We have been having as much summer fun as we can squeeze in now that the first highlighters and pencil cases have made their ominous appearance at the drugstore. Last week we were with friends on BC’s beautiful sunshine coast for a few days, staying at the most magnificent waterfront AirBnB. The water was colder than any west-coast beach I’ve experienced, but the kids had an amazing time digging for clams, chasing crabs, and finding the most enormous jellyfish while the adults sipped cold beer on the dock and made s’mores on the bbq. It was such a perfect little getaway, our friends were so generous to let us crash their vacation.
When we got back, it was the weekend again (yay!) and we went blueberry picking. I still have a lot of blueberries in my fridge and can’t decide what to do with them. We’ve been visiting friends and friends have been visiting us. There’s been a high concentration of backyard lounging with cold beverages. No complaints, except that it’s so hot that I really want to get a pool. The sea is great, but first there was red tide and then e coli. (Come on, ocean, cooperate wouldja?)
Our lazy August days have been punctuated by lots of fresh, summery meals – hello, spicy fish on a stick.
I keep things really easy, using frozen filets of salmon – I buy them in bulk at Costco. They come individually portioned and vacuum sealed, making for super-easy weeknight meals. To thaw, I just pop them (still in their wrapping) into a pot of hot water for about 10 minutes. I do make sure to buy the Ocean Wise Pacific salmon, vs. farmed Atlantic (look for the Ocean Wise or MSC logo on seafood for best choices). And since we’re being ocean smart, let’s try to keep the plastic waste out of it – soft plastic the fish comes sealed in can be recycled at any London Drugs store in BC – google where to recycle it in your area. I make a drop off once a month.
The salmon is marinated in coconut, turmeric, ginger and cayenne before being skewered and grilled. To make sure the fish doesn’t stick, the rules are:
1. Cook on a hot, clean grill (preheat outdoor grill for 10 minutes, grill pan for 5).
2. Grease the grates.
3. Don’t overcrowd (which lowers the temperature and makes it difficult to flip carefully) – especially true if using a grill pan vs. an outdoor grill.
4. Don’t try to force a flip – when it is nicely grill-marked, it will lift right off. Wait until it is easy or else it will tear.
Serve the salmon skewers with a big, crisp salad and either hot basmati rice or fluffy naan.
Grilled Coconut Salmon Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp lightly-packed finely grated ginger
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 lbs boneless salmon filets skin on or off - either is fine, cut in 1" pieces
For Peanut Satay Sauce
- ¾ cup coocnut milk the rest of the can!
- ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp red curry paste you can swap in green but it'll be spicier
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Whisk together first six ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Add salmon and toss to coat evenly. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature (or up to 2 hours in the fridge).
- Meanwhile, make peanut sauce by whisking together all ingredients over medium-low heat until smooth.
- To grill salmon, preheat grill (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Thread salmon onto skewers. Grease grates. Grill salmon for 4-5 minutes, or until it releases easily. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes, until it just turns opaque in the middle.
- Serve with peanut sauce.