Summertime is grilling time in Oklahoma, and there’s no better fish for grilling than salmon.
“It’s good on the grill; it’s good baked, broiled, and unless you overcook it, you can’t hardly mess it up,” said Ron Watkins, owner of Avalon Seafood Market at Wilshire and May.
Cooked fresh, it’s a meal fit for Poseidon, but Watkins says that many in the state lack a natural instinct for the preparation of fish.
“The biggest problem that we have in Oklahoma is that not a lot of people grew up cooking fish,” he said. “We have a tendency to overcook the fish anyway.”
Avalon is a champion of fresh food, flying in 90 to 95 percent of its fish fresh. Watkins says freshness — along with proper preparation — is the difference in a meal fit for friends and one for the birds.
Tips for grilling salmon
Salmon, like all fish, cooks much quicker dried than when it’s fresh and moist, but quicker isn’t always better. Grilling will dry out the fish more and will result in overcooking, so take your time on the grill and let that wet salmon sizzle.
Freezing the fish results in cell damage that can’t be healed by the grill or any kind of marinade. In fact, overcooking frozen fish simply exacerbates its taste and texture. Avoid buying frozen fish (or even freezing it yourself). Instead, buy it fresh the day you intend to cook it.
In addition to Avalon, Gulfport Seafood Market, 8016 N May, and Super Cao Nguyen, 2668 N Military Ave., sell fresh fish daily.
Every fish changes color when it’s cooked, so it’s easiest to simply eyeball when it’s time to flip it. Start with the meat side down, and instead of flaking it, just watch the fish turn white about a third of the way up from the grill. On a typical grill, it should take about four minutes.
After that, flip it over so the skin side is down and repeat the process, leaving just a hint of rawness in the middle, for flavor.
Included here are two low-maintenance salmon and seafood recipes to help liven up your summer cuisine.
Ingredients: Salmon, olive oil, tartar sauce, preferred seasoning and spices, buns
Grind up salmon and mix in your favorite seasoning.
Use olive oil to shape salmon into patties.
Grill the patties.
Serve on buns with tartar sauce.
CAMPGROUND SHRING AND SCALLOPS
Ingredients: Shrimp, scallops, cherry tomatoes, green bell peppers, small mushrooms
Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp; place in a plastic bag.
Rinse scallops and toss them in the bag.
Pour a little Italian dressing in with them and take with you to the campground.
Score the tomatoes, slice up the peppers, cap the mushrooms and slush them around in the baggie.
Skewer it all up and grill, about four minutes per side.