All posts tagged: fish

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Barbecue Sauce

The beautiful fall day I’ve been waiting for is here. Clear, blue sky; a carpet of colorful leaves on the lawn; a hint of winter in the air – just cold enough to need a jacket. It’s time for fall grilling. After writing this, of course, it goes live on the first day of a mid-November Polar Vortex. Snow in the forecast. Sigh. I’m crossing my fingers for Thanksgiving… Salmon with barbecue sauce is a trick I learned from Michael Symon. It doesn’t seem like it should work; barbecue sauce goes with pork, not salmon, right? Turns out, it’s a fantastic pairing; the sweet, vinegar flavor of the sauce balances fatty salmon, just like it does pork shoulder. I prefer South Carolina style mustard barbecue sauce with salmon. The the extra layer of mustard flavor is perfect with fish. I know, I know, this sounds really strange. Mustard barbecue sauce? With fish? Trust me, it works. Don’t want to trust me? Trust chef Symon. He’s a professional. Do try this at home. Recipe: Grilled Salmon …

Tilapia In Crazy Water (Pesce All’Acqua Pazza)

I ordered it because of the name. Crazy Water? How could I pass it up? I saw this recipe on the menu at Macaroni Grill, of all places. I wasn’t impressed when it came to the table. It looks bland – white fish, poached in water – but it packs some big flavors. The flavor is in the crazy water. Onions, tomatoes, and capers; garlic, herbs, and white wine. That’s a lot of flavor to go with the mild white fish. Say it with me: Craaaaazy water. The recipe is quick, warming, light, and healthy…what more could you want? Recipe: Tilapia In Crazy Water (Pesce All’Acqua Pazza) Inspired by: Canal House Cooking Volume number 8: Pronto Equipment Large, shallow pan with a lid (I use a Le Creuset Braiser, but a large fry pan or saute pan will also work) Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced thin 1 teaspoon capers, drained 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning …

Sear Roasted Salmon with Knob Creek Maple Orange Glaze

It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I need a change. (Please, no more turkey!) Salmon to the rescue. I never thought I’d beg for turkey mercy. I’m a Sunday roast kind of guy, and I love a good roast bird. But…in November, I cooked three turkeys for the blog. I cooked three more for my family’s big Thanksgiving dinner. I had turkey soup the next day. I’m done with turkey – for a few weeks at least. I’ve still got bones in the freezer to turn into stock. I planned on Copper river salmon, but one look and I switched to the King salmon.When you buy seafood, buy what looks good. Flexibility at the fish case will result in better dinners. (And if nothing looks great? Cut your losses and switch to pork chops.) The fillets were 1 1/2 inches thick – too thick to cook through on the stove top without overcooking the outside. So I used sear roasting to cook them. Sear roasting gives the best of both worlds – searing browns the …

Beer Cooler Sous Vide Salmon with Fennel Salad

I saw this video of Nathan Myhrvold and Melissa Clark making sous vide salmon, and I knew what I was making for dinner. Beer Cooler Salmon, here I come! *Someday I’ll get my own copy of Modernist Cuisine…someday… In the original, Mr. Myhrvold didn’t even bother with a beer cooler. He uses a regular pot and adds hot water to keep the temperature at 116*F as necessary. I went with my beer cooler because (1) I’m used to it, and (2) my wife told me she was going to be late getting home, and I had to hold the salmon for an hour and a half instead of the suggested 30 minutes. The cooler’s insulation kept the water exactly where I needed it. Grilling cooked salmon is delicate work – it wants to flake apart. Be gentle, and assume at least one filet will have a big wedge of salmon slide loose. Another key to this recipe is a diligently cleaned grill. Brush the grates until all the carbonized remains are gone, and all that is left is the …

