I hope each of you had a nice Memorial Day weekend and a peaceful if not special Memorial Day. Now its time to ready the grill for the warmer months ahead, when grilling outdoors is very appealing. Less dishes to wash and the fun of freshly grilled meats, seafood and vegetables sizzling away, not to mention, fruits. It seems that Memorial Day and Labor Day bracket what most of us think of as summer.
Grilling is always a fun idea for entertaining. Most everyone likes being outside, chatting and perhaps nibbling on some appetizers while the dinner is cooking. Have you ever tried grilling clams or oysters? It is so much fun waiting for them to "pop" and then with clams, just drizzling some lemon butter on them and eating. With oysters, horseradish and lemon are great. For some additional ideas, I am placing my Southwestern Grilling book on sale for just $10.00.
Vegetables really take to grilling and amazingly--many of them are very good, just simply grilled. I like to grill corn on the cob without embellishing it at all and then offering various toppings for those who like them such as caribe chile and lime wedges, chile butter, mayonnaise and chile salt. Asparagus is great just grilled until almost soft but still with a bit of crunch and then offering pesto or garlic butter or perhaps just a squish of lemon for dunking the spears into. Zucchini planks are yummy without any added flavors, I think.
Salmon seems to be getting star billing in many health bulletins and wild caught salmon being the best. If you like rare salmon--the easiest is to grill skin down--or in a wire basket. Otherwise salmon has a tendency to stick to the grill. Some like to spray non-stick oils on the grill--but be very careful--do so before the grill is lighted. You don't want a stream of fire coming at you if spraying while the grill is lighted.
Favorite salmon ideas are to serve salmon with various salsas. A favorite of mine is Mango Corn (recipe follows). Or to baste pesto on the salmon after turning it or immediately after grilling. Sometimes, just a generous squish of fresh lemon is great.
I am extending the 20% off Special on the July 15 - 19 week long class. There are still a few openings for the June 20 Barbecuing class and the August 15 Grilling class. The Oaxaca tour is gaining momentum for next June--with openings with payments available.
It is not too late to plant chiles and tomatillos seeds and we have great seeds at 25% off. Also, our special Caribe and Pequin chiles are on 25% off--they are great for garnishing, sprinkling on vegetables and fruits and the caribe is the best for making Carne Adobado. Our fresh fresh Cumin and Mexican Oregano are the best accents for grilled dishes also and are on Special at 20% off!
MANGO AND GRILLED CORN SALSA
This salsa is a great dipping salsa, or served with salmon, over a grilled chicken salad or over any seafood or fish dish. The juicy mango flavors combine quite well with the grilled corn. Peach and other fruits such as nectarines can be substituted.
Yield: 3 cups or 6 servings
2 large ears yellow or white corn, grilled
1 Tablespoon good-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish
1 small green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
2 ripe mangos, chopped
1 Tablespoon crushed caribe chile or to taste or ½ teaspoon minced habernero chile
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat grill to 400F (205C). Shuck corn, then brush with olive oil. Place corn on grill. Rotate corn as it chars on edges of kernels. When corn is cool enough to handle, slice kernels off cobs into a nonreactive bowl. Add remaining ingredients, then taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Allow to set about 30 minutes before serving.
CHILE SEARED SALMON
Salmon is terrific this way and so fast and simple. I used to put a bit of salt with the rub, but I have found that it really is not necessary. I like this equally well with ground chiles or chipotles.
Yield: 2 servings
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile or 1 Tablespoon ground mild red chile
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 pound fresh boneless salmon filet
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, optional
1/2 cup Salsa, as desired
1. In a small bowl, combine the chile and sugar. Cut the salmon into 2 pieces. Rinse, then pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Place well seasoned, heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. (If skillet is not well seasoned, add the oil.) Grill or Sauté the salmon for 3-5 minutes per side. Serve garnished with salsa of your choice.