Tasty Tuesday: Simple Grilled Salmon That Never Fails to Please

Here’s another one from the vault while I’m on vacation. This simple recipe/method creates some of our favorite flavors. It’s definitely worth remembering! BK

My youngest two boys and I are still at the family cottage in Michigan; to our great delight, our cottage neighbor extended an invitation to the boys to go fishing with him at dawn. The boys leapt at the chance and willingly trundled out of bed before 6:00 AM. To his great delight, Jon vanquished a 14 pound salmon and brought home the spoils to me! (For those of you who know Jon personally, check out how much maturity three years can add to a young man! That little guy is 12 inches taller, 40 pounds heavier, and shaves now!)

You know, a salmon that big has a lot of meat! We’ve eaten four meals of lovely, fresh grilled salmon and are sad that it’s finally all gone. I thought I’d share the no-fail method I have for cooking salmon with you. It’s so very easy and, of course, you can use salmon that you buy at the grocery store. (It’s hard to catch salmon in the high country unless someone tosses you the package!)

First, take two large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lay one on top of the other. Turn up the sides and pinch the corners together, forming a foil “pan” for the salmon. (BTW, this will work with any fish–not just salmon.) Place the fish (fillets are best) in the center of the foil.

Top the salmon with:

  • shavings of very cold butter
  • minced garlic
  • Coarsely ground sea salt
  • spices or herbs (I used Spike, a no-salt seasoning that I found in the cottage cupboard)
  • Coarsely ground pepper

Over the top, lay very thin slices of fresh whole limes. Try to cover as much of the fish as you can with lime slices. You’ll notice that I haven’t really given amounts for the toppings. This isn’t technically a recipe–more of a method. How much garlic or salt or spices you put on your fish will depend on how much fish you’re getting ready to grill and how much you like those various ingredients.

Put the foil pan with the fish directly over the heat on the grill. On my gas grill at home, I turn the flame down to medium. Here at the cottage I used charcoal and just took what I got. The butter and lime juice will start to bubble around the fish as it cooks. The fish is done when you can flake it with a fork and the flesh of the fish is opaque. A professional chef told me once that fish needs to reach a temperature of 140 degrees to be safe to eat. I’ve found that it doesn’t take much to hit that temperature, so I cook it until it’s as done as I want it.

Take the slices of lime off the fish before eating. In the photos, you’ll notice that we also grilled tomatoes with parmesan on the top. It made for a pretty dinner but we all agreed that the tomatoes would have been better cold and fresh.

The perfect addition to this fabulously delicious dinner comes from Stickboy Bread Company: Old World Sourdough!

Check out the new Jambalaya recipe on My Sister’s Kitchen when you have time.

Barb, writing for My Sister’s Kitchen

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  1. (It’s hard to catch salmon in the high country unless someone tosses you the package!)

    LOL!!! This looks so great, Barb! And congrats to Jon for such a catch! I might try it with Tilapia this week. Gerald, the seafood guy at Harris Teeter told me it was going on sale this Wednesday! Of course, Tilapia is more delicate than Salmon, which I also love. I may use some fresh dill with the limes, do you think that would taste good?

  2. Sarah, this is a great way to cook tilapia. It won’t fall apart on the grill because of the foil. I think the dill would be delicious…remember that it’s a very dominant flavor, so it will be DILLy! I love it when I hear advance word on seafood sales!

  3. Gerald always gives me the scoop!

  4. This looks yummy and has me yearning for salmon again. Note that a variation to give the fish a smokey flavor is to soak a cedar plank in water (put something heavy on it to keep it under the water and not floating on top) for at least 30 minutes and grill it on top of the plank.