Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Salmon: It's not just for Grizzlies ...

... but your family might snarl like one over the last piece of salmon prepared in this recipe! Here in the beautiful and bountiful Pacific Northwest, I have easy access to both fresh and smoked varieties. Grilled salmon is a frequent visitor to our table, and was front and center on our menu tonight. Our dining experience included Grilled Salmon with Onion Crispy Strips, Baked Tater Wedges, and Honey Fruit Salad. All yummy and all gluten free.

After having such great success a couple days ago with the dry rub used on the pulled pork, I got to wondering if such a rub would work on salmon, too. I've prepared salmon a million different ways, make that a zillion different ways (ok, that's an exaggeration -- but if you are what you eat, I can expect to grow gills soon), yet I've not actually put a dry rub on one and allowed it to cure for hours. So, after searching the Internet, I found a rub on the Family Fun site that sounded pretty good. I tweaked it just a little bit, and the results were pretty darn tasty.

To make this delectable salmon, you will need:

Enough salmon fillet(s) to feed your grizzlies, uh, I mean yourself and family.

Rub: 1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp sugar, 1.5 tsp black pepper, 1.5 tsp celery seed, 1.5 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, couple shakes cumin.

Step 1: Combine the rub ingredients. Set aside a couple tsp's to use later on.
Step 2: Generously sprinkle the rub all over both sides of the fillet; really press it in with your hands.
Step 3: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple hours. (I did about 5 hours)
Step 4: Preheat gas grill on high.
Step 5: Remove salmon from the fridge, and rinse off the rub. Pat dry. Don't skip this step!
Step 6: Using the reserved rub, sprinkle a little bit on or just use salt/pepper or your favorite season salt. Lightly but completely coat the salmon with a little bit of olive oil. NOTE: At this point, I cut the fillets into squares. *Let's pause moment for those who never slice fillets.* Ok, for those of us who don't enjoy flipping entire fillets on the grill, go ahead and cut your fillets into palm size pieces. It makes serving a snap, and everyone feels like they are getting extra when they get two pieces. I assure you the salmon will not dry out. (Just check out the top photo!)
Step 7: Place salmon skin side down on super heated grill. Immediately turn the heat to med-low and CLOSE the grill lid. Let it sit for a full five minutes. Don't touch it. No peeking either!
Step 8: Open the lid, and with your handy dandy spatula, carefully flip the salmon over. Close the lid. Wait 3 more minutes. Open the lid again, and remove those beauties to a platter. Let them sit at least 5 more minutes before you serve them.

Step 9: Let your inner grizzly out and enjoy the feast.

NOTE: This could easily be done in the oven or stove top ... especially if you don't like grill marks on your food!

The Baked Tater Wedges were a snap. I used russets and sliced about 8 potatoes into 6-8 wedges each. Place the potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with season salt and pepper. I used Red Robin's brand of season salt and my cubs went wild over it. Bake in a preheated 400 oven for about 15 minutes, turn over the wedges, and put back in the over for about 15 more minutes. Keep an eye on them ... you're looking for golden brown not burnt. I was channeling Marjie and so I turned the broiler on for the last 5 minutes and got a real crispy golden brown lickety split.

The Honey Fruit Salad was a great compliment with the salmon. Simply slice up firm bananas, sweet or tart apples, blueberries, and strawberries. Er, um, you'll notice there are NO strawberries in my salad photo. You may recall my earlier post about the strawberry devouring debacle my grizzlies engaged in. Bottom line is I'm out of strawberries. Back to the salad ... drizzle with a couple generous swirls of honey and a splash of champagne vinegar. Toss gently and serve. If you don't have champagne vinegar, just use honey alone. There are some great desert wine dressings that you could make and serve with this, but my cubs were hungry and prowling the kitchen, so additional prep was not gonna happen.

