Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays

Wanted to take a moment to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.  It may be a while when I grill again since it's so cold out.  We did have one last grilling session for the end of the year for Christmas.  My family picked up some choice cuts of beef to grill for Christmas dinner.  I didn't do much this time - I yielded to my dad.  I'm glad I did as I would've overdone them. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grilled Salmon Stuffed With Crab

My mother-in-law visited us this weekend.  Her husband doesn't like seafood that much, so she doesn't get to eat fish that often.  She asked me to make salmon as a treat for her, and who am I to turn down a chance to grill one of my favorite fishies?

Although this was yet another departure from the grill book, I felt confident that I could put something especially tasty for her as I've grilled and baked salmon many times before.  Each time I'll do some variation of what I did this time, but I was especially pleased with how they turned out.

Since it's not someone else's recipe, I'll post ingredients and directions for this entry.  Start with good cuts of salmon.  If you get a whole side, cut the thick end into three even strips, about 3 inches wide.  I like to leave the skin on the back as it makes stuffing them easier, as well as cooking on wood planks.

Slice a slit lengthwise down the center of the fillet, about 1" - 1 1/2" from the edge.  Drain some crab meat and stuff to your content.  Even though lump crab is a choicer style, I find regular works just as well for this purpose.

Usually I'll let them marinate in orange juice, mixed with some combination of teriyaki, lemon juice, and lime juice.  This time I left out the teriyaki at Kristen's request.  I find it works best if I leave them skin-side up in the juice.  Let this sit refrigerated for a few hours.

While marinating, you should also soak your wood grill planks.  My personal favorites are alder and cedar, but others like cherry work well.  I've found through trial and error that longer is better.  Once done, spray down the plank with a non-stick spray, leaving at least an inch between them.

Evenly drizzle a very light layer of honey over the top of each fillet.  You don't have to use much as the honey will naturally spread thinly and cover the top of the fish.  Top with a light layer of sesame seeds and parsley. 

Heat your grill to high, put the plank right on the grills, and let sit covered.  I like to let the plank char a little in order to smoke the fish slightly.  Let the fish sit until thoroughly pink with crispy edges.

Oh, and I wanted surf-and-turf tonight so I also put on some bison steaks with some leftover spice rub I'd made for a previous entry.

I've been working on my cross-searing technique.  I think I've got it pretty well down but I know I can make it look prettier.

Avoid the temptation to keep opening the grill lid, since they're not cooking right on the grills, and let the grill lid tent the heat so it cooks from all sides. 

I wouldn't let them char much more than this, other wise you risk overcooking the fish.

I've found the salmon goes well with red beans and rice.  There are several microwaveable types available that work well. 

Well I'm pleased to say that my guests thoroughly enjoyed the fish, including the cat who got a few table scraps as a treat.   The honey glaze seeped thoroughly into the crab stuffing, making it very sweet.  I have the rest of the side left to redo the recipe.  They're uncooked, still, but half the fun is preparing them.  =o9

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis The Season

No entries today - we put up our decoration this weekend and I wanted to share an ornament Kristen got me last year.    =o9

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Citrus-Flavored Shark

The other day I found something very interesting in the grocery store - shark!  How often do you get a chance to eat something like that?  Problem is that I had no idea how to prepare it.

It looked similar to salmon, which I've done plenty of times before, so I decided to do it the same way.  I did a lot of prep work beforehand since I wasn't planning on cooking it until the next day (which ended up being the following day, as we were out most of yesterday.)

I decided to use citrus flavors, along with Italian.  (You'll see why Italian flavors in a minute.)

I started by making an opening along the center of the fish to stuff the crab meat.  After stuffing them I brushed them with olive oil.

I topped the fish with citrus Bosari, lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juice.  I also topped it with melted butter.

It ended up sitting for two nights like this in the refrigerator.

  I also wanted to try my hand at Cavatappi noodles.  I've had them several times before at restaurants but never prepared them.  I decided to do Italiam spices with diced tomatoes and olive oil on top.

When I do noodles, I like to add in any seasoning and/or olive oil while the water is boiling.

I heated some diced tomatoes to top the noodles.  I would've liked to make this from fresh tomatoes but I really didn't have time, and had some in a can already that needed to be used.

The grill board ended up soaking overnight. 

I put a couple orange slices on the grill to make a garnish.

Oh, and I don't think I've ever shown off my grill glove. 

I think I overdid the tomatoes.  I had intended on just heating them, but they ended up stewing slightly.




The shark tasted great, but very fishy.  If I were to make it again I'd probably do it breaded, with something crunchy like sesame seeds, or something to really overpower the fish flavor.  =o9

Grilled Turkey Tenderloins

For the past few years my family has not done traditional Thanksgiving dinners, at least not when we're preparing the food.  We used to go to upstate New York for years to a huge traditional family dinner, and the time, effort, and preparation that would go into those meals isn't something any of us want to take on.  So, we try to keep things simple.

This year I did grilled turkey tenderloins that we found.  I had wanted to find turkey medallions but we went with the loins instead.

Although I wish I had picked a non-marinated set of turkey tenderloins, the turkey turned out great.  Nice and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.  =o9