Salmon Rub: Brown sugar, cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, kosher salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. I chose to blacken the salmon under my broiler since a salmon fillet won’t lay flat on a cast iron pan.
The relish: Roast 2 ears of corn over the grill, set aside to cool. While the corn is roasting, char 2 jalapeno’s over the grill so the skin can be peeled easily, remove the seeds and ribs then dice. Once the corn has cooled, remove the kernels with a knife. In a salad bowl, add sliced scallions and shallots, 1 diced Roma tomato, 1 cubed avocado, the jalapeno, corn and season with Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and cumin.
Vinaigrette: in a bowl, add the juice of 1 lime and about 1oz of tequila (I used Cazadores Reposado Anejo) then whisk in your good olive oil to create an emulsion.
Panzanella: liberally brush slices of French bread with olive oil and season with Sea Salt. Grill over medium heat being careful not to burn with flare ups. Cut to desired size.
To plate: add the vinaigrette to the salad bowl full of ingredients, carefully toss being sure to not smash the avocado. Place the relish on a bed of bib lettuce and top with the salmon fillet.
Salmon Belly Salad
Simple simple simple! I season the belly meat with Kosher Salt, black pepper and a touch of white wine (more on the wine below), then wrapped them up in aluminum foil. The fat content is very high and will flame up quickly if you just lay these across the grill. Check on these after 10-12 minutes and when the meat starts to separate, they are fully cooked. The margin of error is pretty generous because of the high fat content and being cooked in foil so error on the longer side if you are not sure. Once cooked, let the salmon cool then pick the meat from the skin and set aside. I chose to add avocado, scallions, cherry tomatoes (fresh from a friend’s garden, unbelievable!) and blueberries to baby mixed greens. I dressed the salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Fig Balsamic Vinegar. A grilled piece of sourdough bread was perfect to wipe the plate clean. This salad is rich in healthy oils from the avocado, salmon and the Extra Virgin Olive Oil; pairing it with a Gewurztraminer from Sun River Vintners is the perfect choice.
Salmon Medallions Wrapped in Prosciutto with Grilled Figs on Bitter Greens
Last week’s CSA delivery really challenged me to think outside the normal ways of preparing salmon. Dandelion Bitter Greens and Turkish Figs are two pieces of produce that I was not familiar with but after some taste testing, I came up with Salmon Medallions wrapped in Prosciutto with grilled figs on bitter greens.
The important part of this dish was balancing the contrasting flavor and textures that these ingredients possess. I started off by skinning a fillet of Coho salmon and removing the pin bones with tweezers. I then cut into 2” strips, placed the strips on their side and twisted the strip in on itself creating a pinwheel like salmon fillet. I wrapped the medallions in prosciutto and placed on wooden skewers that I had soaked in rosemary water. The medallions were seasoned liberally with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper; grilled to medium rare and set aside to rest. To grill the Turkish Figs; I simply split the figs, brushed with Olive Oil and placed them on the hot grill for 30 seconds. Figs are soft by nature and if you leave them on the grill too long, they will get very mushy and not retain their shape.
I put the bitter greens in a bowl, added fresh chopped Italian Parsley, sliced scallions, 1 diced Gala Apple and a ½ cup of walnuts that I candied with butter, brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Dress with your best Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add some homemade crouton right before plating. Top with the Salmon Medallions and finish with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar.
Grilled Chinook Salmon with Heirloom Tomatoes and Organic Beans
I started this dish off by rendering some Salumi Da Vino Salami in a pan, be sure to remove the salami before it burns. The drippings that are left behind are the key to building a really unique flavor. Next, add chopped garlic and scallions to the pan. Once tender, add the mixture of green and wax beans and cook till al dente. At the very last second, fold in the crispy salami and the cherry tomatoes to coat.
To plate, I grilled a slice of Italian Sourdough from the Essential Baking Company. Next layer is the sliced Heirloom Tomato that is seasoned with Lemon Thyme, Kosher Salt, pepper and basil. Top this dish with a fillet of BBQ’d Salmon.