Sizzle into Summer: Seafood on the Grill

May 22, 2008 6:55:04 AM PDT
Chef Shelley Young, founder and owner of Chicago's acclaimed The Chopping Block cooking school and retail store, shares two seafood recipes that can be prepared on the grill. Brined and Grilled Fresh Salmon

Brine

  • 1/2gallon water
  • 1cup kosher salt
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • ½ cup fresh tarragon, whole with stems
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 bottle white wine

  • 1 side of Salmon, approximately 2 1/2to 3 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons espelette pepper, or cracked black pepper
Brine:

Bring water to a boil and stir in salt, sugar, tarragon, lemons and peppercorns. Turn off the heat add the wine and let ingredients rest for 1 hour. Place brine in the refrigerator until completely chilled approximately 2 hours. Strain all solid ingredients from liquid and discard them. You may have excess brine depending on the container you use to brine the fish in, if you find that you do just refrigerate the brine for later use.

To Brine Fish:

Place the side of salmon in a shallow baking dish or in a plastic bag and cover with brining liquid let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. Remove from brine pat dry, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.

To Grill:

Heat grill to 500 degrees and place salmon skin side down and cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, turn the fish over and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Remove from grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. The fish will continue to cook after it is removed from the grill so we always aim to under cook things slightly when it comes off the grill.

Spice Rubbed Ahi Tuna

  • 2-6 to 8oz pieces Ahi tuna, at least 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite spice rub, we love Thomas Douglas's Rubs
  • Salt to taste
Rub tuna steaks in olive oil and then follow with spice rub. Preheat grill to 500 degrees Grill tuna for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes.

Notes:

Tuna is generally cooked to medium rare because of its low fat contact; it tends to dry out if cooked further. If your preference is for tuna cooked beyond medium rare a technique that can be used to keep it from drying out is this. Marinade the tuna in a half cup of extra virgin unfiltered olive oil. Extra virgin unfiltered olive oil has a water loving and a protein loving end in its molecules so marinating the tuna for 2 hours in the oil creates a marbling effect and keeps it moist.

When working with spice rubs remember that the salt content varies greatly so make sure to taste it prior to applying to the fish. It is better to ere on the side of less salt as it can always be added at the table.

The Chopping Block offers a cooking called 'Seafood on the Grill.' They will teach you how to successfully grill fish and shellfish on gas and charcoal grills, including Chimichurri Shrimp Bruschetta; Cedar Planked Salmon with Grilled Salsa Fresca; and Spice Rubbed Snapper with Fregola Apple Salad at Lincoln Square, 4747 N. Lincoln Avenue, on Wednesday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, June 20 at 10:00 a.m. It costs $50.

For more information visit thechoppingblock.net .

The Chopping Block Locations

4747 N. Lincoln Avenue
773.472.6700

The Merchandise Mart
Suite 107
Kinzie & Wells
312.644.6360


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