From Bob’s forthcoming book “Glutton for Pleasure”

This remarkably easy four-ingredient recipe creates a candied salmon fillet that melts in your mouth. And the black pepper crust provides the perfect counterpoint. It’s so good that even people who don’t like fish become devoted converts after just one bite. The exact proportions of the closely guarded recipe were divulged—after several hours on the torture rack—by Andrew Zimbel, owner of the Toronto catering company The Amazing Food Service.


Photo Credit: Suzi Varin

maple-icious salmon

¾ cup maple syrup
¼ cup soy sauce
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
¼ cup coarsely ground black pepper (Grind it yourself, or purchase “cracked” pepper at your grocery store.)

In a small deep bowl, or a resealable plastic bag, mix maple syrup and soy sauce. Add fillets so that marinade completely covers fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for as long as possible (a minimum of 4 hours, but ideally 24 – 48). Turn salmon (or bag) every few hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat.

Place pepper on a small plate. Remove salmon from marinade and pat top side into cracked pepper to coat.

Grill for approximately 3 minutes per side, starting with pepper side down, or until salmon is just on the verge of turning opaque.

yield 4 servings
le secret The longer the salmon marinates the deeper the flavor. Avoid overcooking the fillets. Salmon is best when the color has turned to a pale pink, but the fish is still moist throughout.
level of difficulty The least amount of effort you will ever have to expend for the greatest number of complements
active prep time 10 minutes
inactive prep time 4 – 48 hours
grilling time 10 minutes
advance work Salmon can be placed in its marinade up to 48 hours in advance. It should only be peppered and grilled just before serving
multiplicity When multiplying the recipe for larger groups, it is not necessary to increase the marinade proportionately. Just mix enough marinade (in the same 3 parts maple syrup to 1 part soy sauce proportions) to cover all the fillets
oven version Salmon can also baked on an oiled cookie sheet in a preheated 500°F oven for approximately 6 – 8 minutes


naked corn

There are many techniques for grilling corn. Some require soaking and others require you to trim various amounts of huskage. I’ve tried every option, and this method is by far the simplest.

4 ears of corn, husked

Preheat grill to medium high direct heat

Grill corn for 7 – 10 minutes. Every two minutes or so, roll each cob one quarter turn. Kernels should begin to brown in spots (indicating that the corn’s natural sugars are caramelizing) but should not be allowed to burn.

Remove from grill and serve.

yield Serves 4 as a side dish
active prep time 2 minutes
advance work Corn can be husked earlier in the day