As a native Easterner, I love the fact that Seattle is passionate about salmon.
Watching spawning salmon in wild streams is a special weekend outing in autumn. On a hot day in summer you can see these magnificent fish leap at the Ballard locks. Native tribal lore and conservationists’ efforts keep salmon top of mind year-round in the Pacific Northwest.
I particularly love the fact we have five species to appreciate. Soon after moving to Seattle I put King, or Chinook, right at the top of my list. So I was happy to see that Mark Bittman finally got with the program, as my husband would say, and recently declared troll-caught Alaskan king salmon as the king of fish. He offers a simple recipe with few flavors to compete with the richness of the King fillet.
Mark Bittman's Salmon c/o NY Times
I’ll save Mark’s recipe “Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes” for another day. I perused scores of fish recipes last Friday before settling on a selection from Whole Foods recipes: Saffron-roasted salmon with tomato fennel compote. The salmon in this case was Sockeye salmon, flash frozen at sea. Sockeye is a bit drier and not as rich as King, thus my interest in the compote. Anything with fennel and leeks and capers had to be good. And it was doubly good.
- Saffron-roasted salmon with tomato fennel compote; quinoa pilaf and asparagus
In the future I might dissect this recipe and use the marinade for fish or chicken and prep the compote to accompany risotto, polenta or other fish. This time, the recipe was intact. And with toasted quinoa pilaf and steamed asparagus, the salmon made our meal worthy of a date night at home.
Fish on Friday, I like it.
Dinner was delayed tonight by a last-minute shopping trip where I quickly lost all sense of time. A place where discretion is prized, where people spend cash to indulge their passion in confidence.
The camera store! I managed to escape with only the bare essentials to get my new Nikon up and running, just in time to include a photo in tonight’s post. Already I see an improvement over the Blackberry shots. But I see another lens or two in my future (and a few classes to restore photography skills that have lain dormant since my newspapering days). But I digress …
This week promises to be hectic. Erik’s play hits the stage with three performances (and I’m out for a group dinner on Thursday). I figured I’d kick off the chaos with a meal that involved a bit more effort than I’d usually muster on a Monday night.
The pork chops were easy and amazing (I’ll have to give up that Shake and Bake after all). Spiced with paprika, browned in a skillet and finished in a hot oven. Far better than they sound. The salad from Sunset magazine contained a couple of my favorite foods — spinach and fennel — but it was a throwback to the ’70s with the warm bacon dressing. One contemporary switch: I learned recently from the local mushroom people that one should always cook mushrooms, even the cultivated ones from the store. So I sauteed the shrooms quickly, after the fennel, before tossing them into the spinach. Roasted potatoes and parsnips rounded out the scene.
It was all delish; at this point I’m not sure the photo does the meal justice.
Paprika pork chops & sides
Paprika spiced pork chops
Roasted parsnips and potatoes
Spinach, fennel, mushroom salad with warm bacon vinaigrette