Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
Jody Adams, In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant. Copyright 2002. William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, NY.
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 servings
  • Four 6-ounce bluefish fillets, skin on, 1 to 1½ inches thick

Pomegranate marinade:

  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses (available in specialty stores or groceries that stock Middle-Eastern ingredients)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced as thin as possible
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:

  • ¼ cup cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced (¼-inch)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • ½ cup thick Greek yogurt (substitute whole milk yogurt if Greek yogurt is unavailable)
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses, for garnish
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Toss the bluefish in the marinade until evenly coated. Put the fish and any remaining marinade in a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Meanwhile, toss the cucumbers with salt and drain in colander for 30 minutes.

Pat the cucumbers dry to remove moisture and excess salt. Mix the cucumbers with the yogurt, red onion, herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare a grill with both hot and medium zones. A grill is hot when you can hold your hand near the grilling surface for no longer than a count of 2 before having to pull it away; it is medium when you can keep your hands near it for no longer than 4 seconds. The cooking times given are for a gas grill, with the lid closed; if using a wood or charcoal-burning grill, cook with the lid off. Make sure the grill is clean in order to minimize sticking.

Season the bluefish with salt and pepper. Brush generously with vegetable oil. Put the fish skin-side down on the hottest part of the grill. Do not disturb the fillets until the surface is charred and a corner releases from the grill when you carefully lift it with a spatula, after about 5 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook the flesh side until done, another 4 to 5 minutes. Because the marinade has sugar in it you need to keep a close eye out for burning. If it looks as though the surface is turning too dark too quickly, or burning, slide a spatula carefully under the fillets and finish cooking them on the medium section of the grill.

To serve, put a fillet in the center of each of four plates. Put a spoonful of yogurt sauce next to each fish fillet. Drizzle the fish with pomegranate molasses reserved for garnish and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.