsa

The citrus and seasonings in this recipe, plus tomatoes and seafood, are perfect for the crisp white wines. Gewurztraminer might be another good white to try with this recipe from “Big Flavors of the Hot Sun” by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby; makes 4 servings.

Four 6-ounce swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


1/2 pound medium shrimp (16-20 count), shelled and deveined

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 ripe tomato, diced small

1/2 red onion, diced small

1/2 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

7 dashes Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rub fish lightly with vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill over a medium-hot fire for 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until opaque throughout. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, thread onto skewers and grill over the same fire for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until opaque throughout. Remove shrimp from heat, slide off skewers, and chop into small pieces. Put shrimp in a medium bowl, add all remaining salsa ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Serve each swordfish steak topped with a generous helping of the salsa.

Grilled ahi with cilantro ginger sauce

Cook fish rare to medium-rare for the best taste and texture. This is quick, easy and low in fat. Recipe from “The Healthy Kitchen” by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley; makes 2 servings.

Two 4- to 6-ounce ahi tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon canola or grape seed oil

2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons shoyu

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/4 cup water

Rinse ahi steaks under cold running water; pat dry. Rub with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill. While grill is heating, prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add cilantro; stir-fry another minute, until cilantro is bright green. Mix in soy sauce, sugar and water; cook for 1 minute over high heat. Remove skillet from heat. Grill ahi steaks on high heat until desired doneness (for medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side). Spoon sauce over fish and serve immediately.

Tropical seafood brochettes

This easy recipe from “Sam Choy’s Cuisine Hawaii” uses mahimahi with tropical fruits. You can grill or barbecue the brochettes; makes 4 servings.

1 1/2 pounds mahimahi or other firm white fish

8 medium shrimp (16-20 count)

1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks*

1 medium mango, cut into 1-inch chunks*

6 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced marjoram

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut fish into 1-inch cubes. Thread fish, shrimp, bell pepper and fresh fruits onto metal skewers. Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a shallow pan. Marinate brochettes in this mixture for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, sprinkle with marjoram, salt and pepper. Grill or barbecue, basting occasionally with the marinade, and turning until cooked.

Serve hot.

*Use fruits that are underripe and not too sweet, so as not to overpower the wine’s delicate fruit.