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post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A dear friend of mine gave me a gallon bag packed full of frozen salmon he caught and filleted. I don't know what kind it was, didn't think to ask him. lol Anyway, I've smoked a whole salmon and it was great but I don't really have time to mess with smoking this week. There is enough to make two meals for the kids and me. I was thinking to put some in packets with asparagus and slices of lemons on the bottom and not sure what else to put in there with it. Then I was thinking of grilling some and topping with mango salsa.

Do any of you have any good suggestions? I'm pretty new at cooking salmon myself as Les won't eat it so I usually don't buy it and this is the first time anyone has given me any. lol

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post #2 of 30
What color are those filets, Allie? Dark red? Or more whitish?

Unless you have a special basket I would be leary about cooking filets on the grill, particularly if they are skinless. Salmon cooks fast and falls apart readily, and can easily get messed up on the grill.

Most of my recipes are either for whole fish or steaks, or are more complex than you probably want. But here are some you might find interesting.

This first one takes some time to make, because of the pastry and prep work. You can spread it over two days, though. And even people who don't like salmon tend to rave about it:

Salmon & Rice In Pastry

1 recipe for pastry of your choice
1 lb fresh raw salmon in thin slices
3 cups cooked rice, dry and cold
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups veloute sauce (white sauce made with stock instead of milk)
1 tbls chopped fresh dill
1 tbls lemon juice
3 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped
1 egg beaten with 1 tbls milk
1/2 lb unsalted butter, melted

Divide the pastry in two parts. Rolll out one half to 1/4 inch thickness, place on cookie sheet, and trim to a 7 x 17 inch rectangle.

Put a layer of rice, 1/3 inch deep, on the pastry, leaving a 1 1/4 inch border all around. Sprinklw with salt & pepper. Spoon hlaf the veloute sauce over the rice. Lay the salmon slices over the sauce to cover. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, dill and lemong juice. Cover with balance of veloute sauce, then the chopped eggs. Top with another 1/3 inch layer of rice. Paint the border of the pastry with the egg wash.

Roll out other half of the pastry to 1/4 inch. Trim to a 9 x 18 inch rectangle and place over the loaf. Carefully press top pastry around loaf without stretching it. Press edges together and trim to about an inch around the loaf. Press edges with tines of fork. Cut two small holes in top of loaf, about a half inch in diameter. Gather scraps of pastry together and cout out decorative shapes. Paint entgire loaf with egg wash and stick on the decorations. Then wash them.

Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and immediately lower heat to 375. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until pastry is golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to stand 14 minutes. Pour 2 tbls melted butter into each hole. Cut loaf into 0ne inch slices and serve with remaining melted butter.

This next one is a little less of a PITA:

Salmon in Basil Sauce

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tbls butter
3 large shallots, sliced
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups fish stock*
8 tbls unsalted butter
1-2 tbls whipping cream
2 lbs salmon filets, cut very thin into 1-inch scallops.

Chop 1/2 cup of the basil. Melt 2 tbls butter in 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and mushroom and cook about 10 mintues. Add wine and chopped basil and cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half. Add fish stock and cook until reduced by half. Add cream and continue cooking until sauce is reduced and thickened.

Strain suce into another saucpan. Measure 1/2 cup of the sauce into blender. Add remaining basil and puree until smooth. Whisk puree into sauce. Place over low heat and finish by whisking in butter, 1 piece at a time. Add salt if needed. Strain and set aside, keeping warm. Just before heating fish stir in cream.

Nap bottom of heatproof serving platter with sauce. Arrange salmon scallops on sauce. Broil until fish is just underdonw, about a minute, 3 inches from flame.

*A substitute for fish stock can be made my bringing together 1 cup bottled clam juice, 1/4 cup each white wine & water, some peppercorns, and sprig or two of rosemary. Let simmer a few minutes, strain.

You can use leftovers in this next recipe. Or, as I usually do, start with raw salmon and poach it.

Salmon Cakes

In a skillet saute 1 cup minced onion in 1/2 stick butter until it is lightly browned. Put 2 1/2 cups flaked cooked salmon in a bowl. Toss the salmon with the onon mixture, 2 eggs, lightly beaten, 1/2 cup day-old bread crumbs, 1/4 cup minced parsley, and salt & white pepper to taste.

