Argentinians are big into grilling and cook on a special type of surface – iron made racks which are sloped with V shaped grates, that captures fats and juices from the meat. The flavor profile of Argentinian food is not spicy, but traditionally herbaceous and very aromatic because of the rubs and sauces they use. Beef, lamb and pork are all Argentinian favorites, but fresh salmon is a nice lighter substitute, especially during the warm summer months.
Salmon can sometimes be a tricky fish to grill because it can stick to the grates, or break apart during cooking. However, the key to easy grilling is to oil the fish and grates first, and not to flip too soon. If you follow these steps, salmon should release naturally; like a cookie on a sheet pan after cooling.
This salmon recipe is super flavorful and easy to prepare – a quick dry rub for the fish and a puree of nuts, mustard and cilantro creates a zesty sauce for the fish. The Cilantro Peanut Sauce is slightly chunky, with flecks of herbs throughout – a nice contrast to the smoky grilled salmon.
4 fillets of salmon, about 5 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper (my favorite)
Cilantro Peanut Sauce
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts lightly salted
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt & pepper
1. Preheat grill to 375 or heat coals until light grey. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper. Generously sprinkle dry rub over salmon.
2. In a food processor or blender, add all Sauce ingredients, except olive oil and puree for 30 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Place sauce in a bowl and reserve until later.
3. Place fish, flesh side down on grill and cook for 4 minutes. Gently flip salmon over and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how you prefer your salmon (medium rare to medium). Remove salmon from grill and place on a platter or plate. Spoon Cilantro Peanut Sauce on each fillet. Enjoy!