Grilled Salmon Sandwiches   Recipe
Grilled Salmon Sandwiches

By Wolfgang Puck

Now is when men, whether or not they participate in the kitchen at other times of year, like to take over the cooking. Give us the chance to play with live flames and generate lots of smoke and drama, and we're happy to make a meal. (Many women, of course, enjoy grilling, too, though in my experience they tend to be much more sensible and less showy about it.)

When it comes to grilling, most people still think of quickly cooked burgers, sausages, steaks, or chicken breasts, or more slowly, gently cooked ribs, brisket, or turkey breasts. But I'd like to suggest expanding your horizons with something that's quick and easy to grill: fish fillets.

Many kinds of fish work well on the grill. Look for those that are not only firm, so they'll hold together better on the grill, but also richer and slightly oily, so they'll stay moist in the dry heat. Try farmed white sturgeon, or mahi-mahi, (as long as it's from the U.S. and caught by troll or pole).

My two favorite fish for grilling, however, are salmon and tuna. Both not only meet the criteria I just mentioned but also have distinctively rich, pleasing flavors that satisfy as much as red meat, not to mention the fact that they're rich in fats that doctors tell us are healthy. Both work wonderfully in sandwich recipes like the one I share here, which is every bit as satisfying as a great grilled burger.

Whichever fish you choose, coat it evenly with olive oil first to keep it from sticking. I also like to add some fresh herbs or spices. Be careful not to overcook the fish. Use a sharp knife to cut into the center of fillet at the earliest point in the suggested cooking time range. Salmon should still be slightly pink in the middle, like medium-rare meat, and mahi should be on the even rarer side, to keep them moist and flavorful.

Speaking of moisture, be sure to include a great sauce in your sandwich, like my Smoked Salmon Remoulade, as well as some fresh, tender vegetables, to enhance the flavor, texture, and look of your results.

Grilled Salmon Sandwiches Recipe

Makes 4 Sandwiches

Recipe Ingredients

4 wild Alaskan salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each

Extra-virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 slices bakery sandwich bread, each about 1/2 inch thick

Smoked Salmon Remoulade (recipe follows)

1 medium organic Japanese cucumber, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into slices 1/8 inch thick

2 tomatoes, sliced

4 ounces arugula leaves, rinsed thoroughly and patted dry

Spago Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Recipe Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Preheat your grill.

Rub the salmon fillets on both sides with olive oil and thyme and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the fillets until they are nicely browned on both sides and done medium, still pink and juicy inside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove them from the grill and set aside.

As soon as the salmon starts cooking, place the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush them on both sides with olive oil. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

Spread the Salmon Remoulade on one side of 4 slices of the toasted bread. Place the salmon on top of the remoulade on each of those slices. Top the each salmon fillet with sliced cucumber and 2 slices of tomato.

Put the arugula in a mixing bowl and toss the leaves with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat them lightly. Divide the leaves evenly among the sandwiches, placing them on top of the tomatoes. Place the remaining bread slices on top and, with a sharp knife, cut each sandwich in half diagonally. Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon Remoulade Recipe

Makes about 1/2 cup

Recipe Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 ounce thinly sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, dill, chives, thyme, and tarragon

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped drained capers

1 teaspoon minced red onion

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon tomato ketchup

Recipe Preparation

Put all the ingredients in a food processor with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Spago Vinaigrette Recipe

Makes about 1-1/4 cups

Recipe Ingredients

1 heaping tablespoon minced shallots (about 2 large shallots)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Zinfandel vinegar

2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

Recipe Preparation

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and the mustard. Whisk in the vinegars and then, pouring them in a thin, steady stream, the olive and vegetable oils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Available at Amazon.com:

Desserts by the Yard

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Recipes: "Grilled Salmon Sandwiches "

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