Yesterday as I ended my Wednesday, I started writing this post. I was waiting on our salmon to bake and listening to Chris Botti, the ultra-talented jazz trumpeter. After eating dinner and cleaning up, I chose to leave this part of my existence till the morning. I even considered not posting it at all, but when I looked at it again this morning, I just couldn't leave it alone. Here's why …
I read on the Pioneer Woman's website yesterday about smoked salmon and how she had never tasted it, didn't like salmon, it was her least favorite fish, etc … Since I live in the great Northwest, home of the world's best salmon, in my ever-so-humble opinion, I read with incredulity. I love reading the Pioneer Woman and hoped as I read her post that she would be swooned by the salmon. I've always loved salmon! How could someone NOT like salmon?! I was prompted to jump in my car and head to the market to buy some! I even bought some smoked salmon to mix into scrambled eggs. Yum!
I've learned a little about food sources since I came to the NW and am now much more aware of where my veggies came from, who roasted my coffee beans, and who brought my fish to the market. I am a little picky about my salmon now that I've lived up here. I never buy farmed salmon, not being able to reconcile myself with 'adding color' to a fish. It is what is, folks! You can add color to hotdogs because they aren't 'real' food—and I don't eat them so I don't have to be concerned about added color! But to salmon? Please, people.
I absolutely love wild salmon, among other fresh seafood (like Penn Cove mussels –this link is a great video!—and Dungeness crab), and have learned that there are many varieties of salmon: King Salmon, Sockeye, Steelhead, Copper River (only available for about a month each year). I have a couple of friends whose husbands are fishermen off the Alaskan coast and I completely appreciate what they endure to bring home the 'bacon', otherwise known as 'fish' in these parts! I always thought the weather here was less than pleasant until I saw photos from one of those guys' ships at sea! Icicles hanging down, everything covered with ice, even the deck … scary stuff! Wild, Pacific Northwest salmon is far superior to farmed Atlantic salmon. In my market today, I counted no less than four varieties of fresh salmon, from $29.99/lb (YIKES! That was the King), to $7.99/lb (that was the Steelhead) and there were about six varieties of smoked salmon, NONE of them with added preservatives, and all manufactured in the NW!
If you live somewhere where fresh seafood is not an option for you, let me suggest looking online. You can have it shipped to you … yes, for a pretty penny, but once in while, perhaps it's worth the pennies in order to enjoy the King!
I like to make my salmon very simply. Its flavor speaks for itself. When it's not grilling weather, I bake it in the oven at 350°. I put a few lemon slices in the bottom of a baking dish, lay the salmon on top, add a slight drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle it with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and top it with a few more slices of lemon. I never overcook it … I really don't appreciate dry fish! To grill it, I like to soak cedar or alderwood planks in water, lay the fish on it, do the same olive oil/lemon/salt/pepper dance, and cook it with the lid closed. The whole neighborhood goes nuts smelling that wood smoke!
And, yes, there was salvation for the Pioneer Woman … she loved the smoked salmon and has eaten it all week!
(I forgot again!! Gratefully Powered by Glenn!!)