Ed. Note—oh it is SUMMER! We don't know about you, but in Portland, Bend, and San Diego it is HOT. August just sounds like a hot month, after the summer love affair that is July, and even though that grill we're standing over feels like 6000 degrees this month just screams GRILL. Aaron Vinten of theathletestable.com checks in with a meal that is sure to send you outside for dinner, lingering until the sun goes down.
I swear that I can smell someone grilling a mile away. Anyone else feel like they have this superpower for locating a grill loaded with delicious food? Grilling is such a great way to relax and hang out with friends and fellow athletes all united around a common purpose: to cook up some good grub. And yes, food always tastes better post workout AND with other people. Food cooked over an open flame, whether it's a gas, charcoal or wood grill, just does something magical to food. There is some sort of mystical interaction that happens between flame and food that just hits all my senses. It’s all about getting that charred edge without overcooking the food. Charred food is not burned food—char is the grill's stamp of approval that the food has ben perfectly cooked, Food that has been singed by the flames of the grill and the smoke perfuming the food. So good! Grilling adds another dimension that you don’t get cooking another way. Today, we are making Greek Swordfish Kabobs w/Tzatziki Sauce on the Kitchenaid grill. Swordfish is a delicious fish to make kabobs with. It has a mild-flavor that holds up extremely well to high-heat cooking. It’s hearty and won’t flake apart after marinating.
Kabobs are a great meal for athletes. They are fast, fresh, easy to cook, and a great source of protein and vegetables! Nutritionist, Nancy Clark (MS, RD) instructs athletes in an article entitled Mastering Sports Nutrition: Tips For Athletesto “Eat protein with at least two meals per day to build, repair and protect your muscles. Peanut butter on toast, turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread and/or spaghetti with meat sauce will do the job. Protein-rich fish—in particular salmon, swordfish, tuna and other oily fishes—offer health-protective fats that reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as cancer and the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis. Target 12 ounces of fish per week (two to three servings).”
Time to get started and pull together your Greek marinade for the swordfish!
In a medium bowl, add in all Greek marinade ingredients. Rapidly whisk the ingredients together until throughly combined and emulsified. This recipe will make about two cups of marinade and you will have extra leftover. It also makes a great vinaigrette for a Greek salad so be sure to store the leftovers in the fridge for up to a week. If you don’t want to make your own dressing, feel free to purchase a store bought Greek dressing from the store such as this Primal Kitchen Greek Dressing. It works just fine.
Remove the swordfish from the fridge. I purchase about two pounds of fresh wild caught swordfish from Whole Foods. I was able to make about six kabobs total with about four large pieces of fish on each one. Cut the fish into 1 1/2 inch cubes if possible. Regardless of the size you ultimately portion out, the goal here is to ensure that all the pieces are relatively the same size so that they cook evenly throughout the kabob.
STEP 2: MARINATE & CHILL
Place the pieces of fish in a large ziplock bag or plastic container and pour in just enough dressing to lightly cover all the pieces. Seal the bag and place into the fridge for 2-3 hours.
STEP 3: SLICE IT UP
While the fish is marinating, begin slicing up your vegetables into even pieces. This is great time to do two things: 1) Ensure that you have placed your wooden skewers into some water so that can soak up the moisture. This will help to minimize the skewers from burning and 2) Start to make the tzatziki sauce while the fish is marinating. Preferably you should make the marinate and tzatziki the day before if possible. I didn’t photograph the process of making the tzatziki, but it's super simple.
For these Greek kabobs I included green zucchini, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and a red onion. You can choose any vegetables you would like.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE & GRILL
When you’re ready to cook the kabobs, remove the fish from the fridge and layout all your ingredients in front of you to assemble the kabobs.
Alternate between fish and vegetables. Combining two to three vegetables together between pieces of fish. When complete, season the kabobs with some salt and additional Greek vinaigrette.
Grill the kabobs directly on the grill grates. Allow them to remain for couple minutes before you try to move them around. Fish will stick to the grill and we want to make sure that it has had enough time to fully release from the grill on its own. We really want to avoid tearing the fish apart. Adjust the heat as necessary to ensure that the kabob isn’t burning. Flip after three or four minutes and let cook additional three to four minutes. Adjust the heat and kabobs until throughly cooked. Remove when fully cooked.
Step 5: EAT!
I can smell these marinated Greek Swordfish Kabobs right through the Internet! Packed full of protein and vegetables, these kabobs will get you on the right track to your recovery or just a fun time around the BBQ with your friends and family. They are perfect for summer. Pair it with a homemade creamy Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce and you're going to be making these all Greek Swordfish Kabobs all summer long!