Feast By Firelight, Or Not

Recently, I wrote a story for the OC Register (as well as other newspapers owned by the Southern California News Group) about delectable dishes suitable for camping, cabins, and the great outdoors. 

BUT, I soon discovered that many of the dishes are fabulous prepared on the grill at home!  Scrumptious.

The story showcased the cookbook “Feast by Firelight” by Emma Frisch (Ten Speed Press, $22). The author’s simple-but-delicious recipes detail what to prepare before you leave, as well as menu suggestions and equipment lists.

(Note that the recipes work for home meals, too, because they offer advance preparation ideas that are welcome elements for busy cooks.)

My trainer Paul Cecere, known fondly in our house as “Jefe,” doesn’t like to cook fish in the house. I told him about the recipe from the story that cooks salmon enclosed in foil over an open flame – a technique that could easily be adapted to his gas grill.

The idea is especially appealing because the fish is topped with a refreshing, easy-to-prepare sauce – so even if the fish is a little over-cooked, the sauce gives it a just-right moistness and flavor.

Here’s the recipe  — and if you want more outdoor glamping recipes, go to my story https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/23/recipes-that-you-can-make-while-camping/

“First Night” Packet Salmon with Lemon, Thyme and Blueberry
Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 2 lemons, each cut into 6 thin slices
Four 6-ounce wild salmon fillets, frozen, see cook’s notes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh thyme sprigs
Cook’s notes: Frisch suggests that frozen seafood is oftentimes fresher than “fresh” seafood. When handled properly, it has been frozen within hours of harvest, preserving both the quality and flavor of the fish at its peak. Ask your fishmonger where the seafood is from or purchase directly from an online buying club such as Wild for Salmon, Alaska Gold, and Vital Choice. Your freezer will be stocked with last-minute meals.
1. Home Prep or for home cooking, several hours ahead: In a lidded jar, combine the blueberries, honey, and lemon juice. Use the back of a spoon to gently smash and muddle the blueberries with the honey and lemon juice. Seal the jar tightly and then chill for up to 3 days. Put four 12-inch square sheets of aluminum foil on a work surface. Lay 3 lemon slices, with edges overlapping like dominoes, in the center of each foil sheet and top with a frozen salmon fillet. Season the salmon with the salt and lightly dust with pepper. Top each salmon fillet with 2 thyme sprigs. Fold up two sides of the foil to meet in the middle and fold the edges over each other to seal the top. Then fold the two open ends of the foil to seal the packet. Seal the salmon packets in a ziplock bag and then chill for up to 24 hours.
2. Outdoors or on the grill: Fire the grill to medium heat and position the grill grate 4 inches above the coals (or turn on the gas grill at home). Using tongs, place the foil packets over direct heat and cook for 8 minutes. Using two forks, open the foil seal along the top, allowing the steam to escape and preventing the salmon from overcooking. Use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 140 degrees. An easier way to check for doneness is with a fork; the salmon should be firm and easily flake apart. (If you see white juice seeping out, a protein called albumin, it’s overcooked. But don’t worry, the blueberry syrup will moisten the fillet.) Serve the salmon directly from the foil. Spoon the blueberries over the top. Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 1 day.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply