When you think about a traditional Thanksgiving feast, more of us would probably have turkey and maybe even ham on the menu. But not everybody considers that the perfect Thanksgiving meal especially those who aren’t big on those types of meats.
There are quite a few folks out there who would prefer a pescatarian type, which simply means they prefer fish and shellfish, such as lobster, shrimp, etc., to any other type of meat. One of the absolute best choices for your Thanksgiving meal is salmon with, of course, all the amazing trimmings, which includes mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing and cranberries.
One of the best fish Thanksgiving dishes we’ve come across is grilled cedar-planked salmon. Make sure you get the wild-caught Pacific salmon and you can go with King, Sockeye or Chinook because they’re all great. The best part of this dish is that you don’t have to do much with the fish. Dress the salmon with lemon, rosemary, chunky kosher salt and very light olive oil and fire up the grill.
If you have a charcoal grill, let the coals get white and then put the planks directly on top of them. The planks will keep the fish from catching fire. If you use a gas grill, place the planks in the center and turn the fire to medium/high. Depending on the thickness of the salmon, they should only cook for approximately eight minutes. When the edges start getting a bit charred and the top of the plank starts to blister, it’s done.
When you live in this area, there are plenty of varieties of fish you could serve for Thanksgiving as Tennessee boasts about 315 species of fish. However, only about 12 percent of those are considered game fish. Among those, trout, bass and catfish are some of the tastiest.
Rainbow trout, because it’s dense, with a fair amount of oil in the flesh is a great choice and it’s less likely to stick to the grill than other fish. Grilled trout fillets with crunchy pine nut lemon topping, which takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook, would be a great choice as the main course for Thanksgiving dinner.
Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 skin-on trout fillets (each about 1/2 in. thick)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup panko
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 medium cloves)
- About 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons very finely shredded lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 medium heads radicchio (see Notes)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 long metal skewers
To prepare, toast the pine nuts in a wide (not nonstick) frying pan over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and add panko. Toast panko, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add anchovies and garlic and combine. Add the panko mixture to the pine nuts, stir in 1/4 tsp. salt, the lemon zest, and parsley.
Be sure to preheat your grill to high. Cut each radicchio head in half, cut each half into 3 wedges, and brush cut sides with olive oil, then place wedges onto metal skewers, three on each skewer. Grill radicchio skewers (close lid on gas grill) for 2 minutes and then turn. Brush fish on both sides with olive oil and grill, skin side down, 3 to 4 minutes (close lid on gas grill), or until they look opaque and loosen easily. Gently turn fish over (close lid on gas grill) and cook 1 minute more. Move fillets to plates and radicchio to a cutting board. Season fish with salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice to taste.
Finally, remove skewers from grilled radicchio and chop radicchio. Toss with remaining lemon juice and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil into panko and spoon over flesh side of fish and serve with radicchio.
If you’ve never had fish for Thanksgiving, give it a try! We’re betting you’ll love the change of pace and might even make a pescatarian meal your choice again next year!