September 4, 2018
People often take a lot of time preparing for cooking seafood on the grill. You have to decide what type of fillets you’re going to grill. Then you must decide what style of cuisine to lean towards. Are you going with a New England style dish with light seasoning, butter, and lemon? What about Tex-Mex with chili powder and cumin? Don’t forget about Cajun Blackened!
So, with all that time invested in the actual meal, why screw things up with a boring store-bought tartar sauce? It’s a well-known fact around the house that I’m a tartar sauce junky and I can safely state that I have not purchased tartar sauce in years! In all honesty, even if it is a meal of flash-frozen fish sticks from the Mega Mart, I will end up making some sort of homemade sauce.
My philosophy is to make a simple base recipe for the sauce and then go in different directions depending on what type of flavor you’re looking for. That’s where this recipe comes into play. The recipe starts like any basic tartar sauce using mayo and relish with a dash of seafood seasoning.
It may not be considered a “real” tartar sauce by some chefs out there. There are no capers or minced olives in this version of tartar sauce as would be found in the classic culinary recipe. This recipe is geared towards real home kitchens using basic ingredients. The great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust as you desire. That is a common theme in many of my recipes.
Now let’s get started. I want to keep the flavor of my fish filets as natural as possible, so I try not to overdo the seasoning used on the fish unless I’m making a blackened version. So, I add the spices to the sauce. This way you can taste the fish and enjoy some additional flavor… with a little zing to it!
Zesty Tartar Sauce for Your Grilled Filets
This is a onetime use recipe. You can store it for a day, covered, in the fridge if needed. However; the lemon or lime juice will start breaking down the mayo. It will lose its visual appeal and flavor. So stick to small and fresh batches!
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 tablespoon onion grated
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 tablespoon Dijon mustard if desired
Dash of lemon or lime juice
Dash of parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Several dashes of seafood seasoning
Mix all the above ingredients together thoroughly. Chill before serving.