Grilled Salmon With Coriander-Fennel Spice Rub

I was in the mood for seafood. What was waiting for me at the fish market? Absolutely gorgeous wild Alaska king salmon. *Yes, it was expensive. It was worth every nickel. With fish this good, my goal is…to not screw it up. I grill it simply, with salt and a light spice rub, to medium doneness, with a hint of pink still in the middle. My goal is to showcase the buttery salmon, giving it a touch of spice crust and a suggestion of smoke. *Can you tell I love really good salmon? I feel like I’m writing a romance novel here. If you want to get the best value in wild salmon, mid to late summer is the time to shop. The king salmon harvest starts in May; by July all the salmon runs are happening, and prices drop as the supply increases. Now, don’t get me wrong. Wild salmon still commands a premium price*, but the price does come down a bit this time of year. *Wild salmon should command a premium price …

Cedar Plank Salmon

Thanks to Dave at work for asking me about cedar plank salmon…it got me rolling… Cedar plank salmon simulates a pacific northwest potlatch salmon bake on a backyard grill. Cooking salmon on a plank adds a touch of smoky flavor to the fish, and it makes cooking a snap. No fish sticking to the grill – put the plank on the grill, grill roast for about a half an hour, pull the plank off the grill, done.*Now, it’s not perfect. You will have to deal with the smoking hot cedar plank. Make sure you have a sheet pan or something like it, and a heat proof trivet to put it on when you are done cooking. To cook cedar plank salmon you need an untreated cedar plank. (And some salmon. I’m a master of the obvious.) The safest way to get untreated cedar is to buy grilling planks at cooking store…but they are  expensive, and they tend to be on the small side if you want to cook an entire salmon fillet. The cheaper way out …

Grilled Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

I missed my one chance at San Diego’s famous fish tacos. Back when I was a fledgling food fanatic, I made my lone visit to San Diego. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a fish taco. That is, until I got home. Then, every magazine I read for the next year had an article about the glories of fish tacos. Doh! I had to learn to make them myself, to find out what I had missed. Nowadays, instead of the traditional fried version, I grill my fish tacos. Mahi-mahi is my fish of choice. It is sustainable (according to Seafood Watch), easy to find in my local stores, and relatively inexpensive. Mahi-mahi is a firm fleshed white fish with a neutral taste; it works well as a carrier for spice rubs, and the firm flesh does not disintegrate when I flip it on the grill. Mahi-mahi’s neutral taste (read: bland) needs some help. I like my meal to have some punch, so I rub the fish with spices, including chipotle chile powder …

Grilled Barramundi with Avocado Orange Salsa

Barramundi is another example of a good farmed fish. They are native to waters from Southeast Asia through Australia. Barramundi are particularly prized in Australia and Thailand, both as a sport fish and a favorite for eating. They can survive in a wide range of salt levels; some live in the ocean, others in inland lakes and rivers. In the United States, barramundi is farmed in closed inland systems to protect against escapees and pollution. *Barry Eastabrook wrote about how good Barramundi is for fish farming in an article last week. Today, I’m going to share a recipe for grilled barramundi. Grilled fish is a sticky situation. I mean that literally – fish will stick to your grill like it was spot-welded if you are not careful. There are four keys to keep fish from sticking: 1. Preheat your grill: It has to be as hot as you can get it. For charcoal this is easy; once the coals are ready the grill is ready. But for gas grills, you have to preheat for at …

Tilapia with Brown Butter and Lemon Sauce

Tilapia is an example of a good farmed fish. They are omnivorous, and thrive on a vegetarian diet; don’t mind being packed tight in growing pens; do well in any water conditions, as long as it is warm; and grow quickly to market size. And, in the United States, tilapia is farmed in closed inland systems to protect against escapees and pollution. Because of these traits, tilapia is now the third most common farmed fish, behind carp and salmon. Tilapia’s big advantage is being omnivorous, which helps their feed conversion ratio. They take in less protein than they produce; tilapia farming is a net gain in protein. The counter-example is salmon. Salmon are carnivorous, and farmed salmon requires at least three times as much protein as it produces. Tilapia is a mild tasting, white fleshed, flaky fish, perfect for a weeknight fish dinner. I like them steamed and poached, but my favorite way to cook tilapia is sauteing. I coat this mild fish in a cornmeal crust to give it some crunch, and make sure …

