No Oven, No Problem by Julie Busteed

Somehow it seems to happen that whenever we have out of town guests, something breaks, or clogs, or freezes. Think plumbers on Christmas Eve, or a dozen guests enjoying the warmth of the fireplace – because the power has gone out. This visit was no different, the day before company arrived our ovens decided to quit working. Not a total disaster since the stovetop still functioned, but I needed to alter my menus none the less.   

It has been several years since we’ve owned a grill and we’ve been planning to get one. As luck would have it, we were gifted a Kamado Joe! Yes, they were those kind of out of town guests, and yes, they probably figured it was their best shot at eating a home cooked meal. 

To be clear, the Kamado Joe is to “grill” as Ferrari is to a riding mower. This thing is on another level. The heat is enclosed entirely in a thick, ceramic shell, making common recipes that say “Bring the temperature to 700 degrees.” My ovens don’t go to 700 degrees…even when they’re working. The delivery crew shows up to assemble the unit dressed like they were going to a wedding… Which they were.  (Thanks Jill and Bob…)  And, like Ferrari, most of the Kamado Joes are red. Think of Marcel’s as the showroom, with free delivery and setup. 

I’ve had to skip over “grill” recipes for many years, and now here was my chance to dive back in. So far, we’ve seared steaks, grilled shrimp, warmed bread, grilled romaine and even baked banana bread. The surprising one was grilling salmon.  I had adapted this salmon recipe for the oven and it had proven quite tasty, but now I was actually able to grill it and wow, what a difference!


Asian Grilled Salmon
  1. 1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)
  2. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  3. 3 tablespoons good soy sauce
  4. 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  5. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  1. While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.
  3. Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
  4. Grilling with high heat is a little like learning a new language. There’s a bit of a transition, but once you have the basics, a lot of exciting culinary adventures become available. And the flavors that will appear are astounding. Plus, it’s a great option to have when your appliances go on the fritz.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Seared Wild Salmon with Potatoes, Asparagus and Sauce Gribiche

Seared Wild Salmon with Potatoes, Asparagus and Sauce Gribiche
Serves 6
Wild salmon is very lean and will not tolerate long or overly aggressive cooking techniques. A quick sauté over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes is all you need. The fish must remain medium-rare in the center or it will be dry and unpalatable. It is so much better for you and for our environment than grain-fed, farm-raised salmon.
For the Sauce
  1. 1 large shallot, minced
  2. 2 T. red wine vinegar
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 T. Dijon mustard
  5. 1/3 – ½ cup olive oil
  6. 2 t. minced capers
For the Potatoes
  1. 2 pounds waxy potatoes (Yukon gold, red bliss, fingerling, etc.) cut into ¾” dice
  2. 12 oz. asparagus spears, cut into 1 ½” lengths
  3. 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  4. 2 T. unsalted butter
  5. salt and pepper to taste
For the Fish
  1. 24 oz. wild salmon filet, skin removed
  2. 1 T. cornstarch
  3. 1 T. brown sugar
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. 3 T. olive or vegetable oil
Make the Sauce Gribiche
  1. Combine the minced shallot and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Place the egg in a small saucepan with water to barely cover over medium-high heat. When the water boils, reduce heat slightly and cook for 4 minutes only. Immediately remove the egg from the water and immerse in cold water to stop it from cooking further and cool. Peel the egg carefully – the white will be soft-firm and the yolk will still be a bit runny. Put the white onto a cutting board and set aside and let the yolk fall into a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg yolk and mustard together until relatively smooth. Start dribbling in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to create a smooth emulsion. Lift the shallots from the vinegar and stir in. Add as much of the vinegar as you like to balance the sauce’s flavor (I usually use it all), stir in the capers, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Chop the egg white into very small pieces and stir it in. Set aside.
Cook the potatoes
  1. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it boils, add the potatoes and cook until barely tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the asparagus is barely tender. Drain and return to the pot with the butter and scallions, stirring gently to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Cook the salmon
  1. Combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and let it heat. While the oil is heating, season both sides of the fish with the cornstarch mixture. When the oil is hot, place the fish in the pan, presentation side down and cook without disturbing for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the fish is opaque about 2-3mm up the sides. Turn and cook another minute to 30 seconds. Immediately remove the fish from the pan.
To serve
  1. Mound the potato mixture slightly off-center on dinner plates. Dribble a bit of the sauce on the potatoes. Lean a fish filet partially over the potatoes. Dribble the fish with the sauce and dribble more sauce around the plate. Enjoy!
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/