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Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon with Ginger Lemongrass Sauce

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef

This is a great time of year for fresh wild Pacific salmon because it is widely available. I prefer fresh if it’s available. If it isn’t you can get it flash frozen in the freezer case at many supermarkets. This recipe will also work well with your favorite firm flesh like halibut or swordfish. Lemongrass is available in the Asian aisle of many markets. If your favorite wine store doesn’t carry sake (Japanese rice wine) many supermarkets carry mirin (rice wine for cooking) or you can substitute white wine. This elegant dish is bursting with full flavors that complement each other and although the components are strong they don’t compete.
Tip: Don’t over heat the sauce while whisking in the butter or it will separate and you won’t be able to use it.

4 6-ounce portions wild Pacific salmon filets

1 Tbsp. miso paste (can be found in the Asian aisle in many markets)
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Remaining marinade
1/2 c. sake, mirin or white wine
1 stalk lemongrass, in 1/4-inch slices
1/4 c. shallots, thinly sliced
4-6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and diced in 1/2” cubes

Clean the salmon and remove any pin bones. Mix the marinade ingredients together and put them into a recloseable gallon-sized plastic bag along with the salmon. Force the air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for one half hour to two hours.

Prepare a hot fire on your grill. When the fire is ready, put the salmon on the grill grate directly over the heat. Cook for three minutes. Turn and cook for three more minutes. Remove the salmon from the grill and let it rest while you finish making the sauce. While the salmon is cooking, put the remaining marinade into a saucepan along with the sake and shallots. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced to one third its original volume. Turn the heat off and pour the mixture through a strainer. Return the strained liquid to the sauce pan. Begin whisking in the butter in small batches. As the butter blends into the sauce add more until all of the butter is fully incorporated.  Serve this tasty sauce with the grilled salmon. Serves 4.


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Cool down this summer with some new marinades

By Paul Kirk CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.
Kansas City Baron of BBQ
Barbecue Guru
Order of the Magic Mop
Ambassador of BBQ
Certified Master BBQ Judge

It’s the lone hot days of summer so we might as well cool down with some new marinades.

Marinade recipes typically contain three things: An acid, an oil, herbs and spices for flavor. Why?
  • Acid is used for their ability to tenderize.
  • Spices and Herbs are used for flavor.
  • Oil is used to moisturize and carry flavor, it also seals the meat surface from the air.
Tip: When using a strong acid based marinade, use glass dishes since stainless steel can react to the acid which will affect the meat.

Rule of Thumb for Using Marinades
• If marinating in a straight acid liquid (say apple cider vinegar, wine or lemon juice), meat shouldn’t be allowed to marinate for longer than two hours since the acidity will then begin to toughen it.
• If you want to marinade for a longer period of time (for more flavor), use a recipe that includes oil rather than a straight acidic liquid.
Galangal (a large root similar to ginger) and Thai basil can be found at Asian markets.

Here’s one that adds an Asian flavor to any type bird or flank steak.

Orange and Soy Sauce Marinade
3/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 Tbsp. ginger root, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk briskly. Store in the refrigerator in a glass jar.

This one is good for a salad or to marinate a nice piece of swordfish, cat fish or salmon.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. peanut oil
1 lime, juiced with pulp
1/4 c. lime juice
1-1/4 tsp. green peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin, ground
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. If using as a marinade, allow to warm to room temperature.
This is a great steak or brisket marinade.

Basic Beef Marinade
2-1/2 c. vinegar
12 whole cloves
2-1/2 c. water
2 or 3 bay leaves
3 onions, sliced
1-1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 lemon, sliced
3 Tbsp. black pepper

Combine ingredients; let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Add meat and put in the refrigerator. For mild flavor, leave meat in mixture for 24 hours. Cook as usual.

This is an unbelievable Chicken Marinade from finer kitchens with rave reviews!

Chicken Marinade
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
1-1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 c. brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. olive oil
Ground pepper to taste
Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

In a large, non-reactive container, thoroughly mix all ingredients up to salt. Whisk in olive oil and pepper. Place chicken in the mixture.  Cover, and marinate chicken in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate. Place chicken on the grill (pour leftover marinade into pan and boil several minutes. Then it can be served alongside the chicken.) and cook until desired doneness.


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