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Grilled Salmon Fillets with Herb Butter

If you’re reluctant to grill fish at home, for fear the fillets will stick to the grate, fear not! This recipe offers a brilliant solution: lubricate the fillets with mayonnaise before putting them on the grill. You won’t taste the mayo, and the fillets won’t stick when you turn them over.

Ingredients:

For the herb butter:

  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 lemon

  • 6 skin-on center-cut salmon fillets, each about 8 oz. and 1 inch thick, pin bones removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, homemade (see related recipe at left) or store-bought
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the herb butter, in a small bowl, using a fork, work the chives, dill, tarragon, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper into the butter, distributing the herbs evenly. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the butter and work it in. Using a spatula, scrape the butter out of the bowl into a rough log shape near one long edge of a 12-by-6-inch sheet of waxed paper. Roll the paper over the butter and press the butter into a solid, uniform log. Continue rolling the waxed paper around the butter and twist both ends to seal securely. Refrigerate to harden. (The butter can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Brush the salmon fillets on all sides with the mayonnaise, coating evenly. Sprinkle the cumin and then the coriander evenly over the fillets, and season with salt and pepper.

Place the salmon fillets, skin side up, on the grill directly over the heat and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets over and cook until the fish flakes when prodded gently with a fork, about 3 minutes more. The salmon will be cooked to medium, which is perfect for salmon.

Transfer the fillets to individual plates and top each fillet with a pat of the herb butter. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Grill Master, by Fred Thompson (Weldon Owen, 2011).