Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Move over baking pan, here comes the cast iron grill!

I Love Fish. I love it more when it's roasted in the oven. You might have seen previous posts on roasted fish here and here. This summer, we craved for grilled food, but we couldn't grill outside since we live in a super high rise building with no balcony!

DH and me were talking about this and about the still unused stove top cast iron double burner reversible grill/griddle that we got for a nice deal at $6.99 from the Real Canadian Superstore. I don't have a picture of the grill. Here's a more fancy one. Mine is simpler and does the job. ;) We tried stove top grilling once. While we liked the grilled food, We didn't like the idea of hovering over the grill till the cooking was done. Then it occurred to us that we could just put that grill inside the oven and crank up the heat and just roast the fish inside the oven. We'd also get the crispiness from the grill, as a bonus. I had also read about roasting food at very high temperature in Roasting - A simple art by Barbara Kafka and was looking forward to try that technique.

After trying that once, we are hooked on this method. Now I don't know if I should call this grilling, or roasting. I think I'll settle for grill-roasting! We no longer use the Pyrex baking dish for roasting meat. The cast iron sears the meat before it begins to roast, so the taste is just awesome. Try this method and you'll be hooked too. And guess what? There's another bonus. My grill is well seasoned now and making pancakes on that is a breeze.

Salmon - 1 pound, at room temperature (note #)
Olive oil (or canola oil) - 2 Tbsp

Seasoned Rice vinegar - 2 Tbsp
[I like Marukan]
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 4 cloves
Salt - a tiny pinch [since we use Soy sauce]

Please see Note*

Grind everything (other than salmon) to a fine paste (do not make mayonnaise it like, the salmon does not absorb the flavor if it's mayonnaise like). Marinate the salmon for 1/2 hour - marinating the fish overnight (or even just 4 hrs) in the fridge is even better!

Place the grill inside the oven. Grill side up or griddle side up is up to you. I like griddle side up for fish and grill side up for chicken. Grease it up with a tbsp of oil. Preheat the oven to 450

Remember that the grill inside the oven is super hot now. So, place the salmon pieces on the cast iron grill, carefully. Hear that sizzling sound? I love it! Roast 10 mins on one side, 5 mins on the other side. Serve hot. We enjoyed it with tangy vatral kulambu.

Note* : Do NOT use ginger in this marinade, I've tried the recipe with ginger, it's just okay, Not as wonderful as the marinade without ginger! I find that in this recipe, the ginger masks the garlic flavor completely. So, no ginger please. Also do not use sesame oil, in place of olive oil. It wrecks the flavor.

Note # : This recipe and technique would also work for other white fish like catfish, tilapia etc. The cooking time will be lesser compared to Salmon.

Here's a picture of chicken cooked with same marinade and technique, with the grill side up. It was very moist and tender and full of flavor.


indosungod said...

Love the look of both the grilled fish and chicken. Looks awesome, would love a taste.

I would look for some stove top grills for a deal :)

RP said...

Wow! I do use my cast iron skillets in the oven for roasting everything. I've even made apple pie in my cast iron skillet! But never used the grill pans yet. Thanks for the idea. I've the fancy one you are talking about(too heavy!) and another round grill pan. Yay! I am going to try this.

Kay said...

Yeah Indo, it was awesome! Best $6.99 I ever spent!

Kay said...

RP, You are welcome! You, the cast iron queen!

Try it and let me know how you liked it.

Erica said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay
I have been looking for the Hawkins Pressure Cooker cookbook -Pindi Chana recipe forever. I used it before my wedding but after that I have not been able to get hold of the book. My mom threw it by mistake. can you please email it to me at :