Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Juniper Grilled Salmon Steaks

To my knowledge, this recipe first appeared in print in the Kimball/Anderson book The Art Of American Cooking, it has since been reprinted in several books on Native American cooking, most notably in the Beverly Cox/Martin Jacobs Spirit of the Harvest, where they label is "Gitksan Grilled Salmon," without any mention given in any subsequent publication of the Kimball/Anderson recipes originally printed in 1965.  All the same the recipe is a good one, simple and tasty.  The Juniper adds a nice flavor that helps cut the fat of fresh salmon steaks.  I'm just calling it:


6 Salmon Steaks cut in the traditional manner with the backbone at the top
Around 6 to 8 juniper berries per steak
Salt and black pepper to taste
Lemon Wedges (optional, but tasty)
Alder, apple wood, or other favorite grilling wood chips soaked (optional)
Charcoal grill
Fish griller (optional)

1.  Press the Juniper berries into each salmon steak.  Then season each on both sides with salt and pepper.  Set aside

2.  Light charcoal and let heat to white coal stage.  Drain wood chips if you are using them.  

3.  Oil the fish griller, if using; or, if not, oil the grill itself.  Through chip onto the coals, place fish over and grill about 3 minutes on each side.  Season again with salt and pepper, if needed (extra pepper is never a bad thing).  Serve hot with lemon wedges.

If you don't like juniper, or more importantly, if you are allergic to it, whole black peppercorns or even pink peppercorns can be substituted.  Also, these can be broiled in a conventional oven at around 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending how close they are to the heat source.  The seaweed recipe Gluckastan would make a good side dish for this.

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