By Beverly Barbour
Salmon back in the running
After all of our tampering with the salmon's swim to the nursery, many rivers or ladders have been rescued and many more of the fish are once again able to rush upstream to lay their eggs where they themselves spawned.
This is good news to most of us who grew up loving the pink flesh and flavor of the salmon. I would bet almost anything that if a poll were taken, salmon would be voted "best loved fish of the land."
One of the frisky fishes' many virtues is the ease with which salmon can be prepared. It is a simple fish with a lot of flavor and it is easy to dress it up. It is good to have a number of choices in your salmon repertoire, each quite different than the other, so that the easy-to-prepare fish doesn't wear out its welcome. Grilled, poached, roasted, broiled and encrusted in pasta, salads and salmon cakes, salmon can lend a lot of interest to your summer menus. Remember, too, that most recipes that feature salmon can be used for other firm fleshed fish, including those you have hooked yourself.
Salmon with Soy-Glaze
A sweet-tangy soy glaze will please even those who don't think they like fish. Serve it with some steamed jasmine rice and fresh summer veggies for a perfect fast meal. The cooking times are dependent up on how thick the fish is. Makes 4 servings or more.
1 cup soy sauce
In a saucepan mix soy sauce, honey and garlic. Stir often over medium high heat until glaze is reduced by about a third, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour 3 tablespoons glaze into a small bowl and reserve. Pour remainder into a shallow baking dish. Set salmon piece in baking dish, skin side up; let stand 15 minutes. Set oven to 450 F. Turn salmon pieces over. Bake until salmon has turned opaque at the edges but is still translucent in the center (cut to check) about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Increase heat to Broil. Brush salmon evenly with about half of the reserved glaze and sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds. Broil 6 inches from heat until sesame seeds are toasted and salmon is opaque but still moist looking in center of thickest part, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle salmon with remaining glaze before serving.
Joyce Goldstein's Mother's Salmon Patties
This is not your usual fish cake recipe. Instead the patties resemble pancakes. You can make this with leftover cooked salmon or with raw salmon. When using raw salmon cut the salmon into pieces and blend along with the other ingredients in a food processor for about 2 seconds. Both versions are surprisingly delicious. You might want to try these with pickled cucumber slices and radishes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
8 ounces of cooked, leftover, fresh salmon
Mash salmon, eggs, onion, salt and pepper together until if forms a loose paste and the egg is absorbed. Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan until they sizzle, but are not brown. Spoon in salmon mixture to form pancakes. Cook each until golden, about 2 or 3 minutes and then turn.
All-Time Favorite Pickled Cucumbers
These are good within an hour of making but you can keep them as long as three weeks. Freshly made they are crisp, two weeks later when the cucumbers have exchanged their water for the vinegar they become a bit limp but more flavorful. You can add any herbs or spices you wish while layering the cucumbers and onions in their container. Tarragon and dill are both good. You can use the brine twice by just adding more cucumbers and onions. What a good deal that is!
1 medium cucumber
Peel cucumber and onion and slice both thin. Alternate layers of cucumber and onion slices in a glass jar or bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Press ingredients down a bit with the back of a spoon. The liquid may not cover the cucumbers immediately but will as the cucumber exchange their water for vinegar.
Mary Roy's Texas Style Salmon with Red Potatoes
Serve this dish with a green salad or coleslaw and you have an easy dinner to prepare and serve. It is especially nice when you have guests because you can do it all ahead and spend time with your friends. Mary Roy lives in Houston and her husband Stuart has loved fishing since his Dad first put a rod in his hands. The cold water loving salmon never gave that little Texas boy a chance when he fished in the gulf. Makes 4 servings.
1 pound red thin-skinned potatoes (about 1 1/2-inches wide)
Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub potatoes and cut each in half before putting into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Pour in 2 teaspoons of the oil and use fingers to cover all surfaces of the potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn potatoes cut side down and bake until barely tender, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange part only from the orange. Mince the peel and combine with remaining 2 teaspoons of oil (use more if needed), mix in the seasonings and rub mixture on cut sides of fish. Push potatoes to sides of pan. (If they are tender remove from pan and keep warm.) Set salmon steaks in a single layer in the center of the pan. Bake until salmon is opaque but still moist looking in center of thickest part, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, pare off the white pith covering the orange and slip paring knife between dividing membranes to remove slices of orange. Serve the wedges with the fish and potatoes or put them in the salad.
When the salmon are running, run for the salmon!