Grilled AJ steaks and roasted vegetables

Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
Real simple one here, but it was good...

Caught a 53 lb amberjack last Saturday (video and report here... http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?56325-Pananam-City-Offshore-5-26-12-limit-of-red-grouper-and-a-colorful-box ), and like many of the larger jacks, most of the tail section got tossed. It was 100% worm laden. The front 3/4 of the top loin was pretty clean though, so I carefully removed all the bloodline and then made some steaks last night.

Used a very complicated marinade on the steaks... Italian dressing. After that they got grilled.

With the fish and rice (rice on my plate only, she's still going low-carb) went some roasted red bell peppers and broccoli. We lightly salt and peppered the bell peppers and broccoli, then a touch of EVOO and in they went with some sliced garlic. Once close to finished we pulled them out and grated onto them a little bit of lemon zest. Followed that up with some parmesan cheese and set to the side. We then coated some pine nuts in olive oil and roasted them until the got jsut a little bit of color to them. Mixed the vegetables, cheese, lemon zest, pine nuts, garlic and oil all together and plated it with the grilled jack.

Pretty tasty and it was quick and easy too!

AJdinner.jpg?t=1338385830
AJdinner2.jpg?t=1338385830
AJdinner3.jpg?t=1338385835
"Whatcha doin' in my waters?"

Replies

  • Key LimeKey Lime Posts: 360 Officer
    Nice job! Guess I'll have to go nail an AJ and give it a try.
  • BeckBeck Posts: 2,332 Captain
    For the life of me I can't understand why AJ's get such a bad rap......it's one of my favorites.


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  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Beck wrote: »
    For the life of me I can't understand why AJ's get such a bad rap......it's one of my favorites.

    I'm certain because, "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..."

    This guy was pretty eaten up with them towards the tail section, the big balls of them. Quite unappetizing. I just chopped that section off and pretended I never saw it. After that it was good to go. I like it grilled fresh, but I'll even freeze it some times and then use it in an onion / tomato creol type deal with some shrimp. Basically boil the AJ and then use about a cup of that water as your stock. Flake the fish adn it stays together very well.

    Other problem is folks don't take the time to remove all the bloodline. You saw those steaks of mine in Picture 1. Clean as they could be! That makes a big difference.

    But folks hatred of AJ does crack me up. So many folks out there that will happily take a mealy mush beeliner home because it's red, or a king, but they turn their nose up at jacks. Whatever.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,303 Officer
    I got grossed out by the worms before but I'm ready to take another crack at eating aj's. Those steaks look delicious! I can't tell my wife about worms in fish or she'd freak out. Luckily she doesn't like to watch the filet process so I can take care of them without her knowing. Thanks for posting and congrats on a great catch of fish.
  • BeckBeck Posts: 2,332 Captain
    jakedge wrote: »
    I got grossed out by the worms before but I'm ready to take another crack at eating aj's. Those steaks look delicious! I can't tell my wife about worms in fish or she'd freak out. Luckily she doesn't like to watch the filet process so I can take care of them without her knowing. Thanks for posting and congrats on a great catch of fish.

    Give them another shot. I do them just like PH. Marinate in Italian dressing and lemon juice, and I brush the leftover marinade on while grilling. When they come off, I squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them.


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  • robalorogrobalorog Posts: 497 Deckhand
    Steaks look great.. Italian dressing is on of my favorite marinades. Love it on fish,chicken and ribs..
  • Darylb23Darylb23 Posts: 254 Deckhand
    Great looking plate.
    South River Outfitters Fishing Team - KayakBassFishing.com AmBASSador
  • EASTINFECTIONEASTINFECTION Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    I have the best Aj recipe ever:
    Remove all bad sections of the worm infested area, cut steaks remove all blood lines in fish . Fire up the grill at this point, get your trusty ole cedar plank out give it a quick soak. Take the steaks marinade them with olive oil and prefered spices, actually put as much spices on the steaks that will stick. Now take those worm free steaks put them on the board cook high temp for 45 mins remove the steaks and the planks out the grill. Let everything sit for at least 10 min for cooling purpose only. Now take the steaks off of the plank wrap them in foil and place into garbage can, and now you can eat the planks. The planks have a nice fishy taste but sometimes a little tough to cut. I could not resist sharing this fantastic recipe with my fellow Aj consumers.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    I have the best Aj recipe ever:
    Remove all bad sections of the worm infested area, cut steaks remove all blood lines in fish . Fire up the grill at this point, get your trusty ole cedar plank out give it a quick soak. Take the steaks marinade them with olive oil and prefered spices, actually put as much spices on the steaks that will stick. Now take those worm free steaks put them on the board cook high temp for 45 mins remove the steaks and the planks out the grill. Let everything sit for at least 10 min for cooling purpose only. Now take the steaks off of the plank wrap them in foil and place into garbage can, and now you can eat the planks. The planks have a nice fishy taste but sometimes a little tough to cut. I could not resist sharing this fantastic recipe with my fellow Aj consumers.

    Did you come up with that recipe on your own? I've never heard that before.

    I promise that to most folks, my AJ steaks aren't nearly as revolting as your screen name on a kitchen forum.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,120 AG
    Looks excellent :thumbsup
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • EASTINFECTIONEASTINFECTION Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Sorry dude I was just trying to throw in a lil humor nothing towards you . I will get back on track. There is nothing wrong with Aj.
  • SpineymanSpineyman Posts: 7,920 Admiral
    Try alittle Tony Chachere's on one side and lemon pepper on the other and grill to perfection and enjoy. I'm with you Beck, Amberjack is killer, smaller is better.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Sorry dude I was just trying to throw in a lil humor nothing towards you . I will get back on track. There is nothing wrong with Aj.

