The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.22.06


BBQ Tandoori Spiced Halibut Fillets with Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

You would never attempt an early grill-athon without having prepared for it.

You've rid the barbecue of spiders and cobwebs, scraped off the remnants of last years late autumn cook-off, and have a full tank of propane or a bag of charcoal waiting, right?

In fact, you are so fastidious that you replaced the burners and igniter, given the grill a nice coat of fresh black stove paint, and are keeping a new fire extinguisher nearby in case of a mishap.

Or did you simply spark up the barbecue and pray that there was enough fuel to burn off any lingering remnants (and flavors) before tossing some burgers and dogs on the grate?

Now that the season has arrived you may want to ensure barbecue success by doing a little outdoor spring-cleaning. At the very least, take a little time to clean and oil your grilling surface so you won't be disappointed. There is nothing worse that running out of fuel mid- way through a nice dish, either.

A generous rub of Indian spices on delicate fish combined with the cool flavor of a traditional cucumber salad make this dish a great start to the barbecue season.

BBQ Tandoori Spiced Halibut Fillets with Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

4 halibut fillets, about 6 ounces each and 1 inch thick

For the rub

1-teaspoon curry powder
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt
1/2-teaspoon ground cumin
1/4-teaspoon turmeric
1/4-teaspoon paprika
1/4-teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

1 cup whole or low fat plain yogurt
1 seedless cucumber, trimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely shredded carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt

For the garlic butter

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic

In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients. Rub the halibut fillets on all sides with the seasoning. Lightly brush both sides of the halibut fillets with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

To prepare the salad: In a medium bowl combine the salad ingredients and stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the garlic butter: Just before serving, heat the butter and garlic in a small skillet over low heat just until the garlic sizzles. Remove from the heat.

Grill the halibut over Direct Medium heat until the fish is just opaque and slightly firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill, brush fish lightly with the garlic butter, and serve with the cucumber salad on the side.