Home Cooking 18

A new way to grill...banana leaves!

Carb Lover | Jul 26, 200505:38 PM

Just a quickie report to say that we tried grilling salmon in a banana leaf for the first time last night and it was fabulous (photo below)! Rick Bayless has a Yucatecan grilled fish recipe in Mexican Kitchen, but I didn't have achiote or a few other things so just made up my own marinade w/ lime juice, chile powder, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, cider vinegar, canola oil, salt. Let the fish marinate for about an hour. Wrapped the salmon in banana leaf (like a burrito) and tied using a strip torn from the leaf. The parcels were the cutest things! Husband grilled for about 10 min. total, turning once. He commented on how it was less fussy and didn't take much watching.

Flavor was actually quite nice w/ salmon. Banana leaf imparted a slightly earthy, fruity, tea-like essence. I can see how not everyone would like this flavor, but we certainly did! Only downside is the fish doesn't have direct contact w/ the grill, but it's a nice change of pace. A whitefish like snapper, tilapia, or halibut may have been better, but salmon worked just fine. Garnished w/ thinly-sliced radishes, chopped parsley (since we didn't have cilantro), and spicy jarred salsa. Served w/ black beans that I dressed up from a can and basmati rice. Not including the marinating time, this meal took just under 30 min. to put together. Top that Rachael Ray!

Look for packages of banana leaf in the freezer section of Latino and Asian markets. I think an Asian-style marinade would work very well. Other uses for banana leaf on the grill? Maybe putting veggies inside (like a papillote) would also work?

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

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