Cooking Seafood on a Camping Outing

Here in the great Northwest, seafood is abundant and can be cooked several ways while you are out enjoying the great outdoors.

Whether it is Salmon, Halibut, Crab, Oysters, Calms – you name it, there are several ways to prepare a great dish. We’ll share our favorite recipes in this article in the hope that you’ll try them and become some of your favorites, as well.

SALMON: Our two favorite ways of preparing Salmon filet both involve the BBQ grill. The first is to soak a small cedar board in water for several hours. Place the Salmon on the cedar and top the Salmon with fresh lemon slices, fresh dill, capers, and pats of butter or margarine. Place the fish, board and all on the BBQ and cook until done – usually 20 – 40 minutes depending on the heat of the BBQ. This ends up imparting a slightly smoky flavor from the edges of the board burning, and the fresh fruit and herbs get infused into the fish. One done, cut the salmon into the portions your family likes and serve.

If your tastes do not involve a slightly smoky flavor, the fish can be set on foil instead of cedar and done the same way.

Good side dishes include vegetables of your liking. Our family enjoys scalloped potatoes with their Salmon.

Either way, you’ll really enjoy the mixture of flavors.

CRAB/OYSTERS/CLAMS: We use a crab pot baited with a well-spoiled turkey drumstick tied to the inside of the pot to catch our crab. Clams can be harvested from saltwater beaches or purchased at the store (better fresh, though). Oysters can be purchased from the store, or if you are lucky, directly from an Oyster farm.

We cook Crab and Clams in the same preparation and have developed this recipe over several years to bring out the best taste. Start by putting enough white wine to just cover the bottom of a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add half a cube of butter and some minced garlic. If you like onions, you can add some sliced as well. Place the crabs and/or clams in the pot. Place the lid on the pot. Turn on the heat on your stove to get the steam developing in the pan. The crab will turn red when done; the clams will open up when done. Crabs usually have to cook for 30 minutes, clams for as little as 10 minutes.

We like our Oysters done on a BBQ. This is very simple and really develops the flavors of the oyster. Simple get the grill hot and place the oysters in the shell directly over the heat – make sure the curved portion of the shell is the part of the shell you place on the grill. This will keep the natural juices inside the shell. When the Oysters open they are about 90% done (if you like them “squishy”, this is the time to remove them from the grill). Many people do not like the squishy feeling in their mouths and cook them until they are done all the way through. When removing them from the BBQ, they will be extremely hot – please use an oven mitt or heavy towel when removing them. To eat, remove the top shell and either eat them as they are or dip them in a little garlic butter. Either way, they are great!

Left over oysters make a very good tomato based stew that we make from tomato juice, minced garlic, sliced celery, Tabasco (to your own liking), a splash of lemon juice, and fennel. This mixture is sure to take care of last night’s partying.

HALIBUT: Since the flavor of Halibut is so mild, our preparations are simple. One is to use dill and butter mixed together. Just place a teaspoon of the butter mixture on a Halibut steak, and put it on the grill, tuning halfway through cooking. Do not turn the steak until it easily can have a spatula put under it, other wise it will tear the steak and make a mess.

The second way is to immerse the raw halibut steak in completely in very warm olive oil and poach it. We usually use a disposable aluminum pan for this process. Cook until no longer opaque. It is very good!

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