by John Ryan
wood chip packet*
4 salmon steaks
Salt and pepper
Black bean sauce:
1 (16-ounce) can black beans
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Start the coals and make a small packet of wood chips. Dry the salmon steaks with a paper towel, then lightly oil both sides of the salmon and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
2. When the coals are ready (or your gas grill is hot), rub the grill rack with a little oil, then put the salmon on the grill for about 5 minutes. When you turn the steaks, toss the foil packet on the coals (lava rocks, "flavorizer bars"...) and cover the grill. Leave the bottom vents open, but close the top vents. The grill will soon fill with smoke. Don't uncover. Test the fish after 5 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Don't drain the beans, just stir them and the spices in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Mash about half the beans with a fork to give the sauce more body, then season with lime (or lemon) juice and maybe some salt.
4. Put the salmon on a platter and pass the sauce separately.
*Wood chip packet—I don't soak wood chips. I wrap a handful or two in aluminum foil then poke the foil with a fork. Soaking chips works too. Either way, the chips aren't allowed to burst into flame, so they smoke like crazy.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created July 1999
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