Despite the winter relapse we experienced over the Memorial Day weekend (I heard the local bars put Snow Day back on tap) we really and truly are on the brink of summer. And you know what that means? Fishing, fishing, and more fishing! Supposedly they are already biting, but that has not yet been my story. This does not mean, however, I have been coming home from a strike-out day of fishing empty handed. No, I have been finding solace in salmon (thus the title). It seems our local grocers have been engaged in some sort of salmon price wars and the unlucky fisherpeople (so politically correct Simone! Bravo!) are the winners.
First Safeway had it for $7.99 a pound, then Costco dropped it to $6.99 and the leader in the pack, Save Mart, countered with its Thursday salmon special at $3.99 a pound. (If only our gas stations would catch this frenzy...) Maybe the marketing folks at the grocery stores are trying to combat some of the bad press salmon has been receiving lately in regard to mercury content. First of all, most of the salmon available for purchase comes from Alaska and is not at risk. Secondly, you would have to eat a salmon the size of Rush Limbaugh to consume enough mercury to make yourself ill — or you could just listen to his show. However, if you’re after pure in its purest form, you could always hit Whole Foods in Reno, Nev. Yes, I know you’ll have to take out a second on your home to do so, but if price isn’t a problem for you this store is a beautiful thing. Truth be told, I got out of there the other day paying only $13.65 for my groceries and when the cashier rang me up the guy behind me yelled, “How’d you do that?” The bag boy, suffering from reverse sticker shock, accused me of shop lifting he was so stunned by the minimal expenditure. I pointed out I only got a little bag of Brussels sprouts which, given the cost, probably were really from Brussels. Point is: Yes Whole Foods is pricey, but they do have organic salmon.
There are thousands of ways to prepare salmon; crispy, rare, poached, barbecued, etc, etc. The following recipe combines a quick broil, then equally quick bake and has an Indian (as in Bombay) flare to it. It is incredibly delicious. I like to serve it with Raita, (a yogurt relish/salad) Basmati rice (prepared per package directions) and Major Greys Chutney which is available at Safeway, Save Mart and Village Market.
Indian (as in Bombay) Salmon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 lb. skinned salmon fillet
2 Tbls. Dijon mustard (the plain kind)
1 Tbls. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbls. finely chopped cilantro
Rub salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne all over the fish. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours. Heat broiler.
Mix mustard, oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add cilantro. Rub this all over fish and place under broiler, about 5 inches from source of heat. When top has browned lightly, about 4 minutes, turn oven to bake, setting temperature at 350ºF. Bake about 10 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
2 cups plain yogurt
3 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped thick
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 cloves crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: Mix together all and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving with salmon.