Culinary Curious

Photo: Carl Tremblay

Sweet and Saucy Gas-Grilled Salmon with Lime-Jalapeno Glaze

Presented by America's Test Kitchen

Serves 4

Why this recipe works:

Salmon is perfect for glazing and for grilling, but try to do both things at once and the fish desperately wants to stick to the grill grate. One typical way recipes get around the problem - cooking the salmon skin side down without flipping it - sacrifices the skin to the grill and renders salmon without grill marks - or much grill flavor. Homemade foil trays coated with cooking spray allowed for great grill marks, full smoke flavor, and no sticking in our recipe for Sweet and Saucy Gas-Grilled Salmon with Lime - Jalapeno Glaze. Removing the skin allowed us to apply a glaze on both sides of the salmon. To keep the glaze from burning, we divided it in half and added butter to one half. We used the unbuttered glaze at the beginning (without butter, it didn't burn). We applied a portion of the buttered glaze after turning (to thicken slightly) and the rest when serving.

NOTE: Use any brand of heavy-duty aluminum foil to make the grill trays, but be sure to spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, you can use Reynolds Release Nonstick Aluminum Foil and skip the cooking spray.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup jalapeno jelly
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, including stems
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 scallions, chopped rough
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 salmon fillets (each 6 to 8 ounces and 1 1/4 inches thick), skin removed
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Process jelly, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and scallions in food processor or blender until smooth. Heat glaze in small saucepan over medium heat until just bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer 1/4 cup glaze to small bowl to cool slightly. Stir butter into glaze remaining in saucepan, cover, and set aside.
  2. Turn on all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until very hot, about 15 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape the grate clean.
  3. Use heavy-duty foil to make four 7 by 5-inch trays. Coat trays with cooking spray. Season salmon with salt and pepper, brush each side of each fillet with 1/2 tablespoon reserved glaze (without butter), and place skinned side up on trays.
  4. Making sure to leave the burners on high and cook with the lid down, place the trays with the salmon over the hot side of the grill and grill until the glaze forms a golden brown crust, 6 to 8 minutes. (Move the fillets to a cooler part of the grill if they darken too soon.) Using tongs, flip the salmon and cook 1 minute. Spoon half of the buttered glaze on the salmon and cook until the center of each fillet is still just translucent, about 1 minute. Transfer the salmon to a platter and spoon the remaining buttered glaze over it. Serve.