Friday, August 31, 2012

Lemon-Lime Grilled Salmon and Cauliflower Au Gratin

This evening we kicked off Labor Day weekend with Lemon-Lime Marinated Grilled Salmon, Cauliflower Au Gratin and Green Beans w/ Almonds for dinner.  Hubby and I were both off today and we got a lot of errands run and also managed to sleep in for a was great!  I try to make salmon once a week, if possible, so we picked up a large wild salmon filet while out today.  I had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge that I wanted to use as well so I began searching the internet and blogs for recipe ideas.  I found what looked like a great recipe for Cauliflower Au Gratin on a blog called "Maria's Nutritious and Delicious Journal" and I made a few very minor tweaks and slightly revised the directions to make them easier to follow (based on my experience making it).  I halved the recipe since it was just hubby and I eating tonight.  I modified my lemon dill marinade for salmon and used 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime instead of just lemon -- you wouldn't think it would make much of a difference...but it really did.  The lime flavor was much more pronounced than the lemon flavor....we really enjoyed it.

I will share something with you that I would definitely do differently next time when making the Cauliflower Au Gratin (it was delicious, so I will definitely make it again).  Basically do as I say and not as I  The recipe was supposed to be cooked in an "Au Gratin" pan and since I didn't have one, I just substituted a small oval casserole dish.  What that did was make the cheesy sauce thinner as it cooked in the oven because the sides were too high and I only got browning/crust on the top rather than all around.  For those of you that don't know what an Au Gratin pan is a shallow casserole dish or pan, usually oval or round and only about 1 to 1-1/2 inches deep.  The idea is to allow the broiler to form a nice crust on your dish and your cheese sauce get bubbly, and because it's shallow, it keeps it drier.  Since my casserole dish was 3 inches deep, it browned and crusted nicely on top but the cheese sauce became thin from extra moisture at the bottom than it otherwise would have had it been cooked in a shallow pan.  Don't get me was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed it just the way it was...but next time I make it I will either buy an Au Gratin pan or simply use a large shallow tart/quiche type of pan.  Below are a few pics of our dinner as well as the recipe for Cauliflower Au Gratin and Lemon-Lime Grilled Salmon.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower Au Gratin


1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional, to taste)
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 cup veggie or chicken broth (to cook cauliflower in; reserve 1/2 cup of cooking broth)
2 ounces cream cheese
1 cups freshly grated fontina cheese (or gruyere)
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top)
3 Tbsp freshly grated cheddar cheese (to sprinkle on top)


Pour chicken broth into a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Place cauliflower in the broth, cover and boil for 5-10 minutes or until tender.  When done, remove cauliflower from pan with a slotted spoon and let drain in a colander, reserving the chicken broth to use in the cheese sauce.  Place the cooked cauliflower in a lightly greased or oiled au gratin pan (or use a shallow quiche or tart type pan).

In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, melt 1 Tbsp butter, whisking constantly until it starts to lightly brown, about 2 minutes.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of reserved chicken broth and cream cheese to the pan, whisking until well blended and smooth; add dry mustard and optional salt. Once completely combined, add the 1 cup of grated fontina (or gruyere), 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese and dry mustard; stir to combine until smooth and melted.

Pour cheese mixture over top of cauliflower and sprinkle 3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of cheddar cheese on top; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and place in oven on middle rack. Turn broiler on low and cook until cheese sauce bubbles slightly and is lightly browned (watch it closely so it doesn't over brown or burn).  Remove from oven and serve immediately.  Serves 4.


Lemon Lime Marinade


4 wild salmon fillets (approximately 1 pound)
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or a little more)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dill (or a little more)
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste)
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari (similar to soy sauce which can also be used)


In a small bowl, whisk ingredients together; pour in a large Ziploc bag and add salmon filets and seal bag, removing as much air as possible.  Marinate for 30-45 minutes, up to 1 hour.  Be careful not to marinate fish too long or the acid in the marinade begins cooking the fish.  Grill approximately 5-6 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of fillets). 


CyberSis said...


We had Lemon-Lime *Baked* Salmon tonight and it was wonderful. We love the lime in the marinade ... perfect for salmon. It's still too nasty out to grill, but it worked great in the oven; 10-12 minutes at 400. Didn't have time to do the cauliflower but had some lovely fresh asparagus, a nice salad, and the last morsel of "Possible Pie." Yum! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cybersis! So glad you enjoyed the Lemon-Lime Salmon! I do understand about being too nasty to grill also -- we actually had snow flurries here in ATLANTA today!!! It is probably only 40 out but the winds are cutting and brutal. What happened to spring??? I love having asparagus with salmon, too! So glad you enjoyed it...thanks! :-)