Sunday, July 3, 2011

Smoky Salmon and the Cape May Grill

Few greater cooking techniques exist than grilling in the summer. The smell of charcoal burning, the dimming glow of a warm sun setting on the horizon, the delicious flavor of the way food cooks on the tines, everything about grilling is a wonderful experience. Living in the city, I tend to get grilling withdrawal during the summer when I'm stuck cooking indoors, so when I have a chance to use a grill, I really use it as much as possible.

For July 4th weekend this year, I went down to Cape May, New Jersey with my girlfriend and her parents. We visit this lovely town every summer, and every summer I take advantage of grilling opportunities and the extremely fresh and delicious seafood available at the local fish market. For this meal, we picked up some salmon and gathered some beautiful summer vegetables and Jersey corn.

A large part of what I love about grilling is how well it lends itself to simple recipes. For this meal, all I did was cut up the red and yellow peppers, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in large pieces and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I put them on the grill and gave them a toss with some tongs every 5 minutes so they cook evenly. I also rubbed the corn with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon, and cooked that directly on the grill until the kernels began to brown.

For the fish, I blended olive oil and garlic and rubbed it over the fish. Then, I added hickory wookchips to the charcoal to get a good smoke, and grilled the fish for about 15 minutes, flipped about 10 minutes in. To help avoid having the fish stick to the tines, I laid green onion down under the fish on the grill. This added a nice flavor, a garnish for the meal, and the fish didn't stick to the tines at all.

The result was a delicious, smoky fish that went perfectly with the simple grilled vegetables and corn. The dish was summer at its best. For dessert, my girlfriend's aunt made deliciously moist cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate frosting. They were amazingly moist and tasty, and the perfect end to a lovely meal.

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