I love backyard barbecuing in the summer. It keeps the mess outside, as well as the heat. And I don’t feel left out of the action, like I sometimes do when I’m inside in the kitchen and the rest of my family and guests are out enjoying the sunshine.
We have a pond nestled into the woods in our backyard: Crickets and frogs sing their songs, and early in the evening we can even hear the owls. I have been known to fall asleep late in the evening after being serenaded by their chorus. The squirrels keep up their frenetic pace, oblivious to my presence. The dogs find their comfortable spots on the docks and for a little while, we are all still.
When we have guests, and the weather permits, I like to give them a little taste of this country life. I hope they feel like they can find a comfy seat outside, put their feet up, and relax. I could make things easier on myself if I just picked something up, quick and easy, for dinner. Instead, I light candles, put out comfortable seating, and prepare a meal they will talk about on the way home.
Barbecued Salmon with Fresh Sweet Corn Relish
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and cut in half
1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces
2 fresh ears of corn, cooked and cooled
4 5- to 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
Barbecue sauce of your choice (I make my own sweet and zesty variety)
Salt and pepper
1 tsp of crushed red pepper
Juice of 1 lime (and zest if you really like the lime taste)
1/2 cup diced red onion
Preheat an outdoor grill to a medium heat setting. Lightly oil the jalapeno, corn and red pepper and place on the grill. Allow to char just a bit (about two minutes) and remove from grill. Let cool for a few minutes and chop into small pieces and carefully slice corn form the cob. Add all of this, along with the juice of 1 lime, crushed red pepper and diced red onion to a bowl and allow to sit while cooking salmon. Season to taste before serving.
Meanwhile, either on an outdoor grill or indoors, add the salmon to an lightly oiled skillet or grill surface and salt and pepper each side. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until the fish is flaky. Add just a coating of barbecue sauce to each side and remove from heat.
I served each fillet over a little bed of the corn relish and a nice green salad. It’s a great, fresh meal for a warm summer night.
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