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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Grilled Copper River Salmon and Asparagus

Every year about this time wild salmon from Alaska's Copper River hits the market. Farm-raised salmon literally pales in comparison -- here's an easy and delicious way to prepare the real deal.

Grilled Copper River Salmon and Asparagus
serves two

1 3/4 - 2 lbs. Copper River or other wild salmon filet
1 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp. chipotle powder
1 Tbs. capers, drained

20-24 spears fresh asparagus
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tbs. thyme (approx.)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Mince garlic in small food processor. Add juice of one lemon, olive oil and chipotle and process into a fragrant slurry. Pour marinade into rectangular glass dish and place fish flesh side down on top of marinade. Rub a bit of the marinade on the skin side, and let sit for 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime, snap bottoms of asparagus up to crisp point then coat with olive oil and toss with thyme, onions and black pepper. Cook in grill basket over medium heat with lid closed for about 10-12 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

Place salmon skin side down on grill, and pour any remaining marinade on flesh side, using a soft brush to distribute evenly. Cook over medium heat for about six minutes with lid closed, then unstick fish from grill with spatula. At this point the skin may separate from the fish, which is desirable. Close lid again and cook for another six minutes or until surface of fish is pink and not glassy.

Carefully remove fish from grill to platter and let rest. Put asparagus and onions back on grill for a few minutes to warm up, then arrange around salmon on platter. Pepper salmon to taste, and garnish with a generous tablespoon of capers. Serve immediately, accompanied by a good Pinot Noir or robust Rosé.
M. Zane Grey, 7:51 AM