Sous Vide Pan-Seared Salmon

For many years I happily considered sous vide as just another cooking method fully ignoring that it is also, and perhaps primarily, a food preservation method. Properly pasteurized — and remaining sealed in the bag — food can keep in a 35°F fridge for several weeks. Freezing extends this keep time to months.
Sous Vide Salmon
More recently, I’ve taken advantage of the preservation side of things and experimenting with various proteins has yielded some interesting results, especially with fish. Continue reading

Bakin’ Atlantic Salmon and Fryin’ Potatoes

Posted by johngl

One of my (many) pet peeves is over-cooked fish. For whatever reason, even the best of cooks can’t seem to get it quite right. This piece of salmon was baked at 150°F for twenty minutes.

salmon

Before seasoning, I gave the fish a rub down with some freshly squeezed keylime juice, then seasoned with kosher salt, paprika, crushed red pepper, chili pepper, oregano, basil, and coriander. It’s a spicy, tangy mix that I’ve grown quite fond of over the years.

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Memorial Weekend Copper River Salmon

Posted by johngl

One of worst things about Memorial Weekend in Central Texas is that it usually marks the beginnings of temperatures approaching 100°F. One of the best things about this weekend in Texas is that somehow, fresh wild-caught Copper River Salmon finally makes it into our local megamarts. This year, it’s running anywhere between $15 and $30 per pound.

Fresh, Wild Caught, Copper River Salmon

It’s worth every penny.

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Sous Vide Salmon: Keep It Simple

Posted by johngl

On the evening of May the Fourth, I was reminded by most glorious spousal unit that we needed to prepare something to tote with us over to a friend-packed gathering on the Fifth. I’d, of course, spaced the thing completely and didn’t wish to endure the cold stares of my friends who wouldn’t be amused by my feeble-mindedness. I set to pondering.

Somehow or another, my ponderings led me to a recipe for Citrus Marinated Salmon — a Thomas Keller creation — that I’ve prepared on several occasions for the well-heeled and snooty. This gathering was much more low key: an afternoon assembly of a dozen or so folks that enjoy playing guerrilla bocce in direct sunlight whilst consuming their fair shares of wine.

A little wine for refreshment?

Thinking about the basic flavor elements of that somewhat complex Thomas Keller offering, I decided to keep it simple.

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Big Green Egg: Something Fishy

Posted by johngl

Last Sunday, a significant grill fest took place in the Alcoholian household: the most glorious spousal unit wanted some baby back ribs and I wanted some fish. This was the fault of our friends at Costco who, on Saturday, offered up fresh catfish, sockeye salmon, and baby back ribs at the same friggin time. I really dislike it when they conspire against us like that. That’s the price we pay for trying to save some money I guess.

While aimlessly wandering the aisles as most glorious spousal unit loaded up our cart with our necessities, I kept wondering how I was going to cook all this stuff, especially the fish, which doesn’t keep all that well.

There was the Baby Back Ribs:

Baby Back Ribs

And the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon:

Sockeye Salmon

And finally, the Farm Raised Catfish:

Farm-Raised Catfish

Then it dawned on me: I had the biggest Big Green Egg!

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Copper River Sockeye Salmon

Posted by johngl

The most glorious spousal unit and I were looking to celebrate life on this Memorial Day weekend, so we got an early start yesterday morning after dropping most glorious mother-in-law off at the airport. The old girl is doing quite well after her narrow escape from the grim reaper just last month (and thanks to those of you who have inquired about her since then). I can only hope to be as strong and active as she is when I reach age 83. Actually, I don’t see how reaching 83 is even possible for me, but if I do get there, I hope I am still able to cook.

Oh, and speaking of life and remembrance and such, since it is Memorial Weekend, let’s not forget to give our thanks to those individuals whose lives have been cut short by War. If you’d like to be a bit more progressive, give thanks to those Service Personnel who are still living, too. When you discover someone you know (or work with) has served in our Armed Forces, just thank them for that service; you’ll both feel better for it. If you find yourself sitting next to a General on a flight — as I did on a very recent trip — take a moment to thank them for their continued service.

Thanks to you for allowing that digression and now back to our regularly scheduled salmon!

Olive oil poached Copper River sockeye salmon with creme fraiche and caviar

This olive oil poached Copper River sockeye salmon with crème fraîche and Avruga “caviar” was probably the best I have had since last season’s Copper River harvest.

The Copper River, the 10th largest in the US (by water volume), is a 300 mile stretch of glacial runoff that dumps into the Gulf of Alaska and is particularly noted for it’s highly-prized runs of salmon. Available only between mid-May and mid-August, I prefer them in the earlier parts of the season.

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Fish Burger (Salmon)

Posted by johngl

Back in the Burger Your Way To Labor Day post, I mentioned something about the possibility of throwing a fish burger into the mix.  Well, the wait is over and here it is:

Salmon Burger

Yep, this is a salmon burger.  For all of you folks who no longer eat pigs, cows, deer, buffalo, chickens, or antelope, we now have the food for you.  Sit down with your favorite grizzly bear and have a party!

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Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon with Swiss Chard

Posted by johngl

For whatever reason, the Sockeye Salmon has been great this year.  I don’t know if the distribution channels are finally running smoother and delivering fresher product or what.  All I know is that this really isn’t the same salmon that was around a few years ago.

Sockeye and Swiss Chard

The color is leaning to the redder side of orange and there is no fishy-funk smell whatsoever.

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Cured Salmon

Posted by johngl

One of my favorite and most versatile recipes is that for cured salmon.  It is amazingly simple to do and it only takes about a day to cure out.  It is versatile in that after curing, the salmon can be lightly smoked, baked in the oven for a few minutes, poached, or  just sliced thinly and put on a potato chip with some crème fraîche and caviar.

Kettle brand chips, cured salmon, crème fraîche, & caviar

If you are looking for an appetizer that goes really well with just about any kind of champagne, this will work for you.  Please don’t let the whole caviar thing freak you out.  This stuff isn’t really that expensive.  Avruga, a Spanish product that is made from herring, comes in 4.2 oz containers that sell for about $20.  I have served this stuff to friends who were absolutely certain they wouldn’t like it, only to say, “Hey, that’s not bad at all!” and go for another one.

So, back to the salmon…

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