With spring in the air and warmer temperatures, it's nice get outside after a long day's work inside, and enjoy the fresh air. It's also a great time to cook and eat outdoors, and extend your time outside, instead of in the kitchen. I think too often we save the grill for weekend or just hamburgers and hot dogs, when in fact grilling provides many opportunities and benefits. It cuts down on dishes, it adds great texture and flavor, and it is especially apt to quick cooking times, a must for work week meals. As you will continue to learn about me as you follow this blog, I use my grill a lot, all year long...even through or long snowy winter in upstate New York, not unlike parts of Newfoundland. I use it for most every kind of protein...beef, pork, chicken, some fish and shellfish, and lots of veggies too.
Grilled Salmon with Asparagus and Eggplant
For the vegetables, the prep work is simple and can be done quickly.
For the asparagus, wash and trim the tough stalk end. I bend one to see where it breaks, if they are all about the same thickness, I line them up and cut off all the end at once, up to the break on the snap test. For thick spears, I peel the outer part with a vegetable peeler. The ends may be saved in a freezer bag and used in your next soup stock.
Bring a large enough pot of salted water to a boil, and partially cook (blanch) the asparagus for 5 minutes. remove blanched asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and help them retain a bright green colour. When you are ready to grill them, dry them with a towel and season with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
For the eggplant, simply trim the ends, and slice into rounds, about a centimeter thick. before grilling, brush each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
For the salmon, I suggest using a half pound per person. Leave the skin on (remove scales) and season portions with olive oil, salt and pepper. For this meal I added some lemon grill seasoning, but I often switch it up with one of my homemade spice rubs (e.g. Cajun, southwest, blackening, etc) or use some Old Bay Seasoning.
Preheat the grill on high for 5 minutes and give it a spray with cooking spray or wipe it down with an oiled paper towel. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes. As tempting as it may be, do not try and move the salmon, especially if it is stuck. It will release itself. After 4 minutes, flip and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness. I usually allow for 8 minutes per inch, but it really depends on your taste. I like my salmon the moment the rawness leaves the flesh, while my wife likes a hint of raw flesh through the middle, and some like it more raw, or more cooked. What ever you do, do not cook it so much that it becomes dry. Remember, the fish will continue to cook internally once you remove it from the heat. If you are new to grilling (or broiling) salmon, this will take a little trial and error to get it down to a science, but that is one of the fun thing's about cooking...learning as you go. When you remove your fish, season it with a touch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.
While the salmon is cooking, you can also cook the vegetables, as they do not take long at all. Begin with the eggplant. Brush each side with the oil, season it, and lay over the hot grill. Cook until they have nice grill marks and flip. The asparagus will only take a few minutes since they have been blanched, so you can add them once you flip the salmon. Using tongs, mix the asparagus with the oil and lay on the grill. Be careful not to let them burn, and rotate them every so often.
Once the veggies are are cooked, I like to season them. For this meal I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika. Served with a cold glass of beer (golden lager) or chardonnay, and this meal will impress your family/friends and satisfy your taste buds.
A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.
This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.