Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns

copper river sockeye, copper river salmon, pink peppercorns

Pan-Seared Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns
Blistered Shishito Peppers

The celebration continues! Taste With The Eyes is 4-years-old and we’re splurging with Copper River Salmon. The most expensive fresh salmon is only available for about four weeks of the year, from mid-May through mid-June, when the King salmon swim up the Copper River in Alaska to spawn. At our local Bristol Farms Market, Copper River King Salmon was selling for $50/lb.! At $50/lb. the 8 oz. filet in the photo above would have cost $25. Market factors such as commercial harvest, supply and demand, plus the cost of oil have pushed the price from $40 last season to this all time high of $50.

Even for the crème de la crème of salmon, this price is out of range for most people (myself included). In fact, after speaking with the fishmonger at the market, I learned that they were unable to sell their entire shipment of Copper River King at that price, and some had tragically gone to waste. The good news was that Copper River Sockeye sales went way up, as folks were introduced to this smaller, more plentiful species of salmon. Some say that sockeye has the truest pure salmon flavor and is preferred by aficionados.

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Cedar Plank Salmon

Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon
Grilled on a Cedar Plank
Brown Sugar Mustard Rub

Soak the cedar plank in water for a minimum of 2 hours. You will need something heavy to weigh down the plank to keep it submerged. Fire up the grill, heat the smooth side of the plank directly over the flame. Turn the plank over and brush olive oil on the smooth side. Place the fish, skin side down, directly on the hot plank.

I prepared this fish first by mixing olive oil with a squeeze of lemon juice and rubbing that on the fish, then seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the plank was ready, I placed the fish on the plank and coated it with a mix of course-ground Dijon mustard and brown sugar.

Grill on high heat, close the lid and cook to desired doneness. This fillet took about 15 minutes. You need to keep on eye on the grill as the cedar can catch fire, if it does, douse with some water. I had soaked the plank for about 3 1/2 hours and it did not catch fire. I did turn down the heat directly under the plank however.

Using a long-handled spatula, lift the plank off the grill and place it on a heat-proof platter. Serve the fish directly from the plank.
You can visit my new blogger friend, Fishmonger Ran, at Don’t Fear Fish for more details on Cedar Plank Cooking.
Great presentation! Wonderful cedar-y aromatics! The fish is subtly imparted with the true deep flavors of the wood. Can’t wait to try this method with other fish, meat, and vegetables!

My Julia Child Floribunda Roses

August 15 is Julia Child’s birthday. In celebration, Lisa of Champaign Taste blog has hosted the Third Annual Julia Child Birthday Event. Please visit Champaign Taste to watch Julia make an omelette on The French Chef (oh, the memories) and to see the delicious ways other bloggers celebrated Julia’s birthday. Thanks again, Lisa!

Toasted Seaweed Crusted Salmon, Lemon Tamari

King Salmon, Crusted with Toasted Seaweed
Lemon Mirin Tamari Sauce, Wasabi Butter


Whisk together lemon juice, mirin, low-sodium Tamari and olive oil for the sauce.


Fresh Wild King Salmon from British Columbian waters is crusted with a mixture of ground toasted seaweed, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

The salmon is sautéed in olive oil over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the salmon over the sauce and top with wasabi butter.

Does this sound familiar? In April we prepared a beef filet in a similar style, which was awesome. And it is equally good with salmon.

I recently received an email from Emily at Marx Foods. They’re hosting a salmon recipe contest: WIN A SUMMER OF WILD SALMON. The creator of the winning recipe will receive 15 lbs. of wild salmon – three 5 lb. shipments, once in July, August and September. Each shipment will contain a different type of wild salmon, varying by species and river origin. Doesn’t that sound like fun! Salmon should be the star of the dish, but the recipe can incorporate any variety of salmon-fresh, frozen, smoked, canned, pickled, etc. The contest deadline is June 20. There are about 100 recipes already submitted and posted on their website, and many of them sound terrific.

Wild Salmon, Cannellini Bean Basil Broth


Heart Healthy Wild Salmon, Cannellini Bean Basil Broth

I having been preparing and photographing some heart healthy dishes. This one is a flavorful low-fat/low-sodium chicken broth with cannellini beans, minced garlic sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, with rough chopped fresh basil. This earthy soup is topped with crispy-skin fresh wild salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Cannellini Beans

These beans are low-fat, high in fiber and provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate. They help cut cholesterol. The beans fiber binds to fat to help flush it from the body. It’s also loaded with folate which helps lower levels of homocysteine, which clogs arteries. From Today’s Women & Health.



I am submitting this photo to the CLICK theme-based monthly food photography event for this month, which features any and all kinds of beans ‘n lentils.


Wild Salmon Dinner Party

The White Cane is a vessel in Bristol Bay, Alaska fished by Randy Houghton for 36 years. Randy was born with macular degeneration, a visual disorder that rendered him legally blind with only peripheral vision…hence the name White Cane. In spite of his visual handicap, Randy, with the help of his crew and improved technology, is able to successfully operate his 32 ft. fishing vessel in the Bristol Bay waters.
Very recently, the White Cane and a few other dedicated fishers decided to independently harvest their catch of sockeye with the goal of producing the finest quality of fish in Bristol Bay. The have assured that the sockeye are maintained at a temperature of 34 degrees while on the vessel, and processed and packaged within 24 hours. Because of the fishers’ experience, their overall diligence and care, we enjoyed this #1 rated Wild Sockeye Salmon at our party!
This was a fabulous and unique dinner party for several reasons:

  • It was a five course dinner, four of the courses were salmon from the Bristol Bay in Alaska! (We passed on a salmon dessert)
  • The fisherman flew into LA just to join us for dinner and teach us all about the salmon.
  • Everyone took part in the food preparation
  • Good wine, good friends, new friends, fun music
  • The finest of fish…
Menu



Starters

Lox Platter (Cold Smoked Sockeye) and Smoked Sockeye Salmon Spread
Construct your own canapés with Creme Fraiche, Chopped Egg, Chives, Capers, Lemon, Olives, Cream Cheese, Toasted Baguette, Crackers
Soup
Manhattan Salmon Chowder: Fragrant Tomato Chowder with Orange Zest, Pernod, Topped with Warm Steamed Sockeye

Bottega Vinaia Pinot Grigio

Salad


Sockeye Salmon Mousse & Mixed Greens with Herbs, Rice Wine Shallot Vinaigrette

Main Course


(Please see 3/09/08 post for complete recipe)
Slow Roasted Wild Sockeye, Red Potatoes, Citrus Herb Vinaigrette


Dessert

Lemon Sorbet with Limoncello and Chiffonade of Fresh Basil

Bristol Bay fishing photos courtesy of White Cane Sockeye Salmon. For more information on Wild Alaskan Sockeye straight from the fisherman contact our new friend Randy and his wife, Janis, at wcsockeye@yahoo.com.