Friday, January 11, 2008

Mesa Grill Cookbook

Having enjoyed meals at both the New York and Las Vegas outposts of Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, I was excited to see that there was finally a Mesa Grill cookbook. I spotted it in the Borders at the Time Warner Center and made note to put it on my Amazon wish list (aren't I bad?). It was a welcome Christmas gift.

I plan on making several dishes from this book in the coming year. So far I've tried one, or most of one: Red Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce and Jalapeno Crema. I'm not a big bean-eater, and didn't feel like running to the store for creme fraiche or jalapenos, so I stuck with what we had: salmon, ancho chile powder, dijon, and honey. I served it with some leftover macaroni and cheese (Alton Brown's stovetop recipe) that I "Southwesternized" by adding a finely minced chipotle in adobo, ground cumin, chopped red onion, and cilantro. The combination of meat and starch reminded me of one of my very favorite hot lunches from grade school, fish cakes and fabulous mac-and-cheese (second only to Mom's).

The salmon came out beautifully crusty on the outside and medium-rare on the inside. I loved that the glaze was so simple - three ingredients - and tasted so good. I'll definitely make this again, maybe with the crema next time.

Red Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon

Ancho Glaze Salmon
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 salmon fillets, 8-ounces each
2 tablespoons canola oil

1. Whisk together honey, ancho and mustard in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat grill pan or nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Brush salmon with oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon in the pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown and a crust has form, 2-3 minutes. Brush the top of the salmon with some of the glaze, flip over and continue cooking until a crust has formed and the salmon is cooked to medium doneness, 2 minutes longer.

3. Remove from the grill, glazed-sized up and brush with more of the glaze.

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