Sunday, December 2, 2012

In a New York Summer State of Mind

Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn and Watercress Salad.  Recipe courtesy of Quinn Hatfield of Food & Wine.
Now that Winter has officially arrived in New York and clearly here to stay, I am beginning to miss my favorite season desperately more and more each day.

Summer in New York is my prime time.
I spend half the year anxiously awaiting the other half of it to arrive.
Summer means cocktails outside on the patio, relaxing with friends and my pup while watching the sunset and enjoying the peaceful side to urban NYC living at it's best.
  But there is always one thing I crave the most and that is grilling!

My Housewarming Barbeque.  The start of it all.  NYC, May 2011

There is nothing quite as exciting to me as lighting up a charcoal grill for the first barbeque of the Summer season.  

Just the mere scent of the charcoals heating up and the sound of delicious food sizzling is enough to send my mind into a frenzy of awesome Summer memories.

Blanca in rare form on the terrace...Cabana Style
Me in my element...and the start of an addiction
Sunset and the City 
On a typical night, you can't even hear a sound.  A peaceful NYC.
Dinner with a View
 And when I am craving the awesome flavors of Summer all over again, I make this simple dish that is my go-to Summer staple.  
Always a "wow-your-guests" kind of dish and easy to make sans-grill.
The ingredients are all perfectly paired with one another and will have you (and your guests) begging for 2nd's!

**And if you haven't already tried making or ever purchased a good bottle of Balsamic Reduction, this recipe will have you hooked for life!

So in lieu of Summer....
Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn & Watercress Salad
Recipe courtesy of Quinn Hatfield of Food & Wine.
Servings: 4.    Total Prep & Cooking time: 40 min.

Chef Quinn Hatfield stuffs pickled ginger into slits in the salmon to infuse it with flavor. To keep the sliced fish intact and the ginger in place, he cleverly skewers the fillets before cooking.

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar for the Balsamic Glaze (or pre-made bottle of)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil 
5 small ears of corn, shucked 
Four 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets 
20 small slices of pickled ginger (about 1 ounce) 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
1/2 teaspoon honey 
1 bunch of watercress, thick stems discarded (about 8 ounces) 

Preparation & Cooking instructions:  
1.  Heat grill or turn the oven on Broil. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 cup of the balsamic vinegar until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Let the reduction cool until thickening, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. 
2.  Brush the corn lightly with canola oil. Grill or broil the corn over high heat, turning, until nicely charred all over, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Using a serrated knife, cut the kernels from the cobs. 
3.  Arrange the salmon fillets skin side down on a work surface. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make five 1/2-inch-deep slits crosswise in the flesh of each fillet (making sure not to cut through the fish entirely). Stuff 1 -2 small slices of ginger into each slit, then thread each fillet lengthwise with a short skewer. 
4.  Season the salmon fillets with 1 tablespoon canola oil, salt and pepper and add the fillets to the grill or broiling pan (use non-stick cooking spray); place filets skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is lightly golden, about 3 minutes Turning salmon over and continue grilling/broiling (approx 3 minutes) until the skin is very crisp and the fish is just cooked through.
5.  In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with the mustard and the honey. Gradually whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of canola oil into the dressing. Add the grilled corn kernels and watercress to the bowl and toss to coat. Transfer the salad to plates and top with the skewered salmon. Drizzle the fish and salad with the balsamic vinegar reduction and serve right away.
Notes: To make a larger batch of the reduction, start with at least one cup of vinegar and boil until syrupy and reduced by more than half. Refrigerate without the oil for up to 2 weeks. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over grilled vegetables or fresh fruit, or add to sparkling water.

***And here is my original recipe I love to make in the Winter months, using the Gingered Salmon from Quinn Hatfields recipe along with some of my favorite ingredients: 

Gingered Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sauted Baby Bok Choy

Enjoy! xoxo,

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