The temperature may be starting to cool, but we’re making the most of our end-of-season grill time with some simple, flavorful, eclectic recipes. This colorful, Polynesian-style tilapia dish was created by Dan Mathieu, one of our favorite Boston caterers and the cofounder of MAX Ultimate Food.
Cedar Smoked Tilapia with Wild Mushrooms & Truffle Oil
Tilapia is generally a farm-raised fish, with very low levels of mercury, and is more sustainable than wild-harvested varieties. Tilapia can become dry pretty quickly, but this recipe allows the fish to remain moist while absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients.
Note: Be careful to monitor the grill flame while cooking; do not let the board catch on fire. If it does, remove it from the grill, set it on a damp towel to extinguish the fire, and then return the board to the grill at a lower heat setting.
1 small red onion
8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms
¼ cup pistachios, shelled
1–2 stems fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper
6 large Swiss chard leaves
2 tilapia fillets (about 8 oz.)
Cedar board, without wood treatments or preservatives, for cooking
1. Finely chop the onion. Sauté with a small amount of olive oil till tender.
2. While the onions are cooking, finely chop the mushrooms. Add them to the pan with the onion and sauté for a couple minutes more. Place in a bowl and let cool.
3. Finely chop the pistachios. Add to the mushroom mixture. Chop the tarragon and add to the mixture. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a sauté pan, bring a couple of inches of water to a boil. Place the Swiss chard leaves in the pan for about 30 seconds, till wilted. Drain and set aside on a sheet pan or plate. Cut off the firm stem attachments at the bottom of each leaf.
4. Cut the tilapia fillets into three pieces. On top of a wilted Swiss chard leaf, arrange one piece of tilapia. Add a bit of the mushroom mixture, and sprinkle the mushrooms with a small amount of truffle oil. Wrap the Swiss chard leaf around the tilapia and mushrooms, till it forms a pillow. Place directly onto a lightly oiled piece of cedar. Repeat with other tilapia pieces and mushroom mixture.
5. Turn the grill to high and let it heat to about 450 degrees. Place the cedar board directly on the grill and turn the flame to low. Cook for 12–15 minutes. Serve on a buffet directly on the cedar board.
Dan Mathieu, the creator and original owner of East Meets West Catering, has pushed the boundaries of the established Boston catering market with new and exciting concepts in menus, presentation, and service. Dan’s fresh approach to entertaining has garnered a strong and devoted following with both private and corporate clients. Teaming up with hospitality expert Neal Balkowitsch, Dan cofounded MAX Ultimate Food, a catering company that has refreshed Boston’s party scene.