Not Without Salt » salmon http://notwithoutsalt.com “Where would we be without salt?” - James Beard Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:06:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thai-Style Salmon Chowder http://notwithoutsalt.com/thai-style-salmon-chowder/ http://notwithoutsalt.com/thai-style-salmon-chowder/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:54:42 +0000 http://notwithoutsalt.com/?p=7410 Read more »]]>

Thai-Style Salmon Chowder // Not Without Salt

Unsure how to proceed I set my sea-blue dutch oven on top of the stove. Regardless, of the uncertainty I turned on the flame and poured in a bit of oil. What I did know was that I wanted a soup much like, Tom Yum – bright, tart and fresh – but with salmon because that’s what my fridge had to offer.

Many of the Tom Yum recipes I read had you simply combining the ingredients with a stock and simmering. I liked the ease but saw a few opportunities to build in layers of flavor. So with a hot pan at the ready I decided to deeply caramelize the mushrooms so they would carry with them a roasted earthiness. Once sufficiently bronzed, garlic and ginger popped in the pan and danced around the bottom until their scent wafted up through the steam. At that point I proceeded along the recommended route.

Even with my additions the soup came together quickly, 30 minutes in all I’d say, but tasted as if it had been simmering on the stove all day; rich, complex and foreign flavors that comfort as if I had eaten it my whole life.

Thai-Style Salmon Chowder // Not Without Salt

 

Take care not to over cook the salmon, although I will say the leftovers still tasted great even though the salmon had grown a bit tough. And feel free to adjust the amount of fish sauce and lime juice. I like it briny and sour so my quantities reflect that.

One final quick thank you to those who joined the conversation from the last post. There was so much encouragement from you moms that have paved the way before those of us who still have young ones sitting at our table. Thank you for taking the time to offer a bit of hope and perspective. For those of you who could relate to my story of feeding a table filled with, shall we say, a lack of gratitude? :) I really recommend you spend some time reading the comments. Each one comforted and reminded me of the grace that we can freely offer to one another knowing that the days are long, the job is hard but the years roll on and someday our table will be a bit less crowded. We are all shaky in this crazy role as parent and sometimes that shakiness produces harsh opinions and pointed fingers but here there was nothing but kindness and the sort of feeling that we are in it together. So, thank you. I really do love the community in this place. I’m happy to be a part of it.

Thai-Style Salmon Chowder // Not Without Salt

Thai-Style Salmon Chowder with Crispy Salmon Skin

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons oil

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

1 tomato, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, large dice

2 stalks lemon grass, outer layer removed and cut into 3-inch pieces

10 kaffir lime leaves

1 quart chicken stock

1 can ( 13.5 ounces) coconut milk

8 ounces salmon, skin removed (but save for later), cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

For serving:

cilantro

lime wedges

crisped salmon skin

 

Set a large pot or dutch oven over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Saute the mushrooms until deeply bronzed, about 7 to 10 minutes. To that add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomato, bell pepper, lime leaves and lemongrass. Cook until the tomatoes soften and release their juice and the bell peppers start to wilt.

Add the chicken stock and coconut milk and bring the whole pot to a simmer. Reduce the heat to keep a steady simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salmon, fish sauce and lime juice and cook for just a minute or two, until the salmon is just cooked. It will continue to cook with the residual heat so be mindful of that.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. I tend to like the soup very bright and sour so you may want to start with a bit less fish sauce and fresh lime juice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

 

To crisp up the salmon skin add a small splash of oil to a large cast iron pan or skillet. Add the salmon skin to the pan set over medium high heat and cook until the sizzling steadies and decreases. Flip and do the same to the other side, about 3 minutes per side. Add a small pinch of salt to the skin. Cook until crisp.

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Salmon and Chickpea Salad http://notwithoutsalt.com/salmon-chickpea-salad/ http://notwithoutsalt.com/salmon-chickpea-salad/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:59:20 +0000 http://notwithoutsalt.com/?p=6778 Read more »]]> Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

I didn’t intend to post two salmon recipes in a row but I did intend to tell you about this one as quickly as possible.

This is the salad that has balanced out the burgers and ice cream. It’s the one that has put me back on a healthful track when the weekend’s activity were filled with less-than-healthful things. Good things but the sort that need me to reset. And it’s the one that is getting me to eat salmon (along with the sandwich from the last post) because I live in Seattle so I feel it’s part of my duty to consume a lot of salmon.

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

 

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

I love this salad for its brightness, the briny pop from both olives and capers and the way in lingers in the fridge until the next day. Because this is the sort of season that I need food to linger in the sort of satisfying way when the work of one meal carries on to the next and then the next.

As with most of my recipes feel free to tweak this one to suit your tastes. Another green, in place of the arugula would be fine here too. I just happen to have a garden bursting with the peppery green.

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt
 
Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

Salmon and Chickpea Salad

Serves 6 (or more as a side)

2 salmon fillets

salt & pepper

3 teaspoons dijon

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 medium red onion, finely diced

1 cup halved kalamata olives

1/4 cup capers

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped dill

1/4 cup chopped basil

3 cups arugula

For the Salmon:

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper then cover with the dijon. Roast on a parchment lined sheet tray for 20 minutes or until just cooked through.

Salad:

In a large bowl combine the garbanzo beans, red onion, olives, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Toss well and taste. Adjust to your liking. This can sit for up to an hour if need be.

Just before serving add in the herbs and arugula. Add the salad to a platter and top with the room temperature or just warm salmon that has been broken into very free form pieces. Finish with a few more bits of herbs if you have them.

