Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tandoori-Spiced Grilled Salmon & Curried Couscous

Light, moist and enormously flavourful, Salmon is also one of the most nutrient rich and versatile fish around. It's also one of the healthiest. Low in saturated fat and calories, but high in protein, Salmon is a near perfect food — in my mind anyway — which is why I'm always on the lookout for delicious new ways of preparing this paradigm of pink perfection. I also adore Indian cuisine, and love the way the combination of aromatic spices, fragrant grated ginger and minced garlic all blend together to create this magnificent and memorable marinade for Tandoori Spiced Grilled Salmon.

Tandoori spice rub of sweet paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, turmeric and pepper blended with garlic, ginger and vegetable oil for the saffron-hued marinade

Easy to prepare, the salmon is simply marinated for an hour or two in a Tandoori spice rub of sweet paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, turmeric and black pepper which is then blended with garlic, ginger and vegetable oil, to produce a brilliant saffron-hued marinade. Placed on a preheated outdoor grill, the salmon is cooked at medium-high for 10-15 minutes, until the salmon is just cooked though. Garnished with a flurry of sesame seeds and some wedges of lemon or lime, this dish is delicious served with some warm naan bread, Cold Noodle Salad, or Curried Couscous, for an easy and scrumptious summer dinner.

The salmon is coated with the marinade and chilled for 1-3 hours, allowing the flavours to meld

Curried Couscous with yogurt, curry powder, turmeric, diced carrots, 
scallions, blanched almonds and dried cranberries

Tandoori-Spiced Grilled Salmon
Serves 4

Tandoori spice rub:
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 6-oz salmon fillets, preferably with skin on
3 tbsp tandoori spice rub
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Prepare the spice rub by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until thoroughly mixed. Marinate the salmon by first patting dry the salmon fillets with a paper towel, then arrange them in a glass baking dish in a single layer. Mix the spice rub, olive oil, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon and rub the mixture on the tops and sides of the fillets, then cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and marinate the salmon for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours in the fridge.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove the salmon from the fridge to let it come to room temperature. Just before cooking, season the fillets with salt. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high. Cook the salmon, skin side up for 5 to 6 minutes, then cover the grill and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or to your preference: 125ºF for medium rare and 135ºF for medium. To serve, transfer the salmon to a platter and garnish with sesame seeds and wedges of lime if desired.

Curried Couscous
Serves 6

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants, raisins or cranberries
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup small-diced red onion

Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.