Grilling Salmon

Sunday night is generally my night to cook (when I feel like it!), and, well, Sunday I felt like it. I wanted the dinner to be special, but not too frilly–this had been a big eating week, including Bonefish Grill the night before–so I left it up to Jay to decide. I knew I wanted something seafood and I wanted to grill, so we eventually decided on Fennel and Coriander Spiced Salmon with Grilled Radicchio Salad (recipe courtesy August 2007 Bon Appetit).

ingredients-salmon.jpg

After a trip to Fresh Market, it was time to get to grilling. (Above pictured are the ingredients, or some of them, minus the couscous). I had never grilled before from start to finish (other than one attempt on my parents’ gas grill where I caught my mom’s eyebrows on fire …. that’s another story) so this was a learning process. I had vague ideas of how to use the charcoal chimney, but nothing really about timing and how long things would take. First, time to light the charcoal!


charcoal

While the charcoal was getting all nice and toasty, I started to prep the ingredients.

First, the salmon:

salmon-pre.jpg

Time to prep with crushed fennel and coriander seeds, olive oil, and salt and pepper:

salmon-spiced.jpg

Now that that’s ready, time to prep the vegetables. This includes radicchio, romaine lettuce, red lettuce and green onions. Cut the lettuces and radiccio into quarters with core remaining (easier to flip), trim the green onions, drizzle with oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

greens-pre.jpg

First I grilled the salmon, 4 minutes on each side, skin side down first (the recipe called for skinless salmon, something I overlooked, but it turned out great all the same). Then it was time to grill the greens until they started to wilt.

greens-grill.jpg

I might have grilled them a little too long, because they were pretty soggy when I pulled them off. Never fear!

greens-off.jpg

The dressing for the greens called for sherry vinegar, fresh dill, dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil. Whisk together, toss with the greens, and you get the finished salad. Because the salmon I bought was a pound, I cut it in half (half for me, half for Jay!), then plated it with the salad. Add a Diet Dr. Pepper, and you get a good-looking dinner!

plate-1.jpg

Here’s a closer shot:

plate-2.jpg

The salmon was perfectly cooked and flavorful, but I was expecting a little more of a punch. I didn’t have a spice grinder, just a plastic baggie and a rolling pin, so maybe if the spices had been more finely ground it would have made a difference. Nevertheless, it was really good, especially for my first attempt at grilling. The salad was a little soggy, which was probably due to grilling it for too long, but the dressing was really, really great and definitely helped save the greens. I like the dressing so much, I might use it as a marinade or in something else. The dill and dijon and sherry vinegar were very well balanced. I had to throw a little salt on my salad.

We had some white nectarines, and I always like something sweet, so I decided to throw them on the grill as well. Sprinkled with some sugar (splenda in this household, I know), drizzled with a little honey, and had ourselves a good little dessert. Because they were white nectarines, they weren’t as pungent as peaches and the flavor was lighter, so most of the sweetness came from the honey. If I grilled them again, I might try to make a more subtle sauce or something to drizzle over it.

necs.jpg

Overall, a pretty good meal. I might not make the greens again, but the salmon will definitely make a reappearance, maybe with a little tweaking. Needless to say, it was a very good debut to cooking with the grill, and I’m definitely coming back.

By: Jenny

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