In this issue of Party Yak:
Foil Baked Salmon (Sandpit Salmon, affectionately) is a great recipe for a beach party or cookout on the beach. And "by the lake" or "by the river" works just as well as "by the ocean," by the way.
Easy instructions and preparation for the salmon and the sandpit follow. There's a foiled salmon version for the grill, too!
So... Is it too early or too late in the year for a beach party recipe? Never.
Spring or fall is every bit as good a time for a beach party as summer and one of those is always just around the corner. Play in the warm sun all day and just when the sun touches the water don your jackets and sweatshirts and gather 'round the fire (or sandpit) to eat, drink, talk, and laugh. And sigh; don't forget contented sighing.
The dinner menu needn't be any more fussy than warm buttered bread, wine
or cider, and that wonderful fish that has had your mouth watering for
the last half hour. Of course, you can always throw some potatoes into
the pit, or corn on the cob. A salad or just sliced tomatoes with pesto
or vinaigrette is always nice, too.
First... Prepare the Sandpit:
About 3 hours before mealtime, dig a pit large enough to accommodate your fish. Heap coals up in the middle of the pit. Light the coals and let them burn for 45 minutes to an hour. Now, spread the coals to a length equal to the fish, and wait another half hour.
Meantime... Prepare the Salmon:
1 fresh 6-8 pound salmon (or other large, tasty fish)
1 or 2 medium yellow or white onions
The fish should be split lengthwise, cleaned and patted dry, if not already done. Leave the head and tail on.
Cut the lemons and onions into thin slices. Lightly salt the cavity of the fish, and fill with the lemon and onion slices, layered alternately.
Wrap the fish in well-oiled heavy aluminum foil. In fact, double wrap it and seal the ends tightly to prevent any sand from getting in.
Finally... Cook the Salmon:
When the coals are ready for cooking they will be a nice ash gray. With a shovel, set aside all but a thin layer of coals from the pit. Place the prepared fish on the thin layer, top with the remaining coals, and insulate all with warm sand.
After 45 or 50 minutes, carefully
remove the package from the pit. Open, transfer the salmon to a serving
platter, and serve garnished with the lemon and onion slices.
Foil Baked Salmon for the Grill:
Prepare the salmon or other fish as above and place the foiled fish on a medium grill, with the lid closed, for 45 to 55 minutes. Turn once.