Yeah — another BGE recipe. A number of folks have indicated that they like reading these as they spark culinary ideas of their own. As well, this recipe is quite simple and could easily be adapted for a regular grill (gas or otherwise) or oven…
This weekend’s Big Green Egg adventure was a whole Salmon. In the last Salmon episode, I mentioned that I wanted to try cooking the salmon open faced to maximize the smoke exposure and ensure that the salmon cooks more evenly. My concern being that the salmon would dry out too much.
I needn’t have worried. The key was in the preparation. The salmon was large enough that cooking it open face would cover the grill. And, of course, transferring a salmon covered in goodies to a hot grill is rife with spillage potential.
The key is to pull the grilling grid out of the egg, clean it, then prep the salmon directly on the grid. Once prepped and the egg is hot, the salmon on grid can be easily dropped into the egg. Helps to have a grid lifter.
After yanking all the bones out of the salmon and splitting it into two halves, I flipped it to skin side up and applied salt and oil to the skin. Then, back over it went for the toppings to be applied.
I then sautéed onions and oyster mushrooms in about 3/4ths of a stick of butter. The result was poured over the top of the salmon. On top of that went sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh dill. I then tossed some salt, pepper, and budapest paprika over everything.
The Egg was preheated to about 225 degrees, with a generous helping of hickory chips and fresh apricot branches on top of the coals. Lots and lots of smoke is was being produced.
The prepped salmon (already on the grill) was then placed into the egg. It was slow roasted until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat hit 130 degrees. I then pulled the salmon out of the egg, grill and all, and let it sit for 10 minutes underneath a tent of foil.
The end result was amazing. Just incredible. I’m amazed that I was able to produce such a result given my lack of culinary training or background.
Every bit as succulent and tasty as the first two salmon, but cooking it open faced led to a much more intensely smoky flavor. Because of the egg’s engineering and the amount of moisture in the salmon, butter, and veggies, there appears to be no risk of the salmon drying out during cooking.
Update: Stefan wrote in with a suggestion to lay off the paprika. Actually, I have been. I never use regular paprika, opting for either home made chile powder or certain kinds of very finely ground dried peppers. In this case, I used what my family calls “Budapest Paprika”. It is a fine ground dried pepper that my parents grow. It has a wonderful flavor; not spicy at all as it is more sweet with an almost tropical fruit flavored overtone.