Wild woman

Last week I got the call: My salmon was in town, and it was wondering if it could come to stay.

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It comes every January, you see, all the way from farthest  Alaska, to take up residence in my freezer (I finally bought a chest freezer this year for the overflow of a year’s supply of sockeye and coho, plus breads, stocks, berries, and the occasional leftover tomatillo salsa). It arrives by air, shrouded in glacier ice packs and cardboard, carried to my door personally by the very family that catches it, Brenda Charles and her father.

And even though it’s the wildest of wild, I’m not afraid. There will be no middle-of-the-night phone calls. No broken windows or smashed wine glasses or trashed guest suites (ok, I don’t even have a guest suite).

But this year, I promise that I will get a little wilder with the wild salmon. It’s delicious all by itself, for sure, but it can also handle a lot more variety of flavor than I’ve been dishing out. And I think we’ve all grown a little too comfortable with my weeknight fall-back: mustard and lemon and herb variations, or garlic and soy and maple.

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First up: Upon cleaning out my freezer to make way for this shipment, I found some cooked polenta from a few weeks ago. It made a fine crust for roasted salmon.

But what are your ideas? Your favorite things to do with salmon? I’m totally amenable, open to suggestions. Bring ‘em on!

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sarah said,

    My mom just made me this recipe for my birthday dinner – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/asian-grilled-salmon-recipe/index.html

    I would typically say a salmon of that caliber wouldn’t deserve such a sauce, but it’s much lighter in flavor than you think it’s going to be. The kids adore the sauce and we’ve been craving it ever since.

  2. 2

    Poached, with béarnaise sauce and asparagus on the side! Oh, how jealous I am of your wild Pacific salmon. Scottish is good, but give me Chinook any day.

  3. 3

    Trisha said,

    Sarah: Ina Garten is always a good source, isn’t she? And we’re still in grilling prime time over here!

    Camille: Sounds luscious. I have a good tarragon vinegar around here somewhere… And we’re almost to asparagus season! Do you have a favorite béarnaise recipe/method?

  4. 4

    Yes. Whisk an egg yolk, salt, white pepper and tarragon vinegar (just a splash to start, you can adjust the flavor later) in a bowl. Place it over a pot of barely simmering water and slowly add a cup of clarified butter, whisking constantly. If it gets too thick, thin the sauce with a little water or vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you like, some chopped fresh tarragon is a nice finishing touch.

  5. 5

    Melissa said,

    It’s nothing special about the salmon, since it’s just broiled, but this is a sauce I looove on mine. I blogged about it myself this past summer, but here’s the original, for credit:

    http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/07/roasted-wild-salmon-recipe-with-mustard.html

    Mmmm fresh salmon. Lucky you!

  6. 6

    Trisha said,

    Camille: You make it sound so easy! I’ll let you know how I do. : )

    Melissa: This is great! Thanks! I love the addition of mint in this recipe.


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