Grilled tilapia

Grilling fish wrapped in leaves is a technique utilized in other cuisines, mostly Asian and Mexican. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

2. Thoroughly mix sugar, mustard, chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Place salmon on plate, skin side down. Spread sugar mixture thickly over the top of the fillets. If desired, refrigerate the fish for up to several hours.

3. Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a charcoal grill.

4. Remove the planks from the water and place fish on them, leaving a little space between each fish. Place on the grill. Cover the grill; cook without turning the fish, until the fish almost flakes, 10-12 minutes. Remove planks from grill. Carefully transfer fish to heated serving plates. Garnish with some fresh herbs; serve immediately.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 437 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 45 g protein, 449 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

Grilled tilapia in banana leaves with mango-red onion relish

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: Serve the fish with basmati rice. If banana leaves are unavailable, line a square of foil with escarole or spinach leaves and wrap the fish up in the leaves and foil.


4 squares, each about 14 inches, of fresh or frozen thawed banana leaves

4 thick tilapia fillets, about 6 ounces each

2 tablespoons Indian-style curry paste or red or green Thai curry paste thinned with a little water

2 large ripe mangoes

1 medium red onion

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish

Juice of 1/2 lime

1Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium heat.

2Lay leaves on work surface. Top each with a piece of fish. Smear fish generously with curry paste on one side. Wrap to completely enclose fish in leaves. Secure leaf with a wooden pick.

3Cut mango along the pit into thick slabs, leaving the skin on. Cut onion into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle mango and onion slices with olive oil and salt. Grill directly over the heat, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board.

4Add fish packets to grill. Cover grill; cook without turning until fish nearly flakes when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a knife, usually 6 minutes.

5Meanwhile, dice onion. Cut mango flesh away from skin into small pieces. Mix onion and mango in small bowl with parsley. Season with lime juice and more olive oil (usually 1 teaspoon) and salt to taste.

6To serve, open fish packets; top with mango-onion relish. Garnish with parsley.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 354 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 152 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 46 g protein, 484 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

Grilled potato packets
Place a 20-inch length of heavy-duty foil on the counter. Place another 20-inch length across it to form a cross. Place 1 1/2 pounds scrubbed-clean small (2-inch diameter) mixed potatoes (cut in half) in center of the foil. Drizzle generously with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Top with several fresh herb sprigs (such as rosemary, thyme, parsley) and generous grindings of salt and pepper. Wrap tightly to completely enclose potatoes. Place packet directly over the coals. Grill until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Discard herbs before serving.