First, it was not a hollow threat... I printed up a recipe card ...
Boil one cup water. Separately,
drip water on flour and salt until it makes a paste.
Add the paste to the boiling water.
Stir to a semi-fluid consistency.
Strain to eliminate film. Serve warm.
"...they contracted with the water-works to lay on an
unlimited supply of water, and with a
corn factory to supply periodically small amounts of oatmeal,
and issued three meals of thin gruel a day,
with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays"
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Faced with this choice, Bingo Bango, Bongo... fast as you can say, "Bob's your Uncle", I got permission to grill!!!
OK, to be fair, it is not top quality Salmon. Notice the "product of China" label in the price sticker. I am all for eating and shopping local products. But, with the exception of 6 days a year, it is hard to find fresh Kansas wild salmon (those dates, Feb 30-31, April 31, June 31, Sept. 31, and November 31... on those dates, Kansas is up to it's gills in locally fished wild salmon). These little packages come frozen (a sure sign of quality), and if you are patient, you can find them cheap ($2.99 a pound from my underpriced grocery store). I am a sucker for sales, and I have 4 or 5 packages of this in my freezer. If I were doing a throwdown with Bobby Flay, I would have hunted for better. But for the Mrs. and me, on a Thursday night, I can do wonders with this...
Here's what I did...
Chinese Salmon gets Chinese 5 spice Rub. Long time readers of this blog remember this post, HOW TO MAKE RUBS - Steven Raichlen recipes. You can get there by clicking HERE. Of all the rubs I made that day (9), this is by far my favorite and an eye opener. No salt (some days, I think about health issues), and incredibly flavorful. No real heat at all, but the spices combine perfect. I have tried this rub on Chicken (loved it), and pork (loved it). Now was the time to see what it does for fish! A couple of tips... When you are using a rub, it is best to put 1 heaping tablespoons of rub per pound of meat (rounded up, in this case, two) into a separate bowl. That way, you do not contaminate your remaining rub with raw fish cooties.
Next tip is that it is not called sprinkle, it is called a rub. Rub it in. use your hands, get dirty and have fun.
Next, I was going to use a jelly glaze. The sweet combined with the rub makes a terrific combination of flavors. Any type of jelly or marmalade can work (try an orange marmalade sometime). I happen to have been gifted an amazing - Jalapeno Peach jelly from the good folks at Fischer & Wieser Gourmet specialty foods. They make amazing products for you or to use as gifts... Click HERE to go to their website. Anyway, same as the rub, a couple tablespoons, rubbed into the meat, and it is ready to go. It probably could have been more simple, but I don't know how.
And here she is ready for the grill. I did let it sit and marinate for about 30 minutes; just long enough for the meat to get to room temperature prior to grilling.
Grilled at indirect heat (I used my gas grill, which has removable diffusers I can put over the gas. In this case, I put them over the flames, so there was no risk of flair ups. I turned the gas up to high. The grate temp reached about 400 degrees.
After about 10 minutes, the fish started to sweat the little white stuff.
It's done (10 minutes)! No need to flip. This salmon has the skin on the bottom. It crisped up very nicely, and was very easy to peel off prior to plating. There are those that think grilled salmon skin is delicious. Truthfully, it is... just OK. There is no rub or jelly seasoning. the texture is terrific (very crispy), but I just don't care for the taste. Others do... just not me.
I always let the meat sit for about 5 minutes to relax prior to serving.
And I served with a package of those boxed noodle things you make with a little water and butter (don't you judge me), and some frozen corn (you're doing it again, I said don't you judge me) ... it was pre-packaged processed creamy garlic shells and microwaved corn or gruel.
Taste bottom line... Let's not think about the side dishes, the fish was FABULOUS! A great mix of flavors. the rub was as expected, amazing. the jelly glaze sweetened the fish, while adding just a bit of heat. The flavor of the fish, combined with the unusual taste of the Chinese 5 spice rub, combined with the sweet and heat of this peach jalapeno jelly all meshed perfectly.
Sadly, this is the best close up shot I got of the flaking fish. Not too well done (salmon gets very rubbery if cooked too long). You just want it to flake... like this. Still moist. This was one of the best tasting salmon hunks I have ever eaten. I LOVED the jelly.
Total prep time, start to finish (if you do not count the time to thaw the fish in the refrigerator (about a day))... 30 minutes. Fast and flavorful, a perfect weeknight meal.