Floating Feasts

Floating Feasts
What's better than spending a day on the boat? Spending a day on the boat and sharing a meal aboard or on the beach! Summer might be winding down, but there are lots of sunny days ahead before the cold sets in. Make the most of late summer with a picnic on the water. Not many of us are lucky enough to have a boat large enough to feature a well-appointed galley, but you don't need an expensive yacht to enjoy dining on your boat. [caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="840"]blue_jacket_40_yacht_galley Our setup is a bit more modest. Photo: Blue Jacket Yachts.[/caption] Planning a meal for a boat ride isn't much different than packing a picnic or going camping. Load up a cooler or two with your favorite canned or bottled drinks and foods that need to stay chilled (potato salad and deviled eggs, for example). Fresh vegetables and dip, bite-size slices or cubes of cheese with fancy crackers, and fruit like watermelon or pineapple are easy to prepare at home and serve on the boat. If you'll be cooking on the grill, marinate your meat in zip-top plastic bags and tuck the bags in the cooler, too. Our idea of a perfect boat cookout includes just-caught fish, but if you buy your fish ashore, we won't tell. One of the most popular wild fish in our neighborhood is salmon, and our local fisherfolk pull many of these succulent fish from Lake Michigan every day. [caption id="attachment_796" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Not bad, eh? Photo: First In Fishing Charters, Racine WI Not bad, eh? Photo: First In Fishing Charters, Racine WI[/caption] Here's a recipe for grilled salmon that's simple and delicious. You can serve it with anything: top it with chilled salsa, herb butter, or just a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. In winter, we cook salmon like this on a grill pan on the stove, but it tastes so much better fresh off the coals, with the lake breeze in our hair and the sound of waves all around. Grilled Filet of Salmon Salmon, skin on, pin bones removed (about 1/2 pound per serving)
Olive or other vegetable oil
Other seasonings as desired (lemon pepper, garlic, Cajun spice rub, etc.)
Instant-read meat thermometer (optional) Oil your grill and preheat to medium-hot (about 400-450 F). If you'll be seasoning your fish, brush the flesh side with a little oil and rub or sprinkle on your spices. Otherwise, lightly salt the fish. When the grill is hot, carefully place the fish on the grill, skin side down. Let the fish cook for 8-10 minutes, or until opaque. If you have a thermometer, stick it in the thickest part of the fish; it's done when it reaches 135 F. Very thick salmon steaks or filets can take more than 15 minutes, so be patient. Remove from the grill with a spatula and serve. Yum! What's your favorite summer recipe? Please share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.