Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Over the salmon hump

After whining about my self-created, nonexistent problem, I finally did something different with all the bloody salmon in my freezer. What finally did it was a delivery of 2 beautiful Meyer lemons to my cubicle by a workmate. I don't live on mars, so we do get citrus here reliably, but it's always, um, rind-y and inconsistent. These lemons were ripe and wholly a different species than what I am used to. And thanks to Peter over at cookblog who suggested making a curry with lemon.

Well, I did that last night with a fillet of Coho/silver salmon caught in mid-August. I made an Indian style curry with onion, garlic, black mustard, cumin, coriander, and lemon peel. I roasted the spices, then ground them up an cooked them in the softened garlic and onion. I stirred in the strips of lemon peel and deglazed with the juice from the lemons and about 2T Ponzu. The salmon was cubed and seared before stirring in the spice mixture. The whole thing was finished with red sea salt. It turned out well if a bit sharp/bright and "pointy" but I think that's the Ponzu. I felt the flavors were all at the top or front or whatever foody term that indicates a lack of depth. I really liked the citrus-spicy-salty flavor with the bits of salmon.

Next time I'll use wine or some wet veggie like tomato or a cream-like substance. I didn't go for coconut milk because I wanted to try something a bit different from my usual curry. (Curries are de rigeur for halibut and rockfish around here.) This will for sure get a go sometime in the near future, with some tweaks.

Also, cubing the salmon and searing it was just different enough to make this dish more interesting. The texture was different, something I never really thought about with salmon because salmon is so very much salmon. The searing and simmering helped keep the fish from becoming tough and overcooked but still had some bits of caramelized flesh that is just so good.

This little foray also pulled me out of an I-hate-everything-drywall-ick-Christmas-is-dumb funk I've been in. I was actually feeling so much better that I cleaned up our little front room and desk area and did some housey paperwork. With the solstice behind me and enjoying salmon again it feels a lot better around here.


  1. I like to think of myself as the culinary equivalent of the lamp visor thingy that the old dude in Northern Exposure wore for SAD (until it made him go crazy).

  2. Walt! He was the best. Did you see the one with the wooly mammoth?

    Now I see potential rather than frustration when I open the freezer.

  3. mmmmmmm...i love how you think about food!di