Tips on Grilling Salmon and Swordfish

Fish is packed with lean protein, nutrients and all those coveted, brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, but a recent study by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) discovered that up to 90 percent of Americans aren’t eating nearly enough seafood to meet the recommended two servings per week. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the taste of fish or shrimp, and dishes like crab cakes are almost always included in favorite food debates. Cooking fish only seems difficult. Get fired up about grilling salmon, swordfish and snapper with these tips.

salmon-grilled-cedar-plank

Things to Look For in the Store
For ultimate freshness, it’s important to cook fish the same day you bring it home from the store. Don’t mess around with anything but the prepared cuts of salmon steaks or swordfish fillets if you’re new to buying, and if possible, aim to get some cuts with skin on. You might be expecting fish to have a strong fishy smell, but a quality cut will not emit a strong scent or foul odor. It will also pass the eye test in terms of cleanliness. Try to make sure each piece you buy is firm, not flimsy, and be on the lookout for unusual discoloration or spots.

Problematic Pin Bones
It’s easier to ask the fishmonger or supermarket to remove things like pin bones from your fillets, but you can also do it at home. You’ll be able to see and feel the bones in the fillet, but getting them out with your hands can be tricky. Needle nose pliers and larger tweezers work great for removing pin bones. Always clean tools before putting them to use in the kitchen. Simply feel around the fish to locate the bones, knead into the flesh to reveal a pin bone head, grab it gently with the pliers to avoid snapping it into pieces and pull carefully.

fresh-salmon-spices

Seasoning, Salty or Spicy
While some prefer the fresh taste of fish without seasoning, many of us would agree that a little seasoning is better than none. You don’t want spices overpowering the flavor of fish, so when applying, be sure to keep it light and even. A combination of salt and pepper mixed with lemon juice or melted butter are a few common favorites among expert grillers, and many have been known to enjoy fish with the flavor of dill, garlic, chives or even pineapple juice. Remember that the flavor of fish is delicate, so take it easy when you’re prepping.

On the Grill
Grill masters know the importance of preheating the grill. For fish, if you’re placing it directly on the grates, make sure you clean thoroughly and oil generously while preheating. Oil once more before throwing your fish on. If you’ve left the skin on your fillets, you can put them on the grill skin-first for a crispy flavor. Many make the mistake when placing fish directly on grill grates to try and flip before the fish is ready. This often leads to mangling the fish with your spatula. When the fillet is more than halfway done, the fish will almost detach from the grates naturally. You only need to flip once. It’s a short cooking time. Total: 5-10 minutes.

Tips for Making the Perfect Burger

hamburgerThis weekend just about everyone across the United States will be pulling out their grills and setting up picnic tables for the Great American Cookout. No Memorial Day cookout is complete without a few burgers on the grill — and we know how to make your burgers stand out for the crowd. Here are 5 tips for making the perfect burger.

Save the Salt When you’re seasoning your meat, leave off the salt. Salt draws water out of meat and when it hits the grill it shrinks up, dries out and crumbles. However, salt is important for flavor — salt your meat when you put it on the grill to add flavor without drying it out.

Add Some Fat Everyone likes a moist, juicy burger and we don’t like to think about it, but it’s the fat that makes it so tasty. But as long as you’re eating burgers, you’re probably not thinking about fat content! To make your burgers as juicy as possible, mix in some olive oil (2TB/pound) or bacon fat. You will not regret this and your guests will be awestruck.

hamburgerWarm Buns When you’re plating your burgers, don’t forget to give those buns a little love — throw them on the grill to warm them up a little bit before you add your patty. It doesn’t seem like much, but a warm bun is the difference between a good burger and a fantastic burger.

Better with Butter Never underestimate the flavor power of butter. Add a pat to your bun just before you place the patty on it. You know how everyone loves bread and butter? Just imagine what everyone will love once they’ve had bread, butter and burger! Once you start, you will never go back to a butterless burger again.

Warm Bath If you’re cooking for a crowd, don’t be shy about cooking your burgers ahead of time — not hours ahead of time, but enough time that you’ll be able to socialize and eat when your guests arrive. To keep your burgers hot, moist and delicious, keep a shallow pan of water on the grill — season it a little bit with beef base and stick your burgers in there when they’re done cooking. When guests are ready to eat, throw a patty on the grill for just a second and serve. The only issue with this is the burgers will all be cooked thoroughly (but not in a well-done, overcooked way), so guests who want a medium-rare burger might be out of luck, but the warm bath will make the burgers tasty enough that no guest will be disappointed.hamburger


Remember that you can’t please everyone all the time, so you may not be able to follow through on every request that comes your way at the grill. But burgers are the crown jewels of every Memorial Day barbecue — you can do them your way and still make it a memorable holiday for everyone!

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

It’s getaway day! We’re fantasizing about what we’re going to do with our days off… and we picked out some items that are inspiring how we should spend the weekend. Here are LTD’s product picks for the week.

solar-lighted-ballon-stakes

Add a splash of color to your yard with this playful Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes that are fun for kids and adults! Group them in your garden and make it look like you’re having a party every day. They look like real balloons, but are made of durable, all-weather plastic. The curved “string” stake creates the illusion that the balloon is actually floating. The solar panel is concealed within the balloon, which twists open for access to the on/off switch. Glows with a constant white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. 

adjustable-angle-table

Adjustable Angle Table is the ultimate bedside table. It replaces bulky nightstands at a fraction of the price! You can adjust the height and angle and swivel it to any position you need. Its roomy surface provides a convenient place for your remote, book, tablet and beverage, while its sturdy metal base rests on the floor or slides under your mattress. It can swivel 360° and lock into place at any desired angle. A ledge on either side keeps items from slipping and sliding even when the table is at an angled position. Can be used on any bed including bunk beds, water beds, RV beds and dorm room beds. 

Galvanized-serving-tray

Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces are durable and bring a bit of rustic, down-on-the-farm flavor to your table. The round Handled Serving Tray  has wood handles secured with riveted construction. Use it to bring everything from main courses to sweet desserts to your dining area. The Salt & Pepper Napkin Holderprovides a double storage function with a built-in tray to hold your own salt and pepper shakers and a large main section to hold your napkins. Molded metal designs will last for years!

camping-survival-tool

10-In-1 Camping Survival Tool packs 10 vital functions into a single device. It’s great for camping, hunting and fishing, or to keep handy in your vehicle or work area. When closed, the thermometer, hygrometer, compass, flashlight and whistle are all easily put to use. Open it and the reflector, bubble level, removable ruler and magnifier are at your fingertips. The flint and flint blade are in a stay-dry compartment. A removable wrist strap keeps this essential tool close at hand. 
Features:
Thermometer
Hygrometer
Reflector
Compass
Bubble level
Magnifier
Ruler
LED flashlight
Whistle
Flint and flint blade

rustic-faucet-garden-decor

The weathered look of the Rustic Faucet Garden Decor will give your outdoors a special charm. The old-fashioned bronze-colored faucet design makes the pieces perfect for plants and garden accessories. Scrollwork accents add to the overall appeal. Slight assembly required; assembly hardware included.