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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Vodka Married Salmon

Pardon the pun, but it’s a right royal mess.

Nothing’s as it should be this grand Jubilee weekend.

Roads are closed, the tube’s suspended, rail projects are underway, rail-replacement buses are not running (please pause to ponder, thanks), crowd-control is a mess  – and most importantly and crucially, the sun has deserted me on an evening when I was planning to invite friends over for a barbeque.


Incidentally, “was planning to invite” doesn’t mean I am not planning to invite them anymore. Oh, sun or no sun, they’re coming.

And I have nothing to feed them.

I had plenty to feed them. Fresh from the lovely folk over at Kent & Sons. It would have been absolutely addictive, perfect and life-changing.

If, that is, the sun had graced me with it’s presence.

But no. 

The sun (the traitor) has disgraced me with it’s absence.

And as optimistic as I am (in general), today, I have conceded defeat.  The sad truth is, folks, that: 11 degrees + rain and lamb + mint really have nothing to say to each other.

Full stop.

So it’s 4 hours until my guests come and I have no Plan B.
And so (naturally) I start to panic (a little)
And when I start to panic (a little) it (naturally) helps to cook.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do.

I’m grilling salmon coated in a fresh orange and chilli marinade and eating it with some sweet and sour cucumber salad. Mmmm…

So, first things first, I need to make my “marry.”

I mix some orange juice and zest and honey and garlic and chilli sauce and blend the blessed lot.

Then I have a taste.

And then I do a very bad thing.

I pour a cup full of vodka into the marinade.

I don’t know why I do this.

I honest to goodness, cross my heart don’t have the faintest idea why. It wasn’t part of the plan. I swear.

Maybe my marinade needed some thinning, maybe I think it will quite nicely calm my frayed nerves. Or maybe, (deep inside my compassionate heart), I feel that even a dead fish deserves a bit of fun.

But anyway, whatever the reason, I’m happy to announce that it all combined very well and happily and joyfully. Which is really what life’s all about anyway.

So, here’s what you need:

- 4 salmon steaks (about 1inch / 2cm thick)
- 185ml vodka
- 60ml fresh orange juice + zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp honey
 3 garlic cloves, chopped

- 1 tspn chilli sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste

I’ve already told you what to do with the marinade.

If you don’t want to be like me, skip the vodka.
If you do, don’t.

Anyway, once that’s done (or not done), add salt, pepper and marinade into a plastic zip top bag with salmon filets. Remember to save 1-2 tablespoons of marinade to brush on salmon while grilling.

“Marry” the salmon in refrigerator for about 2 hours (Marination rule number 1 – the longer anything stays “married”, the happier it will be…) (as long as it’s married to the right person of course…)

It is so happens that Vodka is the right person. There’s couldn’t be a righter person. It’s the most perfect of perfect unions.

I promise.

Right, so when you’re ready, preheat your grill to medium high.

Place salmon on the grill and cook 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. As it cooks, brush with reserved marinade. And stop when it’s all bronzed and beautiful.

I’m serving the salmon with a cucumber salad that’s so easy, you’ll love it.  Just throw together the following ingredients and mix ‘em up well!

-   2 cucumbers (I like the peel on), diced
-   2 cloves garlic, sizzled in sesame oil
-    salt to taste
-   2 tspn sugar
-   2 tspn rice wine vinegar
-   ½ fresh pomegranate, deseeded


Oh and this is not what I’m feeding the hungry mouths who are coming over - in about 4 hours. This is what I’m feeding myself - right now.

We’ll worry about them later.

For now, this stuff is so good, I want to kiss myself.

When Vodka married Salmon.

Isn’t it a beautiful story?

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