Why not fire up the barbie and get some of these super easy, healthy and delicious Argentinian inspired salmon skewers on the go.
You can easily have these made in under 30 minutes, even including the time taken for marination. They present very well and are a wonderful way to get some fish into your diet. It’s important to marinate these as salmon can dry out quite quickly on the bbq so don’t skip this step and you will have juicy tender mouthfuls of delight.
We never had a gas barbecue growing up. My father would place a set of bricks on the ground five long and four high. They were the old school type of brick, not like the ones today filled with holes. My Dad would salvage them from old demolition jobs as he was a plumber. We had to unload them from the van one by one and then set about scraping the mortar off for him. Once the bricks were down, we would all grab a corner of a tremendously heavy steel plate. There we were straining our backs like at some Siberian labour camp.
Dad would say, “A little to the left, boys. No! your other left! That’s it, a little more … OK hold it there.” Dad would give the bricks one last look and say, “OK, let it down gently boys.” He would then proceed to give it the wobble test; if it stood, we would all cheer and begin to get the fire ready, but if it collapsed, which it often did, a collective groan would fill the air and we’d all start blaming each other as to whose fault it was and then proceed to start all over again, much to Dad’s dismay.
Ever since our ancestors discovered how to master the flame, they instantly enriched their diet with a variety of new and nutrient-dense food. Meat. As one of the earliest recipes for preparing meat was roasting it over coals, people later discovered that the easiest way to accomplish that was to skewer pieces of meat in a line to cook evenly. The invention of cooking food on sticks, swords and skewers over open fires formed the beginning of life for this popular eating style. The success in the style of cookery enabled it to remain one of the most popular utensils for cooking over an open fire and has been used regularly by nearly all the major civilisations and nations throughout history.
Did you know? That there is evidence of the prehistoric use of multi-purpose wooden tools as far back as the Lower Paleolithic found at a 300,000-year-old site in Schöningen, Germany. They are confidently attributed to an early Neanderthal population who used sticks as part of their toolkit and the site contributes even to the present debate on when humans first controlled fire. Excavations of the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri on Santorini unearthed stone shaped blocks (‘fire dogs’) or fire andirons which archaeologists believe were used to mainly cook meat way before the 17th century BCE. Indeed, the skewered meat recipe ‘obeliskos’ existed as a favourite in Greece during Archaic times and later during the Byzantine era; the selling of souvlaki demonstrates the new meat-cooking methods that had evolved in Greece over time.
One of the most well-known skewered foods around the world is the shish kebab. The earliest literary evidence for the Turkish word Şiş (‘shish’) as a food utensil comes from the 11th Century Diwan Lughat al-Turk, attributed to Mahmud of Kashgar. The story is often told of Medieval Middle Eastern soldiers, usually Turkish or Persian, depending on the storyteller who cooked meat skewered on their swords. Today, shish kebabs have expanded into most cultures in some form or another. In several Asian countries, there's satay or sate, which is roasted skewered meat, usually chicken served with a dipping sauce that's often made from peanuts. In France, shish kebabs are called ‘brochettes’, meaning on a small spit or skewers.
Our ancestors and different cultures have all evidently chosen different ways to use fire to skewer meat, I’ve used my Gaucho marinade to bring an Argentinian flair to this dish.
PREP TIME: 10-25 mins
COOKING TIME: 10 mins
700g Tasmanian salmon fillet, cut into cubes ~3cm
1 green capsicum, cut into ~2cm squares
1 red capsicum, cut into ~2cm squares
1 yellow capsicum, cut into ~2cm squares
1 small red onion, cut into 1/8th wedges
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsps GAUCHO
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic and GAUCHO.
Place salmon pieces, capsicum and red onion in a large mixing bowl and toss briefly.
Pour the marinade over the salmon and toss again to make sure the salmon is well coated with the marinade. Let the fish marinate for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Assemble skewers beginning with salmon; thread salmon, different coloured capsicum and onions onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, be sure to have soaked them in water for 30 minutes before using.)
Heat the barbecue on high then turn down to medium heat.
Arrange salmon skewers on top and cover the grill. Grill salmon skewers for 3 to 4 minutes, lid down to get the smoke circulating. Turn skewers over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes depending on how you like your salmon cooked.
Serve with a simple side salad and roasted potatoes with a nice glass of SSB or Sauvignon Blanc.