Inspired by the July edition of Bon Appetit, I decided to adapt a couple of recipes for our Independence Day celebration.  Both turned out so yummy that they disappeared before I got pictures.

Grilled White Salmon with Thai Sauce

This is a spicy coconut sauce that was great with fresh Alaska salmon.


1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (regular, not lite)
the juice of one lime
5 tsp ginger paste (in the chilled section of the produce aisle)
3 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp diced serrano chili (no seeds or pith)
1 lb salmon fillet

How I made it:

Heat the coconut over medium-high heat.  Add each of the other ingredients one at a time, gently whisking to combine them all.  Let cook 3-4 minutes, until it becomes a little thicker.  Remove from heat.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce over the fillet and let sit for an hour (in a glass dish, preferably) before putting on the grill.  Reserve the remaining sauce in the refrigerator for later. 

Grill on a medium-hot grill until cooked through, flaking easily and no longer translucent in the center.  Reheat the remaining sauce in a glass bowl in the microwave.

Serve the fish with 2-3 tbs of sauce spooned over the top.

How it turned out:

Given how little was left over, I think it was a hit.  Very moist, with just the right amount of spice.

Soda Jerk Beans

These are a lighter version of the traditional baked beans.


1 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups root beer (use a rich artisanal one, not A & W)
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
3 tbs light or mild molasses
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp chili spice blend (available in the chilled section of the produce aisle)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

How I made it:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In an ovenproof pot or skillet, saute the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, until the onion just begin to turn brown.  Add the ingredients one at a time, saving the beans for last.  Stir until well combined.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

How they turned out:

A light and tasty version of baked beans.  They won’t be the thick or sticky kind associated with traditional baked beans, but they are full of flavor and a great side dish for food off the grill.