BEATRICE, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When it comes to great fish for backyard grilling, Pompano is a flavorful, easy-to-prepare choice. In the first episode of Exmark’s new Prime Cuts video series, former Iron Chef Showdown winner, David Bancroft teams up with four-time James Beard Award semi-finalist – Best Chef South, Chef Rob McDaniel, to demonstrate how to grill the perfect Pompano.
According to McDaniel, Pompano is a Gulf Coast favorite, and for good reason.
“I feel like Pompano is one of the most flavorful fish that comes out of the Gulf,” he says. “This time of year is the perfect time for grilling up Pompano, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Pompano filets should be prepared for grilling by lightly brushing each side of the filet with peanut oil then salt and pepper, skin side first. McDaniel advises not to use too much peanut oil on the filet.
“When you’re cooking on a hot grill, if you get too much oil, you get that soot on the outside, and that’s just burnt oil flavor,” he says. “That’s not what we’re looking for.”
McDaniel says a key to cooking Pompano is a “ripping hot” 600-degree grill and having the patience to not touch the filet until it’s mostly cooked.
“Put it into the grill skin side down, and don’t touch it,” he says. “You’ve got to let it cook and do its thing. Patience is the name of the game.”
McDaniel advises cooking the filet almost completely on the skin side, flipping it at the end to finish. If the skin sticks to the grill, he says the filet has either been flipped too soon, or the grill isn’t hot enough.
“I think when cooking hot you stand less of a chance of drying the filet out as well,” he says. “A lower temperature and a longer cook time is just going to pull moisture out, dehydrating it, basically.”
Once grilling is finished, McDaniel recommends letting the filets rest for a minute or so, then placing them on a combination of fresh onions and pickled peppers and onions.
“These peppers and the acidity is going to go great with the oil in the fish,” he says.
Top the filets with breadcrumbs made of a combination of ciabatta bread, lemon zest and garlic butter. The result is a sweet, smoky and savory fresh flavor, with flavors that perfectly complement each other.
McDaniel says this recipe works well with a number of fish varieties, including Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Cobia and more.
Watch the complete Prime Cuts episode, plus bonus content, complete recipes, cooking prep tips and more at Exmark.com/Backyard. Also, check out each of the Exmark Original Series on the site, including Done-In-A-Weekend Projects, Done-In-A-Weekend Extreme Projects and Dream Yards.
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With a focus on giving home and acreage owners tips and know-how to make the most of their outdoor experience and live more life outdoors, Backyard Life is a unique one-of-a-kind multimedia destination. Content focuses on lawn-and-garden, outdoor cooking and living, and rural lifestyles. Learn more at Exmark.com/Backyard.