After attending the Lowly and Lovely Eggplant Recipe Contest last week at Zov’s Bistro I put eggplant at the top of my grocery list. I really wanted to make the Eggplant Salad I had tried that day but dinner time rolled around too soon and before I knew it I was scrambling. I had purchased a gorgeous hunk of fresh Atlantic Wild Salmon and when you have a piece of fish that good the only thing to do is grill it. I have a great fool proof way of cooking a nice large piece of salmon that renders a moist piece of fish every time. This recipe serves 4-6.
In your grocery store look for the prepacked cedar planks. Soak the plank in water for at least 30 minutes. You are doing this so the plank doesn’t get so hot and dry that it ignites on fire.
Slice a lemon and a lime and grab your favorite rub.
My favorite is Rub With Love Salmon Rub.
The rub consists of brown sugar, kosher salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ancho, tumeric, lemon peel, ginger, mustard, black pepper, rosemary, chipotle, cloves, garlic & cayenne. Its more on the sweet side which I love on my salmon.
Get your kids to help apply about 1/4 cup of the rub, very hands on my 4 yr old loves to help!
Lay the lemon and lime slices on top of the salmon.
Heat your BBQ to Med-High Heat around 400 degrees. Place plank directly on grill and close.
watch the grill for smoke as maintain med-high heat. Closing the grill can cause the BBQ to get quite hot. If your plank starts to ignite you can pour a little water or beer to keep it from fully igniting.
Make sure you let the grill get hot enough to smoke the plank – that is what gives it the desired smoky flavor!
You can tell if the fish is beginning to show the signs of being cooked by pressing your finger into the flesh. It will firm up as it cooks. If you aren’t used to this method of checking for doneness, take some time to poke your fish before you cook it as well as after so you can begin to get a sense of the difference. It will really help you not to overcook your fish. The cut of the fish will also ensure even cooking so look for fish that is even in thickness. Salmon can be thin on the tail end so just remember this will be the most well done (cooked) part of the fish.
Also try not to cut your fish to see if its done that is another way to dry out your fish. Press down instead to feel for firmness.
Another interesting note, citrus juice will actually begin to cook your fish. Remember that if you choose to marinate in citrus juices.
This piece was about a pound and a half and took about 20-25 minutes to cook.
The salmon will be moist and flaky when grilled to the correct temperature.
I decided to grill a few pieces of eggplant to go with my salmon.
I had purchased a few different types to try after attending the Zovs Lowly and Lovely Eggplant Recipe Contest.
Zov Karamardian notes you know your eggplant is ripe and fresh when the stem center is green at the top and firm to the touch.
notice how the center of the stem is still green.
I took this eggplant and sliced it about 1/2″ thick/ Drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper.
After about 10 minutes you can being to see the eggplant sweat.
Place them on a hot grill and close the lid – you want the BBQ hot.
You will know when they are ready to be turned as they will easily release from the grill (approx. 15 minutes) don’t scrape them off, if they are sticking then cook for another 5 minutes.
You will cook them for slightly shorter time once they are flipped. You can grill along with the salmon, there will be no fishy taste because the juices from the fish are absorbed in the plank.
When the skin of the eggplant begins to pucker I know its getting close to done, the flesh will begin to lose the white opaqueness and turn almost watery looking. For the last five minutes I place the slices on the top rack of my barbecue so they don’t burn.
When the eggplant is done I cut into cubes and toss with a dash of Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar for a little bite. I used white balsamic this time because it tends to be a little sweeter.
serve with a little Near East Curried Couscous mix and you have a Mediterranean dish you can be proud of.
Enjoy! Summer is almost here!