Monday, July 8, 2013

Big Green Egg Salmon with Tomato-Cucumber Salad

This week we decided to highlight a weeknight meal that utilized fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from our patio container garden. After all, 'tis the season.

Salmon on the Big Green Egg and Tomato-Cucumber Salad

Research:

Not much. We have cooked this in the past and have had great success making salmon on the BGE. If you haven't tried it, you must. Most restaurant salmon (especially the casual dinning chains) have very salty and very overcooked salmon. Homemade is almost an entirely different dish.

The salad recipe we simply made up, but it is based on common receipes. We used cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and basil from our containers and then sprinkled on some feta cheese that we had left over from a trip to the cheesemonger at Star Provisions, a must-visit cheese shop if you find yourself in Atlanta.

The Plan:

We normally get the egg to 200 or 250 degrees, place a piece of salmon on a cedar plank, and cook it until the fish starts to become flaky. Pull the fish off the grill before it gets too done because the fish will continue to cook even after it is off the grill. You are looking for flaky and creamy.  We have found an internal temperature for salmon of 125 degrees is the tastiest doneness.  You will see that some people suggest cooking salmon to as much as 145 degrees.  Experiment with it and find what you like best.

Drink wine.

Execution:

Make the salad first. The salmon goes really quick once on the grill, so we lit the grill and let it get up to 200 degrees or so and made the salad in the meantime.

Pick some fresh tomatoes!

Here in Atlanta, it is tomato season. The plants that we started just after Easter are starting to bear fruit. We grow both tomatoes and cucumbers in containers, as well as a variety of herbs, including basil.

Pull two fresh cucumbers

We like to leave some skin on for flavor and interest

Remove the seeds

Slice into half moons

Add to cherry tomatoes that have been halved

Chiffonade the basil leaves to release lots of flavor
(ideally a sharper knife that we have here)

Be especially careful when drinking wine

Looking great and smelling even better!

Whip up some homemade champagne vinaigrette.

Use what you like, but a quick homemade vinaigrette is delightful on a fresh salad.

Mix 2 oz vinegar of choice (we like champagne vinegar for this dish), 1 teaspoon of dijon, 1 teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then whisk in 1 oz of olive oil. Taste it. You can adjust acidity and sweetness by adding vinegar for more acidity, more olive oil for less acidity, and honey for sweetness.  

Sprinkle on some fresh feta or whatever mild fresh cheese you like.  Freshly grated parmesan would also be lovely.

Tomato-Cucumber Salad


Meanwhile...back at the BGE

Alaskan wild salmon with the skin on.
We soak the cedar plank in water for about 30 minutes and place the salmon directly on it.

Add your favorite seasoning

Nothing wrong with finding quality, store-bought marinades and sauces.  This is our favorite marinade for salmon: Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Apple Grille Sauce.

Then put the cedar plank right onto the grill

Close the lid. If you're lookin', you're not cookin'. I like to set a timer for 5-minute intervals and then open the lid and check for doneness.  If you're a home cook like us, you will probably want to just open up the fish just a little in the thickest portion to check for doneness.

Here you see that the fish is getting flaky and perfect. About 10-15 min total cooking time, 
depending on the grill temp.

Verdict:


Add a little wine and some steamed broccoli and you have a quick, healthy and delicious dinner.

Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:


So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer


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