in the Northwest, we are blessed with an abundant array of
seafood and arguably the most coveted of fish, salmon. From
spring through fall, salmon is on almost everyones menu
in a limitless number of preparations.
From appetizers, soups and chowders, salads,
pasta and rice dishes, to fantastic entrees that are roasted,
grilled, smoked, sauteed, barbecued, poached, baked or broiled.
This unique flavored fish is elegant in all of its preparations
whether combined with a sauce, salsa, rub, vinaigrette, or
simply sprinkled with a little lemon.
To celebrate the new salmon season, we thought
wed re-publish a few cooking methods for salmon to get
everyone thinking once again about this king of
To poach, first prepare a poaching liquid
of water, dry white wine, herbs and lemon. Salmon can be poached
on the stovetop or in a 375 degree F oven. Whole salmon, fillets
or steaks can all be poached with fabulous results. There
are few entrees as spectacular as a whole poached and decorated
Baking and Roasting
The most common and probably the easiest
preparations for salmon are baking, roasting or grilling.
Salmon can be baked with an unending array of vegetables,
herbs and sauces. Salmon, as well as most fish cooks quickly
and generally should be baked about 10-15 minutes, depending
on the thickness of the fish, or until it flakes with a fork.
To roast a whole salmon, season the cavity
with salt and pepper and stuff it with herbs and lemon slices.
Roast the salmon on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the
entire outside of the fish with melted butter. Roast at 450
degrees F or until the flesh is opaque. To roast fillets,
season with salt and pepper and briefly sauté in a
hot skillet in about 2 Tablespoons olive oil, skin side up.
Turn the fillet over and on to a baking sheet. Top the flesh
with an herb and butter mixture. Roast at 400 degrees F for
about 5-8 minutes. Serve with sauce.
Nothing matches the aroma of outdoor grilled
salmon. To grill, cook quickly over a hot fire on an oiled
rack. Seasoning can be as simple as olive oil or melted butter
brushed over the fish, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, a
few lemon slices and or chopped herbs. Serve grilled salmon
with any number of enhancing sauces; Beurre Blanc, a flavored
butter, salsa or a berry sauce.
Broiled salmon is delicious and easy. Try
marinating salmon in a gluten-free teriyaki sauce for 1-2
hours in the refrigerator. Broil for about 5 minutes per side.
Baste frequently with the marinade.
My favorite way to prepare salmon is by
slow indirect heat. Barbecued salmon has a wonderful smoky
flavor and unlike other barbecued meats that can take up to
12 hours to cook, salmon only takes about 45 minutes. Our
favorite preparation is to lightly sprinkle a halved salmon
with a rub before placing in the BBQ. For complete detailed
instructions on True BBQ Salmon, visit our True
BBQ class in our on-line cooking class archives.
To smoke salmon, you must first prepare
a brine for soaking. A brine is a simple liquid comprised
of water, salt, sugar and herbs (bay leaf). The salmon should
sit in the brine for three to ten hours. Remove the salmon
from the brine, let dry on a wire rack for about an hour.
The key to making perfect smoked salmon is low heat, long
cooking time and aromatic wood chips. Preheat a smoker to
170 degrees F and add the fillets on top of layers of cheesecloth
or a heavy paper bag onto the rack. Cover the smoker and smoke
for 10-12 hours. You will need to replenish the wood chips
a few times during the smoking process.
Here are a collection of our favorite salmon
recipes to help get your creative juices flowing;
Salmon with Corn, Shitake Mushrooms & Spinach
with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Pasta with Cream Cheese
w/Sorrel Cream Sauce
w/Tomato Smoked Salmon & Herbs
Salmon w/Fresh Herbs
Salmon w/Roasted Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato
Salmon w/Wilted Spinach
& Asparagus Strata