Salmon, glazed

Salmon. It can be so simple to prepare. But for that reason can be a stumper sometimes. Sure, you like it just fine the way you always prepare it, maybe with just some olive oil, salt pepper and dill for the light side, or with a buerre rouge sauce (that sounds fancy pants but it’s easy–for another post, perhaps?) But for the a small-minded fellow worn down to the bones by another numbing day at the job, a little hiccup in the routine is small victory. So there I had a pound of salmon in butcher wrap from Kowalski’s. Yeah, I bought it at a grocery store. It’s a nice grocery store, but I rarely buy fish there–or any grocery store. My usual spot is Coastal Seafood. But hey. There it was. The fella behind the counter tried to sell me on some farm raised from Chile, but there’s a whole slew of problems coming from down there, so I pointed to the wild caught. “Well, if you like richer tasting fish,” he said. Yes, yes I do, doofus. I like fish tasting like fish does when it’s yanked from their natural habitat. The slab looked good. Didn’t smell fishy.

Planned on cooking it that night, but for reasons unremembered, didn’t. Unwrapped it on night two and, well, that scent had settled in. Is it bad? No. But you know you should have just cooked it when you bought it. Still, a nice looking piece of wild caught Alaskan salmon. What do do?

Much to my surprise, the brain kicked in. It told me that for the day job I received a cookbook a few years back from an Alaska publisher that produced local-fare cookbooks. This one was entirely devoted to its title: Salmon. I pulled it out, thumbed through it, and found a neat little recipe that was quick and easy. It’s basically this: take about one pound of salmon, lay it skin side down on aluminum foil. Put Kosher salt on it. Heat your grill. When the grill’s ready, rub about a quarter cup of brown sugar on the salmon (I like dark brown sugar). Put pepper on it. Toss the whole mess on the heated grill for about ten minutes, and check for doneness depending on the thickness of your slab.

Easy. Tasty. Although my quibbles with the recipe (and why I didn’t write it down for y’all) are this: It says things like “salt to taste” when you add salt to the raw filet. Eh? Salt to taste? Just put a decent amount of salt on it in that state. One thing I realized with the recipe, is that I under-seasoned it. I’d like to fiddle with a bit of heat next time; I’ll let you know.


More salt, more pepper, and this would have been outa sight in it’s simple balance of flavors. That, and some supremely fresh fish would be outstanding. At left, I smeared a tad too much sugar on. No matter, it melts off.


But it piles up on the foil and burns a bit. But the fish? Just fine.

Overall, this cookbook is a nice package, filled with nifty illustrations. Worth the buy, if it’s still available,Illustration
if only to add to the mental catalog for salmon prep.

By Cynthia Nims
Illustrated by Don Barnett
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co.

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