All-Grilled Chipotle-Herb Salmon, Southwestern Corn on the Cob, Home Fries, and Turnips
August 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
A couple months ago, on a lukewarm Spring day, we made some awesome grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, and a wonderfully light (non-vinegary/mayonaisey) potato salad. We set a table out back, opened a couple bottles of Shiner Hefeweizen, and let the dogs hang out in the yard with us while we ate. “What a wonderful post this will make,” I thought. The only photos that came out well, however, were of Woody and Bailey begging for their share of the meal:
Since the salmon was a hit with all four of us, Kelly jotted down what I’d done to it and I finished my beer determined to recreate the dish for the blog. With salmon on sale this week, I knew it was time.
But I’ve neglected you, blog, for a while now. I got all caught up in worrying about being unemployed, important life decisions about where Kelly and I might end up living in a year, beating the PS3 game I got for free as an apology from Sony for leaking my private information…. How can I make it up to you? In case the above cute dog photos aren’t enough, I’ll make it up by posting a feast. An all-grilled feast. Grilled Chipotle-Herb Salmon, Southwestern Corn on the Cob, Home Fries, and Turnip. That’s right. Turnip.
Grilled Chipotle Herb Salmon
- 1 lb salmon fillet
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (we used dill, mint, chives, basil, and cilantro)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- chipotle powder
- 1 tbsp or more olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 fresh lemon
Rub the salmon fillet on both sides with olive oil. With the skin side down, use a knife to score the fish across its width in four or fives places, about 1/4-1/2 inch deep depending on the thickness of the fillet. Rub the surface with the herbs and garlic, making sure some of this mixture gets pushed down into the slits you just made. Evenly shake a dusting of chipotle powder over the fillet, and finish by adding a pinch of sea salt. Place salmon skin side down on a preheated grill over medium-high heat, hitting it with a good squeeze of lemon just before closing the lid. Grill for about four minutes a side, hitting it with more lemon when you flip it. (Protip: Use tongs and oil-soaked paper towels to lubricate the fish’s spot on the grill before putting it on in order to keep it from sticking later). The salmon is done when it flakes with a fork.
Southwestern Grilled Corn on the Cob
- 3 ears of corn, husks intact
- partial stick of butter
- garlic powder
- chipotle powder
It took me a while, but I finally struck upon my favorite prep method for corn on the cob. First, gently peel back the leaves of the husk without detaching them—kind of like peeling a banana. Once you’re down to the corn, remove all the silk and discard. Now’s the fun part. Take your stick of butter and, using it like a glue stick, rub it all over the exposed corn.
I used to try brushing on a melted butter/seasoning mixture, rolling the corn in the same, and a few other hairbrained ideas, but the Glue Stick Method™ is hands down the winner. The butter is dispersed evenly, stays where it’s meant to, and acts as a magnet for whatever seasoning you use. Once the corn is nice and buttery, sprinkle on some chipotle powder and garlic powder (as much or as little as suits your taste, but we like it spicy), then carefully fold the husks back up leaf by leaf. You’ve now created a self-contained flavor-baster. The outer husk will keep the corn from burning while the seasoned, buttery insides will happily sit and cook over the fire. Grill over medium-high heat, turning occasionally as the husks start to brown. The corn is done when all four sides of the husk have nice, medium brown grill marks and the tips of the leaves are charred. You can also peel the a husk back and poke a kernel with a fork to check for doneness.
Grilled Home Fries:
- 3 medium red potatoes
- 1/2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs
- 1 pinch sea salt
- a dusting of paprika
- black pepper
- drizzle of olive oil
Cut potatoes, skin on, into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil to coat, then toss again with herbs, salt, pepper, and paprika. Grill on a pre-heated grill pan over medium-high heat, turning regularly to prevent burning.
- 1 turnip
- tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- salt and pepper
This one was a whim. Kelly saw a similar recipe in a recent issue of Food and Wine, and it sounded too interesting not to try. I loved raw turnips growing up, so I was especially game. Cut turnip into 1/2 inch thick slices, brush with oil to coat, and season. Grill over medium-high heat just long enough to get some grill marks on both sides.
This was the view with everything going at once. I have to say, also, that this meal paired extremely well with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. While not a great beer—somewhat evasively wine-coolerish, even—it’s a refreshing and dangerous little beer out of Wisconsin that tastes more like lemonade than a wheat beer. I took a swig right before a bite of salmon, and the mingling of the flavors was nice.
With the temperatures hanging in the mid-upper 90s of late, we opted for the porch instead of the yard this time. Everything turned out great. Even the turnips, which mainly mellowed and tenderized, taking on a little bit of flavor from the flame but otherwise just tasting like turnips. Nothin’ wrong with that…