Monday, June 13, 2011

Lundi: Recipes

Salmon, it goes without saying, is ubiquitous here in Alaska.  Line caught or dip netted, now is the time of year for the very freshest salmon imaginable and lots of it.  The problem, I find, is that it doesn’t keep very long in the freezer so other options need to be considered.  Unless one wants to eat salmon daily throughout the short summer.  No thank you.

Smoking is very popular with many people having home smokers to handle the job but personally I’m not much of a fan.  That’s why, when preservation is the issue, I like to go back to the days of iron men and wooden ships and pickle my salmon.  The best recipe I’ve yet to find is actually from Grossman and Thomas’ Lobscouse & Spotted Dog, so there’s a sailing reference for you.  Here it is for your consideration:

About 4 pounds of salmon
1 gallon water
1 small handful each of fresh rosemary, borage, parsley and marjoram
3 tbsps salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 ½ cups dry white wine
1 ½ cups white vinegar
2 small bay leaves
4 whole cloves
½ tsp whole allspice
Pinch of mace

Clean salmon as necessary.

Put the water, herbs, salt and ½ tsp of peppercorns in a fish poacher (or similar pan).  Bring to a boil.  Add the salmon and return to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat, cover with a little room for steam to escape and simmer 5 minutes.

Remove salmon and set aside to cool.  Remove and discard skin and bones, then cut into filets that will lie relatively flat in a deep jar or crock.  Once neatly packed, cover the salmon fillets with cooled, strained poaching stock and discard any unused liquid.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Let the fish and broth warm to room temperature the next day.  Don’t be alarmed that the broth is now gelatinous; that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Put the wine, vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, allspice and mace along with the other ½ teaspoon of peppercorns into a saucepan.  Bring this mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before adding it to your fish.  Refrigerate for three days and then dig in.

This makes a nice hors d’oeuvre on toast points or cracks, is good in salads or with egg salad in sandwiches.  Technically, this is the English equivalent of Jewish lox, and is likewise eaten in Britain as a breakfast food.  Jack Aubrey certainly enjoyed it thusly.  Bon appetite ~

Header: Officer and a Laughing Girl by Jan Vermeer c 1657


Timmy! said...

Sounds good to me, Pauline...

Pauline said...

I think so... but probably not first thing in the morning.