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Dash of Grace: Fish baskets not just for decoration

Grace removes chicken and vegetables from the grill.
Grace removes chicken and vegetables from the grill.

I got a new toy and I tried it out this week. After receiving a gift certificate to the “Cook’s Corner” in Sterling in October, my daughter and I went there and we found the cutest gadgets you have ever seen.

What caught my eye immediately was a bright, shiny, copper barbecue fish basket. I had not used it because, for one, I don’t especially like to cook fish, but mainly, because the beautiful copper fish basket looked so pretty hanging on my kitchen wall.

It is about 2 feet long, hinged in the middle. It has crisscross sides that fold together. You put your fish inside, latch it loosely and either lay it on the grill or hold it over the top.

I chose tilapia because it is easy to cook, cooks in about 10 minutes, and I have cooked it before.

I chose frozen blackened tilapia, then added some of my own herbs and spices to suit my taste. If you have not been growing your own herbs and spices, try it next year. They are easy to grow and don’t take up much space. I grow mine in window boxes on the front porch.

SVM photographer Alex Paschal was here to do his magic. In fact, it was Alex who nudged me into trying the fish basket.

“Are you ever going to use that thing, or are you just going to let it hang on the wall?” he asked one day.

I have not used this type of fish cooker before, so when you try it, please send me some recipes that work for you, and any tricks you used.

Charred tilapia Parmesan

Blackened prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ready: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

In a medium-size bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients:

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder

1⁄8 teaspoon celery salt

2 pounds tilapia fillets

Turn to medium heat on the grill, then load with barbecue. Preheat your barbecue grill and grease in a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

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