I couldn't resist the allure of the Copper River Salmon at Costco. And really, it does live up to all the hype. It's not really any better than the other wild Alaska salmon we'll get later in the season, but it's the first of the season, and so a very welcome treat after a long winter without such goodness, and a great way to start off the summer grilling season.
I see a lot of recipes for all kinds of things to put on Salmon - rubs and marinades, sugar and soy sauce coatings, etc. - and honestly they make no sense to me. Maybe if you're buying flavorless farmed salmon then you need to put a bunch of stuff on it to make it taste like something. But this stuff, all it needs is a little salt and lemon to bring out its amazing flavor, and a little olive oil to help it off the grill (although it has so much natural oil, I'm not actually sure that's necessary). It would be a shame to cover up that flavor.
I cut the filet into serving size pieces and then season lightly with salt and lemon. I cook it skin side down on a medium hot, well oiled, grill for about 7-8 minutes, with the lid closed. I do not turn it, I've just never had success with turning fish on the grill, it always seems to fall apart. And I like the skin to get crispy anyway. Don't wait until it looks done - if you want until the fish is fully cooked to take it off the heat, then you will end up with overcooked fish. And I think there are few culinary things more sad than a piece of overcooked fish. So I take it off just as it's starting to show some separating and look done about 3/4 of the way through. I also grilled lemons with this - just the lemon halves that I used to season the fish before cooking. Take the fish off the grill, lay it on a platter, and squeeze the grilled lemon over it.
Along with the salmon tonight I also cooked some baby brussels sprouts. I've never done these on the grill before, but I really didn't want to be going back and forth between the kitchen and the patio, so I thought I'd give it a try. I tossed them with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt, and then I poured them onto a big piece of doubled heavy duty foil. I added another piece of foil on top and folded it all around the edges to make a pouch. I put this on the grill the same time as the salmon, turned it once, and after I turned it I poked a hole in the top to let some steam out. These were small sprouts, so they were perfectly cooked in this amount of time, but bigger ones might have needed a little longer.
And finally - I know this is not for everyone - but I love the salmon skin. I love to eat it with my piece of fish. Or even better - take the cooked skin off the piece of fish, sprinkle a little salt on it, and throw it back on the grill for another minute or two to get a little more crispy. Let it cool and enjoy. It's like salmon bacon. Yum!
This is the essence of how I love to cook - good ingredients, simply seasoned and cooked. It's so much better to enjoy a meal that you have slaved over for hours.