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