Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Broccoli, Potatoes, and Salmon

Like most people, my early experiences with grilling were primarily limited to meat – hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, pork chops, etc – and an occasional ear of corn.  Then one day, while racing from the kitchen, where my potatoes were cooking, to the patio, where my steaks were now overcooking, I thought, “This would be a lot easier if I could just cook everything out here.  Wait – why can’t I just cook everything out here?”  Since then, I’ve tried to find ways to cook just about anything on the grill – meat, fish, starches, vegetables, desserts, and everything in between.  On this blog, I’ll be sharing my adventures as I try to cook entire meals using just the grill. 

With spring arriving in Washington, DC with full force yesterday, I began my experiment last night with a meal of salmon, roasted potatoes, and broccoli with cheese.  Here are the ingredients and step-by-step directions if you’d like to give this meal a try:

Ingredients (serves 2):

One large salmon filet or two smaller filets
Marinade of your choice
2 potatoes
Butter or margarine
Salt, pepper, other spices for potatoes
2 large broccoli spears
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Shredded cheese


1.    Start the charcoal in the chimney starter.  If you’re not already using a chimney starter, go to Amazon and order one right now, and say good-bye to lighter fluid forever.  You’re welcome.
2.    Marinate the salmon.  I wish I could tell you I made a fancy, homemade marinade, but I just used one I bought at the store, a Harris Teeter-brand red wine Dijon marinade I selected mostly because it was on sale.  Spoiler alert: it was delicious.
3.    While the coals are getting hot and the salmon getting tasty, chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Then place each serving onto a sheet of aluminum foil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and whatever other spices you want.  I used a Cajun spice mix.  You can also add chopped onions, peppers, etc.  Add a pad of butter or margarine, then close the aluminum foil over the potatoes to form a ball.
4.    Sprinkle the broccoli with salt and pepper.  Put in a large plastic back, add a splash of olive oil, sprinkle in some lemon juice, and shake.  Add some shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, but cheddar, parmesan or anything else would work just fine).  Then shake again.
5.    Lay out a sheet of foil over an oven pan.  Place the salmon on the foil, skin-side down, and fold up the sides to form a tray.
6.    By now, the coals should be about ready.  When they are, put the aluminum foil balls with the potatoes over direct heat.  Cover grill.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Have a beer. 
7.    After 15 minutes, move the potatoes to the outside of the grill.  Add the broccoli to the outside as well so it will cook over indirect heat.  Re-cover grill.  Set time for 5 minutes.
8.    Leaving the salmon on the foil, place it in the center of the grill.  Re-cover.  The salmon will cook for about 10 minutes, and should not be turned.  Turn over broccoli once, halfway through it’s 15 minute cooking time.
9.    When the salmon flakes easily, it’s ready to go.  Everything else should be ready at the same time.  So take it all off the grill, and dig in.

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