Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Southern Grilling Season

It's starting to get chilly here in Piedmont North Carolina. To me, that means I need to get in as much outdoor cooking as possible before grilling season ends. Of course there's no official grilling season, but to me it corresponds with the yard mowing months ... which, throughout most of the South, is mid-March through mid-October. So, yeah, even though I'm kind of making up this whole grilling season thing, I think most people would instinctively follow the same sort of guidelines.

Granted, you don't have to limit yourself to mild weather if you really want some fire-cooked beef, poultry, veggies or fish. I once interviewed chef Daniel Orr about his cooking philosophies, and he told me he would often bundle up and go light up the grill even though his patio was covered in snow. That's a man who loves grilled food!

While you won't find me cooking outside in a winter wonderland, I do love grilling on cool fall evenings. And my current favorite is cedar plank-grilled salmon.

The cedar really does enhance the flavor of the fish. I definitely recommend it. Just follow the instructions on the plank packaging and soak them before using.  

While the salmon tastes wonderful on its own, my recommendation is to create a salmon-spinach Cobb salad:

Salmon-Spinach Cobb Salad

4 cups fresh spinach greens
1 medium salmon fillet
1 hard-boiled egg
1 Roma tomato
2 slices of low-fat bacon
cracked black pepper, to taste
handful of croutons
2 Tbsp. of Marie's Creamy Italian Garlic dressing

Wash and dry the greens. Flake the salmon in with the greens. Slice the egg and tomato and add to salad.  Crumble the bacon over the salad. Add pepper, if desired, and a handful of croutons. Top off with dressing and toss.

This salad is yum. It's very savory. I love it; I hope you will, too!

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