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

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