Friday, July 13, 2007

Marinated, Grilled Pacific Salmon at the...

Ready for HOTM #5? Joanna and Ilva have been building a heart-healthy databank of recipes from food bloggers around the globe. I love this growing collection of recipes for the inspiration it gives me and for the reminder that adapting heart healthy eating habits is, indeed, a diet for life. Now in its fifth month, the theme is Waterlife and it's not just about fish, but anything that swims. Go to their blog, The Heart of the Matter, and read all about it. If you'd like to join in, send your post to them by July 23rd.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of heart-healthy seafood is salmon. Pink-fleshed, moist, firm, delicious wild-caught Pacific salmon. Marinated and grilled in summer or poached in an herb-y white wine stock in winter, it's one of my favorite foods.

Salmon is packed with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflamation, reduce blood clots, lower bad cholesterol and strengthen the immune system.

What I offer here today is not just any salmon, but salmon out of our local, cold Pacific waters. Straight from our neighbor's boat and into my freezer this past May, we shared the last of it recently when Mr CC's family came to the wilds of northern California to camp and spend a week visiting with us.

Asian-Style Marinated, Grilled Salmon
Christine's original recipe
Ingredients (approximate, as I don't measure):
1 large shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup lightly seasoned rice wine vinegar
juice from 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons organic, wheat-free soy sauce
6 salmon filets (about 2 pounds), skin left on

Combine all the ingredients except the salmon, whisking well. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I sometimes add a touch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black peppercorns. If the citrus is sour, I might add a pinch of sugar.
Lay the salmon filets in an oblong glass baking dish and pour the marinade over to cover.
Seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, no longer than 45 minutes as you don't want to "cook" the flesh, turning the filets over halfway through the process.
As we use a gas grill, the following instructions are for that beast only.
Remove the fish from the marinade.
Spray a fish holder (I know it has a name, but I'm forgetting it at the moment) with olive oil and lay the marinated salmon filets in side by side, fitting them snugly. We had to use several of these for 6 filets.
With the grill set at about 425 degrees, lay the salmon skin side down and close the grill lid for about 4 minutes. If flareups occur you can lower the heat but not below 375.
Open the lid and check the salmon. You want the flesh to yield a bit when pressed with a finger.
Flip the fish and place sunny-side down on the grill for 3-4 more minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets. You want those great grill marks but you don't want to overcook the fish. The flesh should be very moist and just cooked through.
Remove from the grill and allow to sit for just a few moments, where it will continue to cook until perfect.

Cook's Notes:
My notes from this dinner tell me that we served the salmon with a bulgar pilaf made with sauteed, chopped portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers, zucchini and sweet onion, a green salad with garden-fresh (ok, farmers market-fresh)tomatoes and cucumbers, and corn on the cob. For dessert we had homemade, low fat, sugar-free Tahitian vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries swimming in raspberry wine, which will be the subject of another post.

People said, "Yum!"

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