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Grill Tips

Steven Raichlen
see more great recipes and barbecue tips at Steve Raichlen's Web Site.

Pino's Grilled Salmon with Basil Cream
from The Barbecue! Bible(Workman Publishing, 1998)

Salmon has a natural affinity for basil, especially when paired with the following basil cream sauce. It is an invention of my friend Pino Savarino, a fine chef from Italy who works in Miami.

For the fish:

  • 4 salmon fillets (each 6 to 8 ounces and 3/4 to 1 inch thick), skinned and boneless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the grill to high.

2. Rinse the salmon fillets under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place the fillets on a platter and brush on both sides with the oil. Season both sides with lemon juice and salt and pepper, then set aside while you prepare the sauce.

3. Combine basil, wine, and garlic in a blender and process to a smooth puree. Transfer the puree to a small, heavy saucepan and stir in cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the lemon juice and butter. When the butter is incorporated, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm, covered.

4. When ready to cook, preheat a fish or vegetable grate (if using) for 5 minutes, then oil it or the grill grate. Arrange the salmon fillets on the hot grate and grill 3 to 6 minutes. Using a long spatula, carefully turn the fillets over and grill until the fish breaks into firm flakes wen pressed with a finger, 3 to 6 minutes more.

5. Using the spatula, carefully transfer the fillets to serving plates or a platter. Spoon the basil sauce on top and serve. Serves 4

Steven Raichlen is an acclaimed food writer, cooking teacher, syndicated columnist and lecturer. Among his cookbooks are the IACP/Julia Child Award-winning Miami Spice and the two-time James Beard award-winning High Flavor Low Fat cookbook series. His other IACP honors include a nomination, this year, for Healthy Latin Cooking: 200 Sizzling Recipes From Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil and Beyond, and the award for best single subjet cookbook in 1999 for The Barbecue Bible. He now lives and grills in Coconut Grove, Florida.

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