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Fennel and Dill Barbecued Salmon

Adapted from a recipe by chef-owner Tom Douglas, who along with his wife and business partner, Jackie Cross, helms five of Seattle's top, James Beard-nominated restaurants: Dahlia Lounge, Etta's, Palace Kitchen, Lola, and Serious Pie, all in downtown Seattle.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Tom has helped to define the Northwest Style and has earned numerous awards, including the James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef in 1994.

He is also the author of three cookbooks, Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen (Morrow, 2001), which won a James Beard award, Tom's Big Dinners (Morrow, 2003), and I Love Crab Cakes (Morrow, 2006).

Chef Douglas likes to pair this dish with a Washington State Chardonnay like Columbia Crest 2002 Grand Estates.

Fennel and Dill Barbecued Salmon

Serves 8

1 tablespoon organic fennel seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
2 teaspoons organic black pepper
2 teaspoons dried organic dill weed
Extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil
2 whole 24 oz Alaskan Sockeye fillets with skin, or eight skinless/boneless 6-oz Alaskan Sockeye portions

  • Grind fennel seeds finely in spice mill or coffee grinder. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in next 5 ingredients.

  • Brush grill rack with oil. Heat the grill to medium-high. Brush salmon lightly on both sides with olive oil. Rub spice mixture generously over flesh side of salmon.

  • Place salmon on grill rack; cover and cook until fish is slightly firmer, about 8 minutes. Slide rimless baking sheet under salmon to turn salmon over without breaking. Place another rimless baking sheet atop salmon. Using both hands, firmly hold baking sheets together and invert salmon; slide salmon, flesh side up, off baking sheet and onto grill rack.

  • Cover and grill until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes longer.

  • Using rimless baking sheet, remove salmon from grill. Gently slide salmon, flesh side up, onto platter, and serve.

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