    Nothing towards this "dude" other than some worn out cedar plank recipe, and a little jab. Right? Hahahahaha... I get it now. Awesome humor.

    ;-)

    Just messin' around. No big deal. My attempt at humor must have been lost as well; your screen name on a Kitchen Forum... I mean really, ewww. Gross enough that it's actaully kind of funny, actually.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    Any advice on how to get those steaks as clean as yours? Do you freeze the fish whole for 5-10 mins to stiffen 'em up? A nice report on steaking a fish would be sweet!
    Heroes On the Water
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  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    No. No freezing involoved.

    I do a couple things different than some folks. Keep in mind, these steaks were off a 53# fish, so I had a lot of meat to work with. In my opnion, the bigger a jack is the better. Even on small ones, my steaks come out just as pretty, it's jsut a little moer work.

    When I go to clean, i don't filet the whole side off. There is a ton of meat right there around the back bone that can be hard to get if you try to take all the filet off at once. For this reason, I clean my jacks and cobia like this... even better on cobes because of their shape. They always want to roll on you... this method really helps out.

    cobiadock3.jpg

    Top loins from that cobia about to be further trimmed in the kitchen.
    cobiadinner.jpg

    Grill time... 100% white meat.
    cobiadinner3.jpg

    Here's a diagram.

    Cut fromt he 9:00 position first, then I come in from up top.

    filetbigbonedfish.jpg?t=1340114919

    Lay fish on its side and cut down it's side... hopefully puttin the tip of the knife right on his backbone. In from the side, and then hitting his backbone at 9:00 (if fish is upright like swimming and you'er looking forward with him. AKA: his port side). Do this from head to tail, following the 9:00 position on his back bone. Then come in from the top right along the long thin bones that run from backbone to dorsal fin. This will ENSURE that you save all of the meat that is shown as red in teh diagram above. If you try to just filet like you would a small boned fish, not matter how careful you are (espeically on cumbersome big fish) you end up losing a lot of that pink colored meat... that which is inboard of the blue line.

    Anyway, that's how I filet bigger fish and it really allows you to save a lot of good meat.

    Once that is done I go ahead and steak the loins into 8-10" pieces and get back on ice immediately. Then back at the house in the AC with a very sharp knife... just whittle away all the blood line. If the knife is real sharp and your fish is cold it's very easy. Some of the meat that we saved by the technique that I outlined is a bit bloody but for the most part it's pretty white. By saving that, you can now take alot of that blood tissue off the skin side. Because we went ahead and chopped our loins into 8-10" pieces, getting the bloodline off the skin side is much easier becaus you're not battleing the entire loin. Just lay it on the table skin side down, come up just enough to get rid of the bloodline, and then move the 10" section of loin past your knife, while moving knife back and forht just atouch if you need to. Left on the table should be a paper thin piece of filet that is primarily blood line. In your other hand is a perfecet piece ready to be cut into steaks at whatever thickness you prefer.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    EXCELLENT diagram and advice! Nice MS pain skills :hail

    I'll do that next time I'm lucky to geta nice big 'ole fish. Do you just filet the rest down to the belly? or make another "loin" as you did before?
    Heroes On the Water
    South Florida Chapter Coordinator
    https://www.facebook.com/HOWSouthFloridaChapter

    "Helping find peace for those who fought to defend it!" :USA
    FREEDOM CAPTURED!

    FSU Alumni GO NOLES!!! >>
    >

    2013 Hobie Outback
  • FS DavidFS David Posts: 297 Deckhand
    Yeah, really nice diagram. Do you fillet tuna this way too, blackfin and yellowfin?
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    1. Yep. Same way for tuna... if i'm lucky enough to stumble across one. On a small blackfin I'll do it in one cut. On bigger ones this technique is the way to go, though.

    2. On the bottom side... Well, do top first. Then for the bottom, run a slit down the belly. When you hit the **** you're back to edible flesh. At that point start on one end (either at the caudal fin, or there at the ****) and run your knife as close as you can to the bones that go from backbone to bottom fin, and all the way to the backbone. That bottom section will pretty much break free then. You can remove ALL meat this way on any fish, but the real beauty is that it allows you to remove all meat on bigger fish with ease. On smaller fish and those with less pronounced of backbone, I don't worry so much about it. Have never done it on a grouper (up to 52#) or snapper (up to 25#) just because I don't steak the loins like i would for cobe, tuna, AJ, etc. Also, I can get almost all that meat without splitting the filet in two... even though back at the house I usually do anyway.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • FS DavidFS David Posts: 297 Deckhand
    yes, good explanation. Thank you. This technique reminds me of the way the meat comes off a large whole baked fish, bigger than 5 pounds, when you want to serve it without bones (or with as few as possible). WHen it's cooked, you run a knife, even a butter knife, along the lines you describe pretty much and the fillet lifts off really well, sometimes whole, or sometimes in the two parts that you describe. (ALso good to keep this in mind if you bake smaller fish, like a one or two pound snapper).
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    I bake small fish whole all the time... barely legal scamp, sea bass, lane snapper, black snapper. So easy and so good.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
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