Serve right away.

Leftovers, however not as pretty, do keep for a couple days in the fridge. You can hide their tired look in between a couple pieces of butter toasted bread.

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Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa http://notwithoutsalt.com/poached-salmon-with-cucumber-salsa/ http://notwithoutsalt.com/poached-salmon-with-cucumber-salsa/#comments Tue, 04 Jun 2013 00:37:36 +0000 http://notwithoutsalt.com/?p=4813 Read more »]]> Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt

When the light is golden and hazy I take my time walking down our street to look beyond Ballard and over Queen Anne hill to see the tip of the Space Needle punctuating the top. It towers above the Evergreens just before the hill dips and descends into Lake Union which isn’t seen from my walk but I like knowing it’s there.

Nearly everyday we drive over a bridge. When its arms are stretched upwards to allow a towering boat to pass through it’s a bit maddening. I can’t stay mad for long as I strain to look down its passage and if it is at just the right time of day with the sun peering through the clouds, the water under the bridge sparkles in a way that gives me a bit of a flutter and a burst of pride that I get to call this place home.

In Seattle every day there’s a farmer’s market, our compost is twice as big as our garbage bin, and we can be standing at the edge of the water with the cold ocean lapping at our feet in five minutes or in the mountains in under an hour. When the bustle of the city overwhelms we shimmy up to my parent’s house and in just over an hour we amid the rolling hills, a couple of ponies, a vibrant garden and enough bugs and threat of snakes to remind me that I’m a city girl.

I adore Seattle. It’s home and most likely will remain that way for quite a long while but I sort of feel like a fraud because you see, I don’t much like seafood. Gasp.

It is for the promise of fresh seafood that people flock to Seattle. You think of Seattle and I imagine one of the first images you see is rain and then you probably imagine a large, plump fish with silvery skin flying across a crowd and into the arms of a sturdy, orange-slickers wearing Public Market employee.

Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt

 

 

It’s my distaste of salmon that I’m most embarrassed about. When I say I’m from Seattle the subject of salmon often comes up. Whoever I’m talking to recounts their love for the pink-fleshed fish and most often I’ll nod as if in agreement as I continue to let them praise the fish. Salmon is practically Seattle’s mascot, either that or a little gray rain cloud.

I once heard or read Andrew Zimmerman, or maybe it was Mark Bittman, talk about how you can grow to like certain foods you once disdained. First you eat it from a place you trust and secondly, you eat it often. I’m a firm believer in this practice as I’ve used it to get over my aversion to mushrooms and oysters. Yes, I’ll eat oysters straight from the sea with just a few drops of lemon squeezed over its briny flesh. So I imagine my love of salmon isn’t far off.

Recently I conquered step 1 when I ordered the crispy skinned salmon at Matt’s in the Market. The details of the dish allude me now but I think peas were somehow involved and I do remember that I cleaned my plate. Now I’m working on step 2. At my birthday dinner earlier this year we made salmon rilletes and most recently, in an attempt to counter-balance all the recipe testing we’ve been doing for the book, I made Gabe and I a light dinner of poached salmon with an herby and lightly spiced cucumber salsa.

 

Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt

The salmon lapped up a bit of Pernod then sat in a warm vegetable-laden bath until just cooked. While the salmon bathed I made quick work of the salsa throwing in a hefty bit of dill, just enough serrano to pop in some heat and plenty of lemon – zest and juice. The flesh of the fish bent under the amount of  salsa I piled on top. If I couldn’t see there was fish under the cucumber maybe I’d forget I was eating it.

But you know I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was mostly for the satisfaction of knowing I was eating something so vibrant and healthy –  I could practically feel the Omega 3’s reinvigorating me or perhaps I felt that Seattle was cheering me on with each bite. Or more likely it was because it was quite good – tender and lightly herbal fish that made the perfect canvas for a bright salsa or salad of sorts. The plate was nearly cleaned. Just a few more encounters with salmon then I’d say I’m hooked (fish pun embarrassingly intended).

 

 

 Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt

 

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Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa

The poaching was inspired by the first part of this Salmon Rillettes recipe (which is excellent by the way) and the cucumber salsa was inspired by Bon Appetit.

This recipe is very adaptable. Whatever vegetable scraps you have can be used to fragrant the broth and the Pernod isn’t absolutely necessary. In fact you could just scrap the poaching all together as a grilled pice of salmon would be quite perfect with the salsa - that’s my next version of step 2. 

Add a bit of tangy yogurt to the salsa to make a creamy dip reminiscent of tzatziki.

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets

1-2 tablespoons Pernod

salt & pepper

Season the fish with the Pernod and salt and pepper. Let the fish sit for 30 minutes while you make the poaching liquid.

Poaching liquid:

2 celery stalks, halved

1 medium onion, quartered

1 scallion

1 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon juniper

a handful of dill

1 cup white wine

4 cups water

Bring all of the ingredients to a gentle boil in a large saucepan and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and slide the fish into the hot liquid. Cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.

Remove the fish and check to make sure the fish is cooked through. The flesh should flake and look opaque throughout.

Serve the fish warm with cucumber salsa.

Cucumber Salsa

1 cucumber, peeled and small diced

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill

1-2 tablespoons finely minced shallot

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 serrano chili, seed and finely diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Combine everything in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

The salsa will keep for a couple of days in the fridge although it may become a bit more wet because of the salt in the recipe.

Poached Salmon with Cucumber Salsa // Not Without Salt ]]>
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