Grill Week Part Deux: Salmon with Peach Cucumber Salsa
In honour of summer’s arrival, a post from the oldie-but-goodie file, barbecue-style. I love this salsa but mostly just wanted to chance to show off again about my salmon-grilling skills. Let us know what you’re grilling these days – we love hearing from you! – C.M.
If ever there was a week for grilling, this is it. Nothing could compel me to turn the oven on, not even a visiting niece from Germany (bye Anna, see you in Berlin in September!). Really what we all want to eat for dinner is ice cream but my rational mind knows it would be setting a dangerous precedent. But let’s just take a moment to ask why the geniuses at Hagen Daz can’t come up with a savoury, dinner ice cream? I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?
I set a goal earlier this summer of getting more comfortable with barbecue-ing. While I’m not ready to wrap myself in a Born to Grill apron (you know the kind with pockets for your tongs, spatulas, etc), I’m getting there. I know it’s so lame but I still sometimes ask Ben to actually fire it up. However, I noted a genuine look of admiration cross his face the other night when I managed to grill salmon filets – without a barbecue basket, without any of it sticking to the grill or breaking off and falling through the rack. You can go ahead and start calling me Grill Master if you like.
I found this fab salsa on bonappetit.com and it was a great change from the one I usually make. Plus, I was thrilled to find a fruit salsa that doesn’t include mango (blech, tastes like soap). And most importantly, no one missed their imaginary ice cream dinner the night we had grilled salmon with peach cucumber salsa.
Grilled Salmon with Peach Cucumber Salsa
4 or 5 filets of salmon with skin
Peach Cucumber Salsa
2 cups of peeled, pitted and diced peaches (I used 3 peaches)
1 cup unpeeled, diced cucumber
3/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup washed, finely chopped cilantro
4 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp of chipotle chiles (adjust depending on how much heat you like, this is fairly mild and I am a wimp), minced
Mix all the ingredients except the chiles. Separate the amount that you think you’ll give little kids or those with zero tolerance for heat. Then add your chiles and stir it all together well. Taste and check seasoning. Chipotles are more smokey than fiercely hot (which is why I like them!) so you can usually add a bit more than you would with, say, jalapenos. Cover and place in the fridge while you fire up the grill and get your salmon ready.
Wash and pat dry the salmon. Season the fish with salt and pepper and a slick of olive oil on both sides. Oil your grill well. I didn’t cut my fish into portions as I wanted to make life easier when I got to the grill. I highly recommend this.
Place the fish on the grill, skin side down. Ignore the silly people you may find in a Google search saying flesh side down – nonsense! Now, don’t touch that fish. The heat from the grill will sear the fish and allow it to come away from the grill. Leave for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of your filets. Use a thin spatula (preferably metal) to flip the fish over. Allow to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes on the flesh side. Remove from grill and use a fork to break gently into the middle of one filet to check doneness. You can certainly eat fish that is still slightly translucent in the centre but if that makes you squeamish, cook until the fish is opaque. Serve with a heaping spoon of salsa. We had our salmon with steamed green beans and a quinoa pilaf. I thought we’d have leftovers but every bit of this dinner got devoured. Success!
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