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  1. Tom Yum Goong Grilled Salmon Got a reprieve of a couple of days before my next biz trip due to some unplanned flight re-arrangements. So, time for another Kamado cook before I have to suffer withdrawal again. Whoo-hoo! I found in the Asian market while just browsing the shelves a few weeks ago a jar of Tom Yum Goong paste made in Thailand. Label indicates it has all the right Tom Yum ingredients. Being a Tom Yum lover I had to buy it. I was not sure how one really used it as there was no guidance on the jar but how hard can it be to figure out a nice paste like this. The first use was to add water and some leftover Kamado chicken and fresh sliced mushrooms and some green onion and make Tom Yum Gum soup. That was good. Had to guess at the proportions but made it work out. So the paste is a winner (at least this brand is) in my opinion. But I digress - so to continue... Well…tonight was grilled salmon night. A nice skinless 2.8 lb (farmed) fillet. Hummm… did not want to do my usual marinade and flavoring. Open fridge and bingo… the Tom Yum Goong paste. Well, why not? Rubbed both sides of the fish with the paste. Wet my hands and got the paste moistened to help the favor release in the paste. Let sit for about 30 minutes. BTW… the result was a good yet subtle flavor on the fish but it would have been better to put on a thicker coating, dampen it well and let it marinate for several hours. Which I will do next time (yes, there will be a next time). For serving, I took some of the paste and added a pat of butter and a small amount of water and heated in the microwave on medium power to make an optional plate sauce. Grilled the fish at 350-375 direct for 5 to 6 minutes a side. Added a half of yellow pepper to the grill just because. Served with steamed black rice as a side. The first course while the fish was marinating was an assorted cold plate of veggies, Laughing Cow creamy Swiss cheese, Baby Bell cheese with balsamic and some sliced pepperoni (yep another fridge find) served with our favorite wine enjoyed on the deck in beautiful evening weather in north Georgia today. A nice family time to catch up and relax from the day. The result on the fish was very nice. A different flavor profile than the "usual". The lemon grass and the lime leaf flavor as well as the overall Tom Yum element added a lot. It was enjoyed by the three of us and the vote was to do this again. So if you are looking for a different approach on salmon or perhaps other fish you might try this. Now I am thinking about how it might be on chicken… Here are the pics: Tom Yum Goong Salmon Tom Yum Goong Paste (http://http://www.pantainorasingh.com/index.php?name=products&file=products&bid=4&cid=195) Ready for the Grill Grilling The Fish The First Course The Final Result The Table Sauce Parting Shot
  2. Grilled Wild Salmon with Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms and Black Rice The Meal: Grilled Salmon, Stuffed Mushrooms & Black Rice A Meal By Themselves (or a Serious Good Appetizer Since These Are the Medium Sized Mushrooms) STUFFED CREMINI MUSHROOMS Ingredients: Medium sized cremini mushrooms Ham or bacon (divide into two equal portions) Note: I used my homemade pork loin (Canadian Bacon) ​ http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/14107-my-homemade-pork-loin-bacon-canadian-bacon/?p=161140 finely chopped onion finely chopped green bell pepper finely minced garlic dried thyme fried or fresh chopped red pepper salt and black pepper to taste seasoned bread crumbs balsamic vinegar shredded mozzarella cheese The Creminis Main Stuffing Ingredients Stuffing Ready for the Saute Remove stems and from the mushrooms. Finely chop the stems and place them in a mixing bowl. Combine stems in a sauté pan heated and drizzled with olive oil with the rest of the ingredients (including a half portion of the ham or bacon) except for the bread crumbs, balsamic vinegar and cheese. Cook on medium heat until flavor comes together and some of the onion begins to caramelize and ham or bacon is cooked through. This step with the bacon or ham lets the vegetable flavorings go into the meat. Stuffing Under Way Mixture Before Lardons & Balsamic Take other half portion of ham or bacon and separately pan fry until browned or crisp. Mix the lardons with the main stuffing mixture. This lets the lardon flavor become a separate element. Hint: If using ham or Canadian Bacon add a bit of butter or a touch of oil to promote the browning and crisping. The Lardons Add a good splash of balsamic vinegar to taste. Remove stuffing from heat and add sparse amounts at a time of seasoned bread crumbs just enough to add body to the stuffing and contribute a bit of binding. No need for any egg as the oils and breadcrumbs are sufficient binder. Finished Stuffing Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps and compress gently. Place on the grill at 400 degrees indirect for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the stuffed mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown. You can also set them over direct heat as part of the cook near the end for a bit more toasting underneath. Add a wood chunk too...I used some pecan. Mushrooms Ready for Grill GRILLED SALMON One large side of salmon filleted with skin on. The Wild Salmon (1.9 lbs) Marinade & Glaze Mix to together the following into a flavorful marinade – adjusting proportion by tasting. The largest ingredients are the soy and the sesame oil. Reserve about ¼ of marinade for use at the grill. low sodium soy sauce, Sesame oil Vietnamese fish oil, Mirin, powdered ginger (or grated fresh), garlic powder, onion powder , squirt of Sriracha cane syrup (or rapadura or brown sugar) splash of cooking oil. For the Marinade More For the Marinade The Marinade Let fish marinate for up to 4 hours in fridge (periodically spooning marinade over the fish) Just before grilling dust fish lightly on both sides with a Cajun seasoning blend (optional) Ready for the Grill Use oiled grilling basket or oil the hot grill well to prevent sticking. I prefer the grilling basket as it makes handling the fish so much easier. Grill over direct medium heat (350 -375) basting the flesh side with reserved marinade. Do not over cook. Maybe 8-10 minutes total depending on thickness. Alder is a good wood, but this time i used pecan. Occasional bits of charring on the fish flesh is desirable. In other words - it makes it taste good! Hint: For use of in the Kamado, I cut off the long handles on a grilling basket so it would fit inside with the lid shut. Note: On this cook I did not use the basket - and I wish I had! Additional Note: Save the grilled skin and cut it into medium size pieces and fry in hot skillet in its own oil to make “salmon skin crispies”. Man that tastes super! This you gotta try. BLACK RICE The meal was complemented with black rice prepared according to package directions on the stove top. Black Rice Package Black Rice Looks like This SERVE & ENJOY On the Platter and Ready to Go On The Table Beautiful Fish & ‘Shrooms Yummm! I hope this gives you some incentive to grill salmon and/or fix stuffed mushrooms in you Kamado.
  3. Pork Sirloin Tip Roast and Spicy Eggplant Cooked Kamado Style with Black Rice Side Dish This was an easy and quick cook done on Big(Red) Joe using the main cooking grid and the expansion rack. The Prep Two pork sirloin tip roasts (about 2.5 lbs each from a Costco 4 pack) were prepared by simply rinsing and drying, then rubbing with a light coat of a Mediterranean oil blend (olive, grapeseed, canola). I utilized a different seasoning approach -- I took about 8 garlic toes and minced then with a knife and then added a bit of salt and using a fork ground the garlic into a paste. Lightly scored the roasts in a wide spaced diagonal cross hatch all the way around and then rubbed the meat with the garlic paste working it into the scoring and coating the surface. Finished with a liberal sprinkling of some coarse ground black pepper. Let the seasoned meat sit out and come to room temperature while Big(Red)Joe got his act together. The accompanying main dish was a couple of nice large eggplants peeled and cut into medium sized pieces. Added to that was some Vidalia onion and yellow onions in medium pieces and some chopped green bell pepper and a handful of rough cut garlic. Tossed with some grapeseed oil. Poured over the eggplant and them mixed were 2 cans of San Marcos red chipotle salsa (the spicy secret here!). Foiled an 18 inch round low sided pizza pan for the eggplant cooking dish. Make sure to well oil the foil before adding the veggies to prevent sticking during the cook. Additionally, we had some leftover plain black rice. While the food was cooking in Joe, on the stove I added a bit of butter to a sauté pan and a few chopped green onions. Cook at low heat to soften the onions. Add some Better than Bouillon chicken base and a bit of water to make a very highly flavored sauce. Fold in the black rice and heated it through gently during the meat cook. Right before serving add chopped parsley. Makes a great dish! The Main Cook Big Joe was set up for indirect cooking at around 325 to 350 or so. Meat was put on main grid and the eggplant on the round tray on the top of the expansion rack. After a short while I realized the large round tray on the top of the expansion rack was restricting air flow and causing the temps on the main grill to rise significantly (like to 450 degrees) and the veggies to only be at 300 degrees . So I swapped the veggies to the main grid and put the roasts on the expansion rack. Readjusted the air vents and all was well. Cooked the roasts and veggies for about 1H20-1H30 minutes until the meat was at 150 internal. Make sure to gently stir the eggplant mix around on the tray as the extra heat coming around the deflector will cook them more on the outside of the pan than in the middle. Continue to cook the eggplant until soft while the roasts are resting a bit. You can even put the eggplant on ahead to ensure it is done at the same time as the meat. The Pictures Time to Eat! Seasoning the Pork Sirloin Tip Roasts – Garlic (lots!), Salt and Pepper Eggplant Dish Being Fixed Eggplant Mix and the Meat Ready for Big(Red)Joe Beginning the Cook in Big(Red)Joe (As noted in the text - I shortly swapped the meat to the expansion rack and the eggplant onto the main grate) One Roast is Ready and Sliced for Serving (Tender, and Juicy) One Roast Saved for a Later Meal The Finished Eggplant (it was really good tasting with the chipotle seasoning) The Black Rice Side Dish
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