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There is something about the warm, glowing coals of a Weber kettle that make it a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day. Why not fire up the grill and serve something for your sweetheart cooked over a live fire this holiday? Weather using gas or charcoal, there is something special about preparing a meal all done on a Weber.
This recipe has two main components, and can be broken apart for easier preparation. Cook and cool the beets in advance (up to 4 days), so all you have to do on that special day is fire up the grill and roast the salmon.
This is one dinner sure to warm the heart of any backyard griller!
by Matt Jost
Makes: 2 salmon dinners
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes for beets, 20 minutes for salmon
Heavy duty foil
3 beets, large (about 4 ½ inches in diameter)
2 oz olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 salmon filets, 12-14 oz, skin on (about 2 inches thick)
1 4oz package herb garlic cheese
2 oz fruit liquor (raspberry, cherry, etc)
Salt and pepper
4 each thyme sprigs (pick the leaves off, chop roughly and set aside)
1. Prepare the grill for direct, medium grilling (about 450F). This will be one chimney full of charcoal.
2. Oil the beets and season with the salt and pepper. Wrap each beet with a sheet of foil. Make sure they are each wrapped very well.
3. Pour the lit coals into a pile in the center of the grill and “nest” the beets into the lit coals. Close the lid. For a gas grill, place the beets directly on top of the grill grates and roast.
4. After 25 minutes, flip the beets over and continue cooking for about 20 minutes more.
5. Check the beets for doneness with your meat thermometer. If the point goes in easily, they are cooked through. If not, continue to cook and check after 10 more minutes.
6. After the beets have cooked, remove them from the grill, open the foil and allow to cool down.
7. While the beets cool, make a slit into the top of each salmon filet. Don’t cut all the way through to the skin, cut enough to open it up like a baked potato.
8. Use a pastry bag to pipe the herb cheese into the salmon. Fill the cavity as best as you can.
9. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper and set aside.
10. Cut the skin and burned parts from the beets and slice them into bite sized wedges. Toss with some of the thyme leaves, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
11. Check the grill, it should be about 450F, if necessary, add some lit charcoal to bring it back to temperature. For gas grilling, your grill is always ready to go!
12. Place the salmon filets in the center of the grill and close the lid. Roast for 15 minutes.
13. After 15 minutes, brush each filet with the fruit liquor. Baste them pretty well all over.
14. Continue to cook the salmon until a thermometer registers 145F in the center of the thick part on the filet (don’t check the cheese, make sure you test the salmon).
15. Once the salmon has cooked through, slide the spatula between the skin and filet and lift off (easy, right?).
16. Serve with the beets.
Keep the coals hot!