Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catch of the Season

Perhaps you have read it already in the papers (i buy the Globe and Mail every Saturday and read a section each morning for the whole week...the "Globe BC" section, typically my Tuesday read, filled me in) but this is an incredible year for Sockeye salmon. And unexpected too.

I wont get into the details of the sparcity of salmon years prior, because i am too damned excited about this seasons abundance to gloomily reminisce. There is just so much salmon! If my grandpa were alive today, he would invite all his dutch relatives to visit and toss them all a fish to slimy flop against their chests as they braced in catch, jsut as he did summers ago (though not his entire 13 sibling family at once). Instead i will cozy up on this cold, rainy, end of summer night, and tuck into a beautiful fillet of fish from my home.

I could have gone with my favorite recipe, but with the vegetables from my new backyard waiting patiently in the fridge, and a craving for quinoa i instead prepared this:

Crispy Skinned Sockeye Salmon on Corn Quinoa
with Garlicky Green Beans and Zuchinni
Theres still leftover veg (zuchinni and green beans) from the summer, and they marry beautifully with early fall corn. Quinoa is seedy and bright here against the fatty salmon, and the whole dish, the yellows and the greens looks and tastes fresh on a cold night, celebrating both seasons and the abundance that we did have. Serves two.

Bring to a boil in a pot in which a steamer tray fits:
1 cup H2O

Stir in and reduce heat to gently simmer:
3/4 cup Quinoa
the kernels of 2 cobs of corn
leaves from one sprig of thyme
finely chopped parsely stems

Meanwhile, over medium high heat, warm olive oil in a medium sized pan. When good and hot, sear, skin side down:
2 BC Sockeye salmon fillets, pinbones removed

Season the meat with coarse salt and pepper, and when the skin has crisped (two to three minutes), remove from the pan and rest in a steamer tray that fits above your simmering quinoa pot.

Remove access oil and cool slightly that same salmon-searing pan. Over medium low heat, add to this pan:
splash each water and the wine in your glass
1 clove garlic, smashed and very roughly chopped
2 good sized handfuls green and yellow beans, trimmed of any stems
1 cup zuchinni, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
Season with salt and pepper and cover

After about five minutes, when both your quinoa and veg are nearly finished, place the steam basket over your pot of grains, cover and gently steam for four to five minutes.

To the veg, toss in a handful of roughly chopped parsely, the leaves of a sprig of thyme and (if available) squash blossoms or nasturtiuns. Season with salt and pepper and continue to braise until just tender.

Serve the salmon atop the quinoa with the zuchs and beans alongside and celebrate the bounty we did have this year

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