Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Salmon season at last

This morning when I walked out the door to take the boys to school, I noticed that my neighbor had caught a salmon. - I always notice because he hangs them on a tree in his front yard while he unpacks and cleans up. This is the same neighbor who is a tuna fisherman during the summer. He says he fishes for tuna to pay the bills so he can fish for salmon when they're in season. Anyway, this was a BIG salmon. Probably not big as far as big salmon go but definitely big as far as fish hanging from trees go. It was almost four feet long from head to tail. It was only about 8:00 in the morning and, aside from admiring his dedication in getting up what must have been insanely early to catch this fish and hoping it would still be there when I got home so I could take a picture of it (it tickles my funny bone to see a fish hanging from a tree), I paid no attention to it because the boys are barely on time to school most mornings and this was a typical morning.

By the time I got home, the fish was gone. But as I passed by, my neighbor poked his head out the door to let me know he'd left a present for me on our porch. I immediately told him about how he is our favorite neighbor but he just laughed. Actually, he IS my favorite neighbor but I probably would have said so right then even if he weren't. He'd set aside a yummy (and huge - this is on a dinner plate) piece of the fish for us.
We all love salmon. I buy it in the store when the craving gets especially strong but only get wild salmon - the farm raised kind just doesn't compare. When we lived on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound (has it really been more than 10 years!?), Devin would catch Silver Salmon (I think they're Coho). Most were only about 3-4 pounds. I would stuff the belly with onions and spices, wrap it in foil, and he would grill it that evening for dinner. Up until we moved here, it was the best salmon I had ever tasted. I have to admit that there is something extremely satisfying about knowing exactly where your meat has come from. Also, when you eat fish so fresh that it was swimming upstream less than 24 hours earlier, you just can't go wrong. The salmon caught here is even better than the silvers from Whidbey. The first bite I took last year just blew me away. It has a mild, sweet taste and the texture of the tenderest steak - enough to bite into but it almost melts in your mouth. Best of all, since it is so fresh and delicious, the simplest method of cooking is the way to go. I poached this one over lemon slices and celery (smiley face optional) and served it with a creamy horseradish sauce. Yumm!

1 comment:

michelle said...

Both of those pictures are fantastic!! :)

My husband went fishing in Alaska last year and brought us home heaps of salmon. You're right about the satisfaction of KNOWING your food's origins.

My mouth is watering by the way. ;)