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7 Seafood Grilling Tips continued...

3. Direct or Indirect? Indirect grilling is when the heat is on either side of the food, not right beneath it. This technique is generally used for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grill time -- which generally is not the case for seafood. But indirect grilling is also used for items that are delicate in texture, like fish fillets. If using indirect heat, try not to peek while the fish is cooking. Every time you lift the lid, heat escapes and this can prolong the cooking time.

4. Is It Opaque? White-fleshed fish fillets are usually done, but still juicy, when their centers just turn opaque. (Opaque means you can't see any light through it.)

5. Keep It Dry. Be sure to pat dry any fish fillet or seafood you are about to grill or brown in a pan (use paper towels). This is important because wetness on the surface can prevent browning.

6. Add a Coat. Add a light coat of oil or cooking spray on your seafood before grilling. This will help it brown and keep it from sticking to the grill.

7. All in Due Time. The general rule for grilling fish fillets or steaks is four to five minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness, and 8-10 minutes per 1 inch of thickness. For other seafood items, here are some grilling recommendations from the Weber-Stephen Products Co.:

  • Shrimp --2 to 4 minutes over direct high heat.
  • Scallops -- 3 to 6 minutes over direct high heat.
  • Mussels -- 5 to 6 minutes over direct high heat. Don't eat any that do not open.
  • Clams -- 8 to 10 minutes over direct high heat. Don't eat any that do not open.
  • Oysters -- 3 to 5 minutes over direct high heat.

Three Summer Seafood Recipes

Here are three speedy seafood recipes perfect for parties or family meals.

Grilled Shrimp Appetizer

Serve the shrimp with whatever dipping sauce or salsa you desire. You can use an indoor grill with this recipe, if you like. If your shrimp are smaller than the jumbo shrimp called for below, it may take half as long to cook each side.

1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp (about 16), peeled, deveined, and patted dry with paper towels

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil

About 1/4 teaspoon salt

About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

About 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Dipping Sauce Suggestions:

1/4 cup jalapeno jelly, warmed briefly in the microwave to soften

1/4 cup bottled chili sauce

Salsa (like peach salsa)

  • Get the grill or barbecue hot according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Brush the outside of the shrimp lightly with oil. Sprinkle both sides of shrimp lightly with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Place shrimp over direct, high heat on the grill. Grill about 2 minutes on the first side, then flip over and cook about 2 more minutes until cooked throughout.
  • Serve warm with dipping sauce.

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