Grilling for kids (of all ages)

If you don't have a cedar plank handy for salmon, like this, try a cast iron griddle. Both work very well for Bruce.
If you don’t have a cedar plank handy for salmon, like this, try a cast iron griddle. Both work very well for Bruce.

Some folks say it’s really hard to get their kids to eat good food – you know, the stuff you like and what’s good for them.

Venture out into new territory to try a new recipe and you do so at your own risk of backlash from the kids, right?

We’re pretty lucky with our daughter. She’ll often try something new, especially when it’s off the Big Green Egg. And she likes a variety of veggies too.

It’s pretty sweet when, given the choice between steak, chicken and salmon that she’ll choose the healthiest choice, salmon.

The unfortunate part is that salmon is not cheap. Unless you find the deals. In the past, we’ve scored some decent deals when they come up at various local grocery stores. We’ve also ordered individually packaged frozen salmon from several friends as their kids’ hockey teams held fundraisers, or from schools as well.

But last week’s salmon came from Food 4 Less on St. Clair Street. The price point was too attractive to resist.

The portion size in a frozen three-pack was decent. And the taste was awesome.

My wife had a big hand in that. She found a glaze recipe online that was a mix of maple syrup, soya sauce and crushed garlic. Odd combo, right? Nope.

It tasted OK on its own as I dabbed my fingertip in it prior to cooking. But it turned each forkful of salmon into heaven.

I heated the Big Green Egg to 375 F (I know, I’m Canadian and I should do Celsius, but the temperature gauge on the Egg is in Fahrenheit) and put a raised cast-iron griddle on to heat up.

We applied the glaze to the salmon, plopped the three pieces on the hot griddle, and I brushed more on the top of the salmon before relaxing in the backyard as the fish cooked. Mary was on rice patrol in the kitchen.

Fifteen minutes later, in came the fish and off the stove came the rice.

It was certainly tasty, with an extra special twist. Normally, I cook salmon either on a cedar plank or on indirect heat. This time around, with the heat straight on the griddle, the bottom of each piece of salmon had a slight crust on it. Eating that, with the glaze, was like eating candy.

Of all our plates, I think I found one grain of rice that was uneaten. Nary a speck of salmon remained. The meal was that good.

We’ve got one more three-pack of that salmon. I can’t wait to cook it again. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for when Food 4 Less gets another shipment.

Speaking of serving up goodness, our daughter, Brenna, had a couple of buddies over Saturday prior to them going to the show. I’d pulled out pork tenderloin and three big butterflied pork chops I’d grabbed from Schinkels’ a while back. On went a generous helping of rub.

Since they were heading to the show, dinner was nothing fancy – meat and some fries.

I did the tenderloin by cooking it over the coals for five minutes a side at 400 F and then on indirect head for about 15 more minutes – until the internal temperature was about 140F.

On went the chops at the same temperature, while I sliced up the tenderloin. I can only wonder what it tasted like as the three girls inhaled it.

Diana, who lives just down the street, simply said, “This is really good, Bruce!” She also had about a quarter of a pork chop to finish off her meal before the young ladies headed to the movies.

And to think I used to not be much of a pork fan. Now I’m hooked on pork loin and tenderloin.


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