This past summer was really exciting for me. One of my very best friends in the whole world (and I do mean the whole world) came to visit me for a month. She and I have been friends for approximately 10 years; we met in high school when we both participated in a German-Canadian exchange program, which was one of the best experiences in my life. I learned so much. About everything. As a result, we’ve kept in touch these past years, sometimes sporadically, sometimes regularly, and our friendship has definitely endured time and distance.
This summer marked the 10 year anniversary of her coming to stay with us and we celebrated by visiting, cooking, traveling, shopping, talking, and laughing. Her visit was not without challenges, though, as she had become vegetarian in the past year since I had seen her last. For the purpose of the blog, we’ll use the term “vegetarian” loosely as she did stray a few times, simply because we also found it a challenge to cook vegetarian for a whole month.
One of our more successful (and tasty I might add) endeavors was when we grilled a whole salmon.
Mmmm, yummy! No worries, we did cut the head and tail off before throwing him onto the fire ;) That was the first thing we did:
That’s better. The fish comes gutted, so the really nasty stuff is already taken care of. As a result of the fish being gutted, it leaves a prime slit in which to stuff it with a whole bunch of goodness. First though, give it a good rinse to make sure all the leftover intestinal stuff is gone.
Once you’ve patted it dry, you can start filling it. We chose to fill it with some fresh lemon, fresh herbs and garlic. Start with the lemon:
Then layer the herbs; rosemary:
Keep filling it till you can’t anymore:
Do another layer of lemon:
Then throw some seasoning on there. Add some salt, freshly ground pepper:
Peel some fresh garlic and add that too – if you can! Ours was getting a little fat and the garlic was a bit of an afterthought:
And you’re done! Fish full of goodness!
To cook, fire up your BBQ and wrap the fish in some heavy duty grilling foil:
And it’s ready!
The fish doesn’t need more than half an hour on the grill. You’ll want to keep a fairly close watch on it and you could even pull it off the grill a few minutes early to let it rest. Unwrap it just before you’re ready to eat.
The hard (fun?) part comes when you have to peel the skin off. Don’t worry too much about the skeleton – that will come off easily.
Start taking the meat off the top of the fish. It should just flake off. Once the top layer of meat is gone, you can pretty much peel the skeleton off the fish. And you’re left with a lovely piece of jewelry. Not that you would want to wear it anywhere.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the greatest fish lover. I find that in my food history the fish I’ve eaten (that wasn’t battered and deep fried and then served over hot and crispy french fries) often smelled and had a not very appealing texture. These unfortunate associations have turned me off fish and made me reluctant to eat it again. However, I’m happy to say that fresh fish doesn’t smell. Yay! And after learning about unique ways to cook it (this in part thanks to my aunt, see here) I am slowly, SLOWLY, coming around to it. Very slowly. I must say that grilling a whole salmon on the BBQ is almost becoming a favourite. Not only because it’s so tasty, but because it usually means that we are having people over to share it with us. A whole fish is a bit much for just me and my rents, so the brother and fiancee will come over, as well as my bf and perhaps an aunt, it’s sure to be a fun time and that is always just as much fun as the cooking part.
I hope you find inspiration to stuff a fish with whatever you want, and to share it, or anything, with those that are closest to you.
Thanks for reading! Happy eats!