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Monday, June 30, 2008

grilled salmon with basil aioli

grilled salmon with basil aioli

What I'm about to tell you is a true story, and hopefully no one will get in trouble for it... The other day my neighbor, who works for a major airline here in Atlanta, knocked frantically on my door. She was holding a plastic bag and practically jumping with excitement. What's was in the bag? Fresh salmon fillets, each about 3 pounds, that were flown in that morning from Alaska. Why was she holding them? Because the crate they were flown in on (via a competing airline) had fallen to the ground during cargo unloading, and my neighbor was kind enough (devious enough?) to sneak several fillets away before the competition noticed they were missing. She was generous enough to share one of these with me. I have to say that it was, hands down, the best piece of salmon I have ever had. I just grilled it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and made this basil aioli featured in July's Bon Appetit. On the side I made grilled polenta squares and a little caprese salad (to use up an avocado and some extra tomato and mozzarella I had leftover). It was the perfect summer meal.

Grocery list: salmon fillet (2-3 pounds), mayo, anchovy paste, basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, worcestershire. For the avocado caprese, tomatoes, basil, avocado, mozzarella, balsamic, good quality olive oil. For the polenta cakes, just polenta and parmesan.

basil aioli

The original recipe calls for making your own mayo as the base for this aioli. Considering my past disasters with attempting homemade mayo, I decided to pass on this extra step and use good old-fashioned hellman's. Mix together one cup of mayo mixed with a few T of chopped basil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp each of red wine vinegar and worcestershire, plus 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste, mixed together with a dash of hot sauce.

polenta to grill

On the side, I made a simple grilled polenta. Cook your polenta according to the package directions, season well with salt & pepper, then spread into a thin layer in a pan, about an inch thick. Make sure you brush the pan with olive oil well first; then allow the polenta to harden as it cools (refrigerate to speed up the process). Invert the pan over a cutting board, cut into squares, brush with more olive oil, then grill over med-high heat.

avocado caprese salad

I also cubed some leftover mozzarella, an heirloom tomato and an avocado, plus a handful of torn basil leaves. Tossed with some good olive oil and a few drops of balsamic, this made a great contrast in texture to the polenta and salmon.

1 comment:

Mama Liz said...

You know me and I am not a huge fan of seafood, but that looks like one AMAZINGLY delicious meal!!