The onion crispy strips were, I must say, outstanding. Like this entire meal, these puppies were gluten free, too. Thinly slice one sweet onion into half-rings (you could do whole rings, but I like half-zies). Place in a medium sized bowl and cover with 3 parts buttermilk and 1 part milk. Don't rush off to the store if you need buttermilk, you can just use regular milk. Cover and set in the fridge; I had them in there for about 2 hours, but I think 1 hour will do. When you are ready to make them, carefully heat up about 1 inch of oil in a heavy saute pan. I used my new cast iron skillet. Love that baby. In a pie tin, combine about 1 cup of gluten free all purpose flour with a couple teaspoons of corn starch, and a couple quick shakes of cayenne pepper. Remove the onions from the fridge, and drain them well. Working quickly, take a small handful of onions and toss them in the flour. Remove to a plate. Repeat until all the onions are coated. Now, carefully place small handfuls of onion strips in the oil. They should sizzle immediately. Adjust your heat up or down depending on the sizzle. You want the onions to have a strong, constant sizzle, but not a boiling sizzle nor a wimpy one. After you place the onions in the pan, stir them up a bit if they are clumped together. As they sizzle, occasionally flip them over so both sides are golden brown. With a slotted spoon or one of those special deep fryer slotted strainer gizmo's, remove the onions and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining onions. I used one onion and divided it into four or five batches. If your oil gets gunky, add a little more to the pan in between batches allowing time for it to heat up to be sizzle worthy. Oh, add a couple of grinds of sea salt on the crispy onions and you can call your grizzlies to the table to eat.


Marjie said...

Have you ever tried salmon sauteed in butter, dill and lime juice? Yum!

noble pig said...

How absolutely lovely! It sounds delicious. Even my kids love salmon!


hi paula, i just love your occupation: homeschool teacher. quite frankly, i would like this to be the way my children get educated (but unfortunately it won't be happening in the distant future).

thanks for passing by - amazing pacific northwest? sounds like my kind of place!

Katerina said...

I have never been able to get my salmon to look that good straight on the grill. I will have to dry this method - mine always sticks!

Steph said...

I love salmon, but never know how to cook it. I usually just season with dill, but this spice rub sounds like a great idea. Fruit salad is definitely the best kind of salad for me, no leaves! haha

Bridgett said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous meal. I am slowly coming around to salmon and you make it sound even more delicious!

glutenfreeforgood said...

Glad you stopped by my blog because salmon is a favorite of mine and this recipe of yours looks amazing! So nice to "meet" you. I'll definitely be back. :-)


Diana Evans said...

Hi Paula...I am so thrilled you popped by...your blog is wonderful...amazing food here...

I will be back for more!

Pam said...

The salmon rub sounds great! The whole meal looks really tasty. Side note: I went to Target and bought a lovely wooden spatula today - I used it tonight and I love it. Thanks for the tip.

Bellini Valli said...

For our mother/daughter Tuesdays we had salmon as well. What a coincidence...can't beat it!!!!!

Dhanggit said...

my husband loves salmon he will definitely love this recipe!! thanks for sharing :-)

Marjie said...

There was a picture of a bear standing atop a dumpster behnd a local restaurant in my paper this morning. It reminded me of your title! Everyone thought I was nuts giggling at the paper at 9AM! (or, everyone who was up, that being hubby and dog)

Paula said...

Seems like we aren't the only ones who like salmon!

Marjie: I've not tried it with lime juice, but am intrigued! Loved your note about the bear. I think it was looking for your strawberries, though! I always enjoy your messages here!

Noble Pig: My kids like salmon, too. Especially my son. Thanks for stopping by.

Mediterranean kiwi: Homeschooling is one of the best joys in my life! Thanks for stopping by!

Katerina: I've had good luck with this method no matter what seasoning method I use. It doesn't stick or worse ... fall apart!! I have a nice, thin but strong, metal spatula that slides perfectly in between the fillet and the grid. That helps, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Steph: Dill butter is one of my favorite things to put on salmon! Thanks for stopping by!

Bridget: Some salmon's are too strong for my taste. Sometimes the thin salmon fillets are a little sweeter. Thanks for stopping by!

Glutenfreeforgood: I'm so glad you came for a visit. I'll be visiting your blog, too!

Diana: Thanks, too, for stopping by!

Pam: Oh, I'm so happy you found the spatula and like it! I've used mine daily since I got it, but it's not allowed on the grill!

Bellini Valli: How lovely that you have dedicated Mother/Daughter Tuesdays! What great memories you'll create together! Thanks for stopping by!

Dhanggit: My husband gobbled this up! Thanks for stopping by!

Kevin said...

That salmon looks really good