My friend Lindsey is temporarily back in the area and I couldn’t be more excited. She came over last week and we collaborated on a salmon dinner served with cucumber salsa. We were feeling inspired by Ashley, the chef behind one of my favorite Seattle blogs, Not Without Salt, having never poached salmon before, I decided to do what I know and treat my big side of fresh Copper River Salmon to the grill.
Salmon is quintessential in the Northwest, and it is a food that is full of memories for me. Rory and I were in Alaska with my family on a salmon fishing trip when we got engaged. We brought home 50 pounds of fish from that trip.
We were giving it away to our friends and coworkers and still months later, I would pull a bag of salmon out of the freezer, researching new recipes as it thawed. In the mean time, we found our favorite techniques for preparing the fish. It is easy to overcook it, but a true Northwester will tell you that if the fish is quality, it can be on the rare side of medium rare and coast into perfect texture once removed from the heat.
This recipe can be adapted according to what you have on hand, but the basic technique is the same.
– Using pliers and feeling along the fillet pull the larger eye bones out – this isn’t necessary, but for guests, it makes it much more pleasant to eat.
– Preheat grill to medium high.
– Lay the fish on a piece of heavy duty foil that is big enough to fold up along the edges.
– Season using fennel seeds, green garlic, fresh garlic sliced, fresh chopped dill, salt and pepper.
– Thinly slice a full lemon and lay on top of the fish.
– Grill for about 12-15 minutes (depending on thickness, we usually do about 8 minutes per inch) and let rest for 10 minutes.
– Serve salmon warm with cucumber salsa.
Cucumber Salsa Recipe via Not Without Salt, it packed some serious heat from the serrano chili. Next time, I think we would use a jalapeno instead.