Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salmon Quick, Salmon Delicious

I think most people that cook with an regularity have a group of recipes that fall under the "Easy and Good" category. There are just some nights where the whole thing is so last minute that you know you're going to have to pull one of the Easy and Good recipes from your arsenal.

I have a client that is particularly difficult when it comes to wanting everything right away. Everything is a crisis and needs to handled immediately. I spent the majority of the afternoon jumping through hoops. Needless to say, last night was one of those last minute meals.

Enter Grilled Salmon with Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise.

Written by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Molly Stevens, this is a definite winner. I actually cook this on our panini maker. Since it's non-stick and folds open to convert into an electric grill, last night's warm temperatures made it a no brainer.

Grilled Salmon with Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise
by Molly Stevens

  • 1 1/2 Limes
  • 1/2 C Mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Wasabi Paste; more to taste
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 - 6 oz. skinless Salmon fillets
  • Vegetable Oil for the grill
Prepare a medium-hot grill fire (be sure the grill grate has been scrubbed clean with a wire brush).

Cut the half lime into four wedges and set aside. Finely grate the zest from the whole lime. Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a small bowl (save the other half for another use). In a medium bowl, combine 1 tsp of the lime juice with the lime zest, mayonnaise, wasabi paste, ginger, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add more wasabi paste if you'd like a zippier flavor.

Run you finger along each salmon fillet to feel for tiny bones; use tweezers or needlenose pliers to pull out any that you find. Season the fillets lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of the mayonnaise mixture onto the salmon fillets and refrigerate the rest. With your hands, Spread the mayonnaise in a thin layer over all sides of the fillets.

When the grill is ready, oil the grill grate using tongs and a paper towel dipped in oil. Grill the salmon until crisp and slightly charred on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until the salmon is just cooked through, another 3 to 6 minutes. Serve the salmon topped with a dollop of the mayonnaise and a lime wedge on the side. Pass the remaining mayonnaise at the table.

If you use a non-stick surface you can skip the vegetable oil step. If not, make sure you do use the oil or you will have a mess on your hands.

For grating the ginger I use one of those ceramic ginger graters. Unlike a rasp style grater, it does a better job of keeping the fiberous threads out of the grated portion of the ginger.

You can find the wasabi paste at any Asian market. I've tried the powder (since that's all they had at the grocery store), and it didn't work very well. I prefer the stuff out of the tube.

While you're at the Asian market, I like to use Cupie Mayonnaise. I don't know what it is, but it tastes great in this recipe. Never tried Cupie? I'm not really sure why it's named that. It comes in this crazy, extremely pliable plastic bottle.

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