Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Salmon X 3

Is this blasphemous, taking Cleveland's most carefully sourced Copper River King and concocting all sorts of crazy little things with it? If it is it shouldn't be. I mean, Sockeye tastes better, at least to me. It looks prettier too, again, at least to me. The King is like the beauty pageant contestant--all shiny and gussied up, impressive at a glance, maybe, certainly usable in a pinch, but lacking any real substance in its almost abnormal proportions and unidimensionality.

The Sockeye, on the other hand, is like a close friend. Your friend might not look her best every day (though she usually looks just fine), but she's always there when you need her. And while she'll take a fair amount of abuse, at the end of the day you need to treat her respectfully. Not because you have to, but because you want to. It's just the right thing to do.

When you're out on the town your friend may not get as many head turns as the pageant contestant, but being familiar with her less obvious beauty and sophistication makes your relationship that much more special. It's like you're in on her secret--you've taken the time to learn how great she really is--and because of that your relationship is even sweeter.

Let the pageant contestant get her free drinks and superficial praise from the masses. That's fewer people intruding on your evening out with your friend. And for those brave folks who come over and take the time to be turned on to your friend's special charms, there's no going back. They're in on the secret too, and you're all better for it.

But really, enough of that. This is fish, not a friend. One of the best things to do with fresh Sockeye is to make fish and chips. I really hope you wouldn't do that with a friend. A pageant contestant . . . . No, that's not okay either. No matter how much you may want to. Sicko.

Pictured above is a funky salmon ceviche. Little pieces of salmon marinated in lemon juice for about 5 minutes. To that I added a bit of the vinaigrette described below, some thinly shaved bunching onions (Urban Growth), cilantro, salt, and pepper. Served over very thin slices of day-old OTR baguette, this was really, very good.

The only thing better than enzymaticaly cooked fish is raw fish. Here it's crudoesque atop some carmona red lettuce (fresh from the garden) and dressed with an everything but the kitchen sink vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is olive oil, dijon, lemon juice, shallot, coriander, salt, pepper, honey, and lime basil (tasty plant, not much of a grower though). That vinaigrette got whisked with a bit of crème fraîche and it was good to go. A light toss with the lettuce, and a spoonful over the fish.

A nice little salad.
And now it just gets over the top. I heart sushi rice, so something like this had to happen. The rice was some short grained rice cooked like any other rice, then stirred with some extra salt, sugar, and vinegar. Just an approximation of sushi rice.

The small piece of salmon loin was rubbed with salt, pepper, and a little grapeseed oil and placed skin side up under the broiler. Once the skin was crispy the fish was pulled out of the oven.

The sauce was a little silly. A good deal of chopped Vidalia onion was sweated in butter with just a drop of chili flakes. That went into the blender with some OJ. The puree was put back in the pot and brought to the boil with soy sauce, honey, and a pinch of powdered ginger. It was then reduced a little. Next, about three parts of the sauce was whisked with one part Kewpie mayo.

Awesome. Just wish I wasn't out of sesame seeds. It would have been a nice little garnish.

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