A few days ago, Brian brought over a whole salmon, wild caught he said, sans head and tail. I didn’t weigh it, but I’d say about 2 pounds.
My recipe for Grilled Whole Fish — gleaned from Cook’s Illustrated and the Big Green Egg Cookbook is pretty simple and straightforward.
Set the EGG for direct cooking with the porcelain coated grid and preheat to 350°F.
Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Slash the skin on both sides of the fish, coat the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity with something flavorful. I had a leek cleaned and split lengthwise and 3 tender stalks of celery. If I had fresh herbs I’d stuff those in there.
Place the salmon on the grill so it can easily be rolled over its back to the other side.
This fish is pretty thick, so grill for 8 minutes on the first side, roll over. Grill for another 8 minutes, roll over. Take its temperature… you want 135-140°F. Roll over at 8 more minutes if necessary. Grill until the internal temperature is proper.
Remove to a cutting board or platter and rest.
And then, and then… we were in Raley’s on Sunday and saw a bunch of pretty big whole fish in the fish case. “Are those salmon?” I asked.
The fish lady said, “Wild caught Sockeye Salmon.”
“How much,” I asked, “they look like about 3 pounds each.”
“That’s about right,” she said. “They’re $16 a pound today… but come back tomorrow on Five-Dollar-Monday and they’ll be $5 a pound.” I promised her I would do just that.
Our week looked pretty crowded around dinnertime, so I grilled it Monday evening.
Any time I light the EGG, I look around and think about whatever else might cook at the same time. Some summer favorites: Romano Beans steamed for 4 or 5 minutes before going on the grill; a peach, split in half and seed removed — this can be eaten with ice cream or creme fraiche for dessert, eaten with the meal or saved for breakfast; a smallish Haas Avocado, cut in half and seed removed.
There is that peach half, a couple hunks of salmon and half of a roasted beet atop a roasted red bell pepper (from a jar). That’s just a good way to start the day.