Living in the city, my partner and I spend one afternoon a week cooking together. We take our time, making the entire afternoon and evening about preparing our meals for the week ahead. I look forward to these Sunday's together where we can relax and cook at our own pace, laugh, experiment, and enjoy the process of creating and enjoying meals together. The rest of the week our dinners are quick combinations of what we've prepared and don't get eaten until well after the sun has gone down. Last summer we flew up North to head out on the ocean for ten days. During our trip, every day was Sunday. Our days revolved around this ritual, letting the creative flow come in with the waves as it does with the absence of pressure.
As soon as the afternoon hit, it was time to start preparing for the evening meal. The first step was always to gather our ingredients; from the boat, the ocean, and the shore. Once everything we needed was on the beach, the fire had to be started so it could be burned down to a low flame and the coals would provide enough heat without scorching the food. For this particular meal, we were lucky enough to have caught some beautiful Coho salmon the day before. They were washed, filleted, and ready to be cooked. I had collected as many fresh herbs from the greenhouse at home as I could pack with me; chives, rosemary, dill, and any other flavours I thought would contribute just subtly enough to our meal such as grainy mustard and fresh citrus. We harvested blades of bull kelp from the beds just off the shore on our zodiac ride in. Once the fire had burned down, 5-6 pieces of kelp were placed down directly on the grill. The salmon went next, skin down and covered with fresh herbs, sliced citrus, and grainy mustard. A heavier blanket of kelp was then placed over top of the salmon, about 7-8 pieces, to ensure it was completed covered. This enabled the salmon to steam under the blanket of kelp and retain it's moisture and flavour. No salt was added to the salmon, for the kelp took care of proper seasoning.
As the fish cooked, the corn (husk on) was placed beside it on the grill. It's tempting to want to throw them directly on the coals but they get too hot and tend to burn. On the remaining corner of the grill we tossed our asparagus in a small cast iron pan with some coconut oil, poured in some white wine from the bottle and let them steam.
One of life's simplest and truest little pleasures is the act of creating and enjoying a meal with others. We enjoyed our well-earned meal on the rocks by the ocean as the sun turned our surroundings into gold.
Filet of wild salmon of choice - skin on
10-12 pieces of freshly harvested kelp blades
Bundle of asparagus
1 bottle white wine
4 cobs of corn (husk on)
Lemon - sliced
Fresh herbs, left whole - chives, rosemary, dill, oregano
Spices on hand - onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, cumin, red chilli flakes, pepper