Saturday, October 12, 2013

Grilled salmon for a rainy day.

I'm a fan of the grill pan.  It gives those lovely marks just like a barbecue grill.  It just doesn't pack the smokey flavor of the outdoor barbecue. Smoked Paprika solves that and adds a delicate heat to it all as well.  I've post iterations of this in the past so this post will be about the pan.

Its a Calphalon Non-Stick grill pan.  Non-stick because its a compromise with the lovely Missus as its our deal.  I cook, she cleans up after me and she hates scrubbing.  Calphalon because that heavy gauge aluminum heats fast and evenly.  Also their non-stick was the best there was around when I bought this pan some 8 years ago, and the finish is still good.  Yes I take care to use only nylon tools so as not to scratch and ruin the surface, but that is the extent of the care it needs.

There are devotees out there for the cast iron grill pan.  To you I blow a big fat raspberry.  It takes longer to heat up, has hot spots and is a royal pain to clean. Then keep seasoned.  That last one my friends is reason numero uno why I don't have cast iron. Who wants to monkey around with special cleaning, drying then having to re-season when you are done.  Not.  Me.

All that aside smoke paprika is really a way to impart nice sweet hot smokey flavor to a dish or piece of meat.  Sprinkle it on, let it sit as a dry rub marinade for 15-30 minutes and you are set.  That period I put plastic wrap over it and simply allow the fish or meat to come to room temp. Added bonus is that room temp meat cooks more thoroughly and evenly than cold fresh from fridge.

Finding smoked Paprika isn't that difficult anymore.  Finding Good smoked paprika can be a challenge.  Gourmet shops have it, but they charge a small appendage.  Grocery stores stock OK but still pricey.  I found the current bottle I'm using at Cost Plus World Markets for under $4.  I've had similar luck at Surfas in Culver City and they have a veritable library of smoked paprikas covering a variety of price points.  I think I need to make another Surfas run soon.

Grill Pan Salmon

  • 4 8 oz salmon fillets
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Clean and dry off your salmon fillets.  Give a quick spritz with cooking spray and sprinkle garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Dust each salmon piece with about 1/2 t smoked paprika.  Turn fillets over and repeat with spritz, garlic salt, pepper and smoked paprika.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let come to room temperature and marinade for 15-30 minutes.  (The spritz of olive oil allows the paprika to stick to the fish).

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes.  NOTE if you are not using a non-stick pan you will need to oil your grill pan.  Add salmon fillets and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the cooked line is about 1/2 way up the side of the fish.  Turn over and cook another 2-4 minutes until cooked through. Serve hot.

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