Long before we were saddled with a mortgage and, um, a child (sorry, Elsa), my husband and I have rented a mountain house with a fun group of friends for Labor Day. Our first year or two (or even three? it’s all a bit fuzzy now) was more or less all about drinking. We started with mimosas for breakfast, moved onto mango or watermelon margaritas for lunch (all made with fresh fruit) and sat down all civilized-like with wine at dinner. There were also beer snacks in between.
While I could never really keep up with my husband or friends, I definitely maintained a happy, relaxed buzz all day, something that’s impossible to do now that I’m in my mid-thirties with a 2-year-old. Even during the years when we drank our faces off, meal-times were always important and we each took turns cooking for the group. I’ve made everything from chicken tinga tacos (thanks, Jenn Louis!) to Korean bulgogi before settling into David Chang’s bo ssaam for a few years in a row.
This year, I decided to switch it up. I wanted something healthier but just as crowd-pleasing so I opted for a grilled side of salmon–the sheer size of it making the meal feel special. I then realized that by preparing fish, I’d naturally be the first to cook and get my duty out of the way. So I bought a second side of salmon to grill and use for breakfast the next day. (Done and done.)
I rubbed the two sides of salmon (about 6 pounds total) with Grace Parisi’s tandoori marinade, which is just awesome because the spiced yogurt marinade complements rather than covers up the flavor of the fish. After dinner, we had about 2 pounds of cooked fish left along with a little bit of the unused marinade.
The next morning, I made a version of kedgeree, a British-Indian breakfast rice dish designed for using up leftovers. After steaming 2 cups of basmati rice and making 8-minute hard-boiled eggs, I sauteed plenty of onion, garlic and ginger in butter in a huge skillet. I then added the rice, the fish and the leftover yogurt marinade and let them all heat through together. I seasoned it well with salt, topped it with the quartered eggs and garnished with the cilantro. Served right from the skillet, it paired perfectly with our lake view and sustained us all morning. Plus, it was so delicious that even my daughter ate some. If only I could have drunk a mimosa with it.