Monday, July 23, 2012
GRILLED LEMON-DILL WILD-CAUGHT SALMON
There is a notable difference in the taste and texture of fresh wild-caught salmon versus frozen and thawed. I buy salmon all year long, so I'm not against frozen and thawed, so long as it's US (preferably Alaskan) fish. I never buy farm-raised salmon. Besides the higher PCB count, it's also been fed antibiotics. And, anyway, it doesn't taste anything like wild-caught salmon. Wild-caught salmon is delicate but full of flavor. (True disclosure: Wild-caught salmon is started in a controlled environment, then released to the "wild" at puberty so it can be "caught." While it is not as nutritious as 100% wild salmon, it's affordable for the masses and better than 100% farm-raised salmon.)
I buy wild-caught salmon at Harris Teeter. Fresh Alaskan salmon is only available for a select number of months a year, roughly May to September. After that, it's frozen, but still very good. There are many ways to cook salmon, but I usually look for something easy and quick and preferably for the grill. The flavors of lemon, dill and garlic marry perfectly with the mild, flavorful salmon. Any leftovers make a great sandwich the next day, or can be chopped up on a tossed salad.
Grilled Lemon-Dill Wild-Caught Salmon
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: For each 4-6 oz. serving piece of salmon, use the following:
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, grated finely
1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped dill weed + sprig of dill weed for garnish
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt or Diamond kosher salt
2 big pinches of white pepper
In plastic resealable bag, combine juice, zest, oil, garlic and dill weed. Salt and pepper both sides of salmon, then add to marinade bag. Refrigerate 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes. Any longer and the citrus will start to cook the fish.
In the meantime, start the grill and get it to hot, about 400-425F. Oil the grates with a paper towel folded over and dipped in vegetable oil. Hold the paper towel with long tongs and rub over the grates to season them. (There may be a flareup, so be careful.)
Place the fish on the oiled grates. Close lid. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fish and desired degree of doneness. I like my salmon rare. If you like yours medium or well done, leave on grill 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to a plate, so it can rest for 5-10 minutes and finish cooking, just like a piece of meat. The microwave oven (turned off, of course) is a great place for that. Serve garnished with a dill sprig and a wedge of lemon.