Low Country Grilled Salmon/Brickstone Hop Skip/The Mushroom River Band “Music For The World Beyond”
We love to make shrimp and grits, which we did a south of the border version of awhile back. This evening we took that same approach to this low country salmon dish. Marinated salmon hits the grill then is placed on top of riced cauliflower that’s made super creamy with some shredded sharp cheddar mixed in. The finishing touch is a hearty bacon and onion gravy that gets ladled over the top of it all. All of the rich and heavy shrimp and grits flavor revamped in a relatively healthy recreation. On the beer side, we opted to go with Hop Skip, the double IPA from local Brickstone brewing. For the music, we cranked up the Swedish stoner rock of The Mushroom River Band’s “Music For The World Beyond”.
Low Country Grilled Salmon – Full disclosure, we bought prepared riced cauliflower saving not only time but a good amount of aggravation and mess not having to steam, cool, grind and drain the raw stuff. What that also means is that we can basically do the rest of the meal grill side, which is always a plus. First up we’re going to marinate the salmon, which we do by combining 1/4 cup of olive oil with a heaping tablespoon of our Cloak of Feathers and a squeeze of fish lemon juice. Alternatively, you could use a smoky bbq seasoning if you don’t have our seasoning on hand.
As the fish is marinating, we can start working on the low country gravy. In a large foil pan we toss in 2 slices of thick cut bacon that has been roughly diced and cooked until almost crisp.
Next up we add 1 small finely diced yellow onion, 1 small finely diced hot pepper, 1 clove of crushed garlic and a handful of grape tomatoes that have been halved. Stir the veggies around with the bacon until soft and slightly browned.
Now we can add in a couple of tabelspoons of flour as we start the process on making the gravy. Stir the flour around with the veggies until well combined.
It’s time to add in the liquid in the form of 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a small bottle of white wine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
We should be achieving gravy consistency at this point, so we can scoot the pan over to the cool side of the grill and season with a little more Cloak of Feathers.
It’s time to move on to the salmon, we take the fish out of the marinade and place it skin side down over direct heat.
Since we’re not skin-on fish people, we’re going to scorch the skin right off the filets then flip the salmon over to get a little char on the top of the fish.
With the fish done, we just need to check the gravy and if it thickened too much as the salmon was cooking we just simply thin it out with a little more stock. We can then wrap this dish up in the kitchen by mixing in 1/2 cup of freshly shredded extra sharp cheddar into a bag of steamable riced cauliflower and stir in some finely chopped green onion.
On a plate we put down a base of the cheesy cauliflower then top it with a piece of grilled salmon. We finish with a healthy ladling of the gravy all over the dish and serving it with your favorite hot sauce. This meal was perfect, it did hit all of the notes of your classic shrimp and grits just slightly healthier.
Brickstone Hop Skip – It was just about a month ago when we last featured a Brickstone beer, the super delicious Galaxy Down Under to be exact. Today we’re featuring their Double IPA Hop Skip, a beer we’ve had out and about a few times but this is the first time we’ve picked up a sixer of it. The beer pours a cloudy orangish brown with a bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet and juicy with ripe pineapple notes. The flavor starts off the same; very tropical, followed by a pleasant bitterness. At a shade under 8% ABV this is one of the more easy drinking Double IPAs you’ll find and it’s totally delicious. Since it wasn’t overly boozy, it didn’t mar the pairing with this rich yet light dish actually matching up quite nicely.
The Mushroom River Band “Music For The World Beyond” – Turning the clock back over a decade and a half this evening to spin Sweden’s The Mushroom River Band’s debut full length “Music For The World Beyond”. With the trademark Swedish fuzz sound firmly in place along the likes of Terra Firma, Greenleaf and a host of others, The Mushroom River Band focuses on straight forward desert rock with a healthy dose of doom thrown in. “To The World Beyond” starts thing off with a riff straight out of Budgie’s “Breadfan” and just ups the RPMs from there. The song flat our rips from the opening note and sets the stage for what’s to come. On “Mud-Crusher” the low-end kicks out a monstrous groove while the squealing guitars take care of the high end. It’s a killer contrast evened out by the low, baritone snarl of the vocals. The aptly named “Racing” recalls their fellow countrymen Stonewall Noise Orchestra in the breakneck fuzz the song produces while “Way to Go” harkens back to Thulsa Doom, specifically in the vocal department. “29′ 2 1/2” delves into a little more psych doom territory with a sprinkling of organ tossed into the dark fuzzy arrangement. The playing is fast and loose on “The Mushroom River” incorporating equal parts Motorhead and Deep Purple on this smoking guitar-centric instrumental jam. How can you not love a song titled “More Beer” and as you might expect its a hard driving party track along lines of Viking Skull. “Addicted” shows the band going into darker, more grungy glam territory along the lines of Dope Show-era Marilyn Manson while “Sir B’s Tune” is a fuzzed out Swedish stoner rock shot up with a bit of rockabilly similar to what Gluecifer specialized in. The album’s best tune comes in the form of “A Sad Story” a perfectly crafted groove tune that also features some killer riffage. The album closes out with “Free”, an 8 minute epic that weaves some chill acoustic arrangements with a cool medium-paced jam session. This album is a classic in the subgenre that is Swedish Stoner Rock and goes to toe to toe with more of the bigger name heavyweights.