Salmon Saute With Tequila Orange Sauce

Let’s put the Saute with Pan Sauce basic technique to work again. If you have been reading this blog, you probably know my first choice for cooking fish is the grill. *OK, OK, you caught me.  My first choice for cooking anything is the grill. What do I do when there are two feet of snow on my deck, and I don’t feel like shoveling?*  I return to my trusted saute technique.  And I get some salmon.  Salmon’s bold, meaty flavor helps me get through a cold winter’s night.*Yes, I know I talked tough in my winter grilling post, but after two weeks of non-stop snow, the last thing I want to do for a quick weeknight dinner is shovel my deck. Sauteed salmon has a seared, crispy exterior to go with perfectly cooked, tender flesh.  The pan sauce adds the sweet citrus flavor of oranges, butter for a rich mouth feel, and complex undertones from tequila.  Even better, the recipe comes together quickly; it takes longer to read than it does to cook the salmon. …

Grilled Trout, Herb and Citrus Stuffed

Grilled whole trout is a great recipe if you prefer mild fish, or fish with a subtle flavor.Like, say, my kids. This is a very impressive presentation – serving a whole fish per person is quite a show.  The only downside is the fish head – some people don’t like their dinner staring back at them.You can always cut the head off if you’re squeamish.  Or have your fishmonger do it for you. For all that presentation value, it’s a simple recipe, and pretty foolproof – stuff the whole trout, only flip it once, carefully, and you’re done.  Best of all, the result is a very hands-on meal – you have to remove the fish fillets from the skeleton, and while trained waiters can do this with only two spoons, for me it involves a playing with my food.*Why just eat, when you can get your hands on the food? Recipe: Grilled Trout, Herb and Citrus Stuffed Ready to grill! Equipment: Grill (I used a Weber kettle, like this one.) Large spatula or fish turner …

Grill Smoked Salmon

Hot smoked salmon is my favorite appetizer for a crowd.  When I want to show off for a dinner party, this is what I make.  A whole side of smoked salmon is very impressive, particularly when your guests are used to the small, sealed pouches of smoked salmon you can get at the store.*Yes, I like to show off with my cooking.  You couldn’t tell? This recipe works around some common issues with grilling fish.  It’s hard to overcook, because the whole point of grill smoking is to cook the fish until it is well done.  It doesn’t stick to the grill.  You cook it with the skin down the whole time, on a homemade foil tray; easy on, easy off.Finally, it’s excellent if you make it ahead of time.  Normally I’m not a fan of “leftover” fish – I want it hot off the grill.  This recipe tastes just as good, if not better, if it’s been in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Recipe: Grill Smoked SalmonCook time: 60 minutes Equipment: Grill (I used …

Sustainable Seafood

I’ve avoided writing seafood recipes for DadCooksDinner.  It’s not that I don’t love seafood.  I do.  It’s that seafood has become an ethical dilemma. Science magazine published an article saying that, at our current rate of fishing, there will be no wild fish left in 50 years.  Farmed Atlantic salmon uses 3 pounds of wild fish for every 1 pound of of salmon they grow.  Salmon farms also concentrate disease, pesticides, antibiotics, and fish waste, polluting the waters in the area.  Shrimp trawling in asia catches 3 to 15 pounds of other, waste fish for every pound of shrimp caught.  These are just a few examples; if you add in mercury and PCB concerns with seafood, it’s a bleak picture. Does this mean that we should stop eating seafood altogether?  While it is tempting to say “this is too confusing, I’m staying away”, that is the wrong way to solve the problem.  We need to use our power as consumers to promote sustainable, environmentally balanced ways of fishing and fish farming.  If we’re going to be …