Peaches, peaches and more peaches! That sums up the month of August in my kitchen. I first tasted peach flavored barbecue sauce several years ago and found it delightful, a pleasant marriage of sweet and tangy. That dish was a version of barbecue chicken, which, let’s face it, can be a little high in calories what with all that beautiful chicken skin. I knew I couldn’t let National Peach Month get away from us without making a peach barbecue sauce of some kind, but I wanted something lighter than a whole chicken.
Enter this recipe. It fit the bill nicely. The tamarind didn’t overwhelm but added some nice flavor. It paired nicely with the salmon. I must admit, as much as I love the texture, I often find salmon’s flavor to be on the bland side. I look at it as a blank flavor canvas, so I always either marinate it, spice rub it, or sauce it up. Or, I glaze it while it’s cooking. That may be one of the best ways to have salmon. The sticky lacquer of the glaze compliments the thick fattiness of the fish so beautifully. Now I’m thinking I must make this kind of dish soon…
This barbecue sauce would make a fine accompaniment to pork or chicken as well. The flavor did not overwhelm the salmon at all, but, given my love of glazed salmon, I found myself thinking the dish would have been better had some of the sauce ingredients been reduced down to make a glaze that would have been brushed on while grilling. An idea for a different dish, perhaps. I suppose I also think glazed would’ve been superior simply because I associate barbecue sauce with meat or poultry, and associate glazes with firm fish, like salmon. Does anyone else feel that way, or is it just me?
Source: Emeril at the Grill, by Emeril Lagasse
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 serrano chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced
4 cups peeled, pitted, diced peaches
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste or tamarind concentrate
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 (6 oz.) pieces salmon fillet, pinbones removed
1 tbs olive oil
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the peaches and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, orange juice and zest, vinegar, brown sugar, and tamarind. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, or until thickened. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender until it’s smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract all the juices. Discard solids. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Allow sauce to cool to room temperature before serving.
Preheat a grill to medium heat level.
Brush both sides of the salmon with the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place fish on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Then rotate the fish 45 degrees and cook an additional 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for another 2 minutes, or until it’s cooked to your desired doneness.
Serve the salmon drizzled with the barbecue sauce.