Two Years Ago: Roasted Tomato Californian
It's corn season, and this is a fun and different way to use fresh corn. Almost nothing says "summer" more than grilling so celebrate the end of summer and the fleeting corn season with a healthy and delicious salmon and corn dinner.
I made fairly drastic changes to a recipe I found in the New York Times that featured halibut, but I'm sure the halibut would be equally good. Their recipe called for pre-cooked corn which made no sense if you're going to be grilling anyway, does it? If it's not corn season, just use frozen thawed corn - Trade Joes even has a bag of frozen roasted corn with nice char marks already on it that would be perfect.
Note that the recipe says to marinate the fish with spices for up to 3 hours, although I'm not sure why. I think you could skip that step and go directly from rubbing on the spice mix to the grill, letting the fish sit and marinate on the side while you grill the corn.
Regarding the spices, they're fairly potent so use your discretion regarding how much to add to the salmon and how much to add to the corn relish. I preferred a light hand with the spices so I could taste them more as a background note to the fresh salmon and corn. If you really like the spices in Indian food, by all means increase the amount. Just remember you can always add more later but you can't take some out.
The yogurt might seem like an unusual addition but the neutral creaminess goes really well with the spices and the rich salmon. If you skip (or shorten) the marinating step, this is a really easy weeknight dinner. Start the grill, rub the spices on the salmon, then start some rice. Grill the corn, then put the salmon on the grill while you (or a helpful friend) make the corn relish. Start to finish, I would say this shouldn't take any longer than about 45 minutes.
Grilled Spiced Salmon with Corn Relish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 salmon fillets, 5-6 ounces each
2 lemons (1 juiced and 1 quartered)
1 large or 1 small ears fresh corn, shucked (about 2 cups of kernels)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves plus more for garnish
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
Hot cooked rice
Combine cumin, coriander, fennel, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Rub salmon fillets with juice of ½ lemon, then sprinkle on some of the spice mix (light to medium as preferred), leaving at least 2 teaspoons spice mix for the corn relish. Rub the spice mix in, then refrigerate the salmon for up to 3 hours.
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Brush the ears of corn with the vegetable oil, then grill for 2 minutes per each of 4 sides until grill-marked and tender. Remove and let cool.
Place the salmon fillets on the grill skin side down for about 5 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula (the skin should come right off). Grill another 3-4 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 140d. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
While the salmon is grilling, prepare the corn relish: stand the ears of corn upright and cut the kernels off the cobs. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet, then add the chopped onion and sauté until tender. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons spice mix (depending on preference) and sauté, stirring, until you can smell the spices. Add corn kernels and the juice of ½ lemon. Cook briefly to heat through, then add the cilantro and stir to combine.
To serve, place some rice on each plate. Top with a salmon fillet and corn relish. Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on the side and garnish with a lemon wedge and cilantro sprig.