Form the salmon mixture into rounds about 1/2 inch thick, dust the cakes with flour, and in a skillet saute them in 1/2 stick butter and 1/4 cup oil, turning them and adding more butter as needed, for 5 minutes, or until they are golden on bosth sides. Serve the salmon cakes with lemon wedges and tarragon mayonnaise.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
They are a more white color. Not the deep pink I see a lot in the stores. You're probably right about the grill! I don't have a basket and the only salmon I've grilled had the skin on. These don't!

I never thought about using them for salmon cakes. Now that's something I know Les will eat because I make them out of canned salmon sometimes.

I think I'll try some foil packets and then poach the rest and make salmon cakes...unless I get other suggestions and have the ingredients on hand!

Sadly, I have already been to the grocery store so don't have all the ingredients I need for the other two recipes.
post #4 of 30
You could try gravlaks or salmon chowder, salmon pot pie.....
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post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Ok here's one of those terms that I am not familiar with.......gravlaks. I've heard of it in books but never had it. I was looking at recipes and again it calls for fresh dill. Gosh, I gotta find me some dill to grow! lol
post #6 of 30
Dill is the classic herb used in curing garvlax and it does impart a very distictive taste. I made some gravlax last week without the dill cos the bunch I bought the weekend before was too wilted by the time I got to curing the fish. Without it the result was a bit bland but when I smoked the gravlax with applewood, it was fabulous. I made a smoked salmon frittata for mother's day brunch yesterday.

Your salmon in a packet is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Along with your asaparagus and lemon, add some jullienned green onions and maybe a little bit of goat cheese or one of those herb flavored cream cheeses you can buy.

post #7 of 30
Ditto to what Jock says for ingredients but you could also try in all wrapped in puff pastry..
Like salmon wellington.. Bit of egg wash on top before baking.. Mmm, very good!
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Cool, Jock! I have the green onions in the fridge already! lol I don't have any herbed cream cheese or goat cheese but I bet I can figure something out!

Joyfull, I've never used puff pastry. If this turns out well in the foil, then next time I'll try the pastry. I've been meaning to give it a go anyway. lol

Funny, after mentioning I had no idea what gravlax is, Barefoot Contessa had it on her show this afternoon. I saw it briefly while slicing tomatoes and onions for the burgers. lol

Thanks everyone!
post #9 of 30
Hey, I saw that too. For a neato twist on Gravlax, replace the dill with different herbs. Cilantro is pretty tasty, if you're into that sort of thing.
My grandpa always said "John, never trust a skinny cook". Man, I must be awesome!
My grandpa always said "John, never trust a skinny cook". Man, I must be awesome!
post #10 of 30
The recipes sound nice but...

what I want to know is where do you catch salmon in Indiana???

I'll come down... really missed it since we moved from Seattle.

Mike :D
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post #11 of 30
Mike, there is a multi-billion dollar sport salmon fishery in the Great Lakes.

Stocking of Pacific salmon started in Lake Michigan in the mid-1960s as a way of controlling other invaders (primarily alewives) , and spread from there. The sport fishery was a happy by-product.

Later on, other anadromous species, such as steelhead, were introduced.

Allie: The light colored filets are likely coho. This makes sense, as they are the earliest salmon to appear off the Indiana coast. The big kings won't come in until later in the summer; followed by the Skamania steelhead.

Coho are, imo, too mild for gravlax. I would wait until the kings move in before trying that. The kings (chinook) have a more robust flavor that better stands up to that treatment.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #12 of 30
Take that gravlax and make chowder. That's good stuff maynard. :)
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
You're right, KY. Our friend works with Les so when he called home last night, I asked and our friend said they are coho. He didn't catch them his nephew did. Lots of people around here go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. I've never been but, man oh man, I can just imagine how fun it would be pulling in one of those!

