Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grilled Lemon-Dill Salmon

Grilling season has arrived!  I have spent the past three days grilling everything I could get my hands on, even the salmon that I dont completely love.

Dill and lemon helped to temper the salmon flavor and the cucumber salad (seen on yesterdays blog) made it special.

A nice light California Pinot Noir rounded the meal perfectly.

As a side note, I am learning not to be afraid of undercooking fish.  I took the salmon off the grill when it was still lightly dark (if that makes sense) in the middle.  It was cooked through but yet not the "flaky" texture they tell you it has to be.  Instead it was moist and rich after 5 minutes on a plate, covered.  

Grilled Lemon-Dill Salmon (Sunset cookbook)
  • 2  or 3 lemons
  • 4  center-cut skin-on salmon fillets (6 to 8 oz. each), rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1  English (seedless) cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  bottled cocktail onions, drained
  • 2  tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, plus more to taste
  • About 2 teaspoons olive oil


1. Zest lemons to yield 2 tbsp. zest. Sprinkle salmon fillets with 1 1/2 tbsp. zest (set remaining zest and whole lemons aside) and 1 1/2 tbsp. dill, dividing evenly among fillets and patting to adhere. Wrap fillets in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
2. Slice cucumber paper-thin on a mandoline or other handheld slicer. Cut onions in half. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add cucumber, onions, remaining lemon zest and dill, and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and close lid. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 400°, lift lid and turn off one of the burners, creating the indirect-heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light 50 to 60 briquets and let burn until just covered with ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Mound them to one side, leaving a cleared area for indirect cooking.
4. Fold two 12- by 18-in. pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half widthwise to form rectangles. Using the tip of a small knife, make holes in rectangles about 2 in. apart and widen each hole to the size of a dime. Grease foil with olive oil; set over direct heat for 2 minutes.
5. Brush salmon skins with oil. Set 2 fillets, skin side down, on each foil rectangle. Cover grill (if using charcoal, open vents on lid) and cook fish until skin is light brown and really sizzling, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, slide foil to indirect heat, cover, and cook until all but top 1/4 in. is cooked, 3 to 8 minutes. Slide fish back over direct heat, cover, and cook until fish is cooked through (cut to test) and skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer foil with salmon to a rimless baking sheet and, sliding an offset cake spatula or other thin spatula between salmon skin and foil, very gently free fish from foil. Season each fillet with salt and a few drops of juice from a remaining lemon. Serve with cucumber salad.

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