Thursday, July 28, 2011

Girl With A Grill

I have been eating so much fish lately that I am on a first name basis with my fish monger at Whole Foods. I asked him last week if I should be concerned with mercury poisoning. He assured me that although I eat a lot of fish I am not in any danger. Wheeew! What a relief, because I don't want to give up on such a good thing.

With Jim traveling for business I'm at home alone with the grill and this girl has learned how to GRILL! This post covers some of my favorite grilling tools and also my two favorite fishes: Cod and Salmon. Know that I'm not a fishy-fish kind of girl, and so I am going to pass on my secret for eating a very very healthy fish, Salmon (which can sometimes taste fishy - in a good way).

First, I have to share one of my favorite grill tools. This fish grilling basket is perfect for the very light and flaky types of fish like Cod. When cooked, Cod is going to fall apart and this wire basket holds it all together and makes flipping the fish mid-way so much easier. You will thank me later for that tip!

For this piece of Cod, I seasoned it with olive oil, salt and pepper before putting it in my basket. When the grill was at a medium-high heat I added the fish and brushed with a kalamata olive tapanade. You don't have to add anything to the fish, I just like to make a scavenger hunt out of dinner and use any remnants in the back of the fridge to impart new and interesting flavors. You can brush and season your fish with WHATEVER you like. Try lemon and dill, tequila and lime, soy sauce with asian chile paste, cajun seasoning, salad dressing like an Italian or any other marinades in your fridge.

I've also been experimenting with a lot of vegetable grilling too. To these ears of corn I brushed on a mixture of butter, salt, pepper and chopped fresh cilantro.

This particular evening I served the cod on top of Quinoa with homemade Salsa Veracruz. It was a very yummy (and healthy) mexican inspired fish entree.

Now on to my newest addiction - SALMON! I've tried all kinds, and love the Wild King Salmon best because of it's texture and mild flavoring. I actually eat it several times a week so I'm going to show you how I vary the components to make it new and different each night. Above, I have a vegetable medley of red bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli and carrots. Use whatever veggies you have on hand, I bet you can figure out how to grill just about anything.

The trick for me to eat Salmon is going to be in the seasoning. I have found that Baron's make two spices that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Pictured above is the Thai Curry Blend. I also really love the Hot Habanero & Green Chile spice blend. Both impart enough flavor (in my opinion) to mask the fishiness of the Salmon and allow me to appreciate both the health benefits from the fish as well as the texture.

My second favorite grilling tool is the mesh basket you see in the picture above. This allows me to grill small vegetables like the carrots and broccoli. Prior to placing on the grill I tossed these little veggies in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It doesn't take long for these veggies to cook. 

Simply shake the basket every so often and you have perfectly grilled veggies in less than 10 minutes. I allowed the red bell pepper to cook very well on both sides, until the outer skin was charred. I personally like the charred flavor on the bell pepper so I left the skin on and chopped it up into bite size pieces.

I want to share a very BIG tip that I learned the hard way. You absolutely must OIL the grill before placing your fish on it. The best way I have found to do this is to bring a small bowl of oil (I use vegetable oil) to the grill along with a wadded up paper towel and my tongs. Right before I put the fish and veggies on the grill I grasp the wadded up paper towel with the tongs, dip in the oil and wipe over the hot grates.

The timing for your salmon is going to vary based on how thick a piece you are grilling. My average time goes like this:
  1. Oil the grates (do not forget this or else you will be cursing up a storm).
  2. Put the salmon on the grill at a 45 degree angle, skin side UP. Set timer for 2 minutes.
  3. With a spatula, swiftly scoop salmon up and turn 45 degrees in the opposite direction, skin side UP. Set timer for 2 minutes. (Turning like this will give you awesome restaurant-quality grill marks).
  4. With a spatula, swiftly scoop salmon up and flip, skin side DOWN. Set timer for 4 minutes.
  5. Remove salmon from grill. (8 minutes total on grill) The fish skin comes off really easily. I give it to my dogs because I do not like to eat fish skin. The dogs love it!
Here is another tip for you: If you are using a gas grill...remember to turn the gas off when dinner is ready. I recently went through an entire tank of gas by letting it run overnight. Oops.

Once all the veggies were grilled, I tossed them lightly in a spicy curry sauce. Love it! Keep reading to see my favorite curry sauces below.

This night I used some whole wheat pearl couscous from Bob's Red Mill and combined it with grilled salmon, grilled zucchini and sauteed green bell pepper.

The seasoning I used on the salmon was the Hot Habanero & Green Chile spice blend. It will definitely help you get your water intake for the day - this baby is s.p.i.c.y.

And here is my favorite curry sauce by CurrySimple. They make several varieties and I like both the spicy and mild. It comes ready to go, just heat and serve!

I love the cross-hatch marks on my vegetables, almost too pretty to eat.

When the couscous was cooked and vegetables grilled, I tossed it all with some of the curry sauce. Serve that salmon right on top and dig in.

My most important tip of them all is to open a bottle of wine with dinner and enjoy!


  1. awesome post! I still don't touch the grill while my husband's away. I'm getting closer to attempting to grill, but haven't done it yet. Maybe I'll ask him to supervise me the next time we grill out!

  2. I love that you are not afraid to grill! I love my grill and treat it as my outdoor kitchen. I think you might have inspired me to grill some fish this weekend. All your dishes look absolutely delicious!


Your comments mean a lot to me, I love hearing from you!