Tonight I'm going to go with the packets. Then Thursday night, we'll see! I do have some cilantro! I bought some for making mango salsa which I was hoping to have with the salmon since I have some mango that needs to be used. Maybe if I pan fry in a nonstick that would work?
post #14 of 30
It's easy to use frozen puff pastry. Before wrapping the salmon season it then spread on top of each piece of salmon a mixture of butter, raisins, a quarter teaspoon of ground mace and some finely chopped stem ginger(comes in a jar with little balls of ginger in syrup).
It comes out beautifully moist. I serve this with a lime mayo, some baby boiled potatoes tossed in a little butter and parsley and some steamed asparagus. It's been a winner every time!:lips:
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
That sounds really good! You guys have given me such great ideas! I see the kids and me trying a lot of new recipes in the near future!
post #16 of 30
Salmon also goes very nicely with Teriyaki sauce. In Alaska everyone uses Yoshidas! It also goes great with Chinese Black Bean sauce. I like to grill it with a mirepoix with thyme and lemon butter on top as well. Salsa goes well as does soy sauce and cabbage. There is a ton of things you can do with salmon and it will hold up to all of them. Simply grilled though with a little garlic and lemon butter is the best!
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post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 
Since this has no skin, I'll refrain from grilling but that is my favorite way of cooking salmon so far. I agree simple lemon and garlic goes so well with it! I hadn't thought of the teriyaki sauce but should have as I've had it in a restaurant before.....that's something I almost always keep in the fridge.

Thank you all! These suggestions are wonderful!
post #18 of 30
Yup, sure would. Just some salt and pepper and you are good to go. Flesh side down first on moderately high heat to give it a nice golden crust then flip it over for a couple of minutes and it's done. That would work well with your mango salsa. Just nice clean flavors.

Youll want to have your hood fan on cos the fatty tissue down the center of the fillet on the skin side can smell up the house for days.

post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
I did the packets yesterday. I just put asparagus on the bottom, then lemon slices, then a salmon fillet, lemon pepper, and more lemon slices. My daughter loved it! My son and I didn't care for it. I can't really explain why except maybe that I'm too accustomed to grilling salmon fillets so it was a bit different texture and, of course, the taste.

I'm going to try the panfried tomorrow. I'll do it outside on the gas burner. I do NOT want to smell it in the house and my hood fan doesn't work. We have an off size and it's proving impossible to find a replacement. Not good because I don't want to replace cabinets, too! I just open the window close to the stove when I cook smelly things but that doesn't work that well.
post #20 of 30
Sounds like a lot of lemon? I just give a squeeze of lemon and a splash of dry white wine. I've overdone the lemon thing in the past and found it too acidic.
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Except on the asparagus, I couldn't discern a lot of the lemon taste. I sliced it very thin. The salmon was very firm but still flaked with a fork. I don't know, I just didn't like it very much.
post #22 of 30
First of all, I must say you're very lucky to get your hands on so much salmon. One thing I love to make when I get fresh sides of salmon is to make gravlax, like some suggested. I know some recipes call for fresh dill, but that is so predictable. This one restaurant I worked at uses citrus zest.

1kg kosher salt
3 cups sugar
10 oranges, zested
10 lemons, zested
10 limes, zested

I know its weird, I have weight and volume measurements, but that's how the recipe was. It's enough to cure about 2 sides of salmon. Just keep rubbing the zest with the salt and sugar until evenly mixed, spread an even layer over the salmon, and weight it with something. Takes about 12 hours to 24. Just press on the flesh and it should feel somewhat firm, if still too soft, cure longer. Brush off the cure very well, and slice paper thin. bon apetite!!
post #23 of 30
Two words:

Teriyaki Marinade.
post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 
I did end up cooking some of the salmon on top of the stove in a teriyaki marinade. That was far and away the biggest winner with the kids!! They want to have it again!

Thank you all so much for your help! All the salmon is gone now but you never know when I might luck up on some more or decide to buy some just to try some of these ideas!
post #25 of 30
I made salmon last night with a chili glaze and it was awesome. Just shallot, garlic, white wine vinegar, honey, chili powder, chayenne, and salt/pepper. Reduce that, brush it on during cooking and pour a little extra on at the end. It's that simple and really good!
post #26 of 30
My impression always has been that the orange/red coloration of wild salmon from the sea is due to the crustaceans(shrimp) in their diet. The pigment is a carotenoid compound (astaxanthin) related to the orange pigment in carrots. It may be that salmon from the Great Lakes are generally paler than their oceanic equivalents due to the fact their diets do not include (to my knowledge) crustaceans at all, but are mostly alewives and such, ie just small fish.
post #27 of 30

I live in the midst of big time salmon country and have never heard this at all, but I am open minded to