Treats from the Summer Grill

A light main course should allow your guests the opportunity to enjoy the citrus cheesecake which can be prepared days in advance.

June 18, 2009 | | Back Issues | Departments | Food | Summer 2009 | The Country Cook

Marinated Barbequed Trout ~ Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Marinated Barbequed Trout ~ Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

There is nothing quite so tantalizing as the aroma from the summer barbeque. But if you’re still just using the barbeque for burgers and beef, you’re missing out. The barbeque also adds delicious distinction to fish and vegetables. Fish is easy to prepare, and, cooked properly, remains succulent and moist. Vegetables can be brushed with oil and cooked right on the grill, or dressed with butter and wrapped in foil. Even firm fruits, such as pineapple, take on another dimension when grilled.

Preheating the grill and wiping it with oil-dipped paper towels is the best method to prevent the fish from sticking. Scoring the skin will prevent the fish from buckling if cooked at too high a temperature. We prefer to use a well-oiled fish basket which allows the fish to be flipped easily. Grilled asparagus or zucchini along with a green salad would be our choice to accompany the main course.

To begin our summer feast, we feature gnocchi with tomato sauce. There is nothing to compare with a sun-ripened summer tomato. However, if you prepare this dish in the winter, we recommend using canned plum tomatoes.

Gnocchi is a very affordable appetizer and can be prepared with the addition of finely chopped spinach. The gnocchi may be made hours in advance and kept refrigerated and covered on a tray prior to boiling.

A light main course should allow your guests the opportunity to enjoy the citrus cheesecake which can be prepared days in advance.

Soy and Orange Marinated Barbequed Trout

2 pan-dressed trout, each
1 1/2 – 2lb | 0.7 – 1kg


  • 1 1/2 c | 375 ml cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml rice vinegar
  • 6 tbsp | 90 ml soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp | 22 ml sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp | 30 ml freshly chopped ginger

Mix the marinade ingredients together. Place the fish into a casserole pan and cover with the marinade 30 minutes prior to grilling. Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal and burn until the coals are partially covered with ash (about 20-25 minutes). Arrange the coals over the bottom of the grill and insert rack. Cover and heat until the rack is hot, then coat with oil. As a general rule, the coals are ready for fish when you can comfortably hold your hand a little above the grill for no more than 3 to 4 seconds.

Remove the fish from the marinade and place on the grill or in a basket skin side up and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning only once. Serves 8.

Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Sauce


  • 6 fresh beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1/4 c | 60 ml extra virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbsp | 15 ml fresh basil
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml sugar
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 1/2 lbs | 1.25 kg potatoes
  • 2/3 c | 150 ml all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp | 10 ml salt
  • 1/4 tsp | 1 ml pepper
  • 3 tbsp | 45 ml grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Chop the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Chop the celery finely, shred the carrot and add to the pan. Add the basil and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes. Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan. Simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add sugar if necessary.

Peel the potatoes and boil in a large pot of water for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and put through a ricer or a food grinder. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Place the potato mixture in a large bowl and add the flour, egg yolks, cheese and salt and pepper. Mix to a dough. Add more flour if required.

Lightly flour a cutting board. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll out each portion to a sausage shape about 3/4″ thick. Cut the rolls into 1″ slices and shape each one into an oval. Press each oval against a floured fork to indent one side with a pattern. Place the gnocchi onto a floured tray in a single layer and keep covered until ready to use.

When the water has come to the boil, drop in a few gnocchi at a time. When they are done, they will float to the top. This will take 2-3 minutes. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place in a layer into a buttered baking dish. Cover the gnocchi with a layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c | 250 ml sugar
  • 5 packages cream cheese (8 oz | 225 g each)
  • 1 tbsp | 15 ml grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml lemon juice


  • 2 1/2 c | 625 ml graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp | 30 ml sugar

Mix the crackers, butter and sugar together and press into an 8″ springform pan. In a food processor, mix the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, rind and cream cheese until smooth. Pour over the cracker crust. Place the springform pan into a larger baking dish and pour hot water around the pan (to about 1″ deep). Place immediately into a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the centre is set. When ready to serve, if desired, decorate with a dollop of whipped cream and a raspberry on top of each portion. Serves 8.

About the Author More by Sandra Cranston-Corradini

Sandra Cranston-Corradini is the proprietor of the Cranston-Corradini School of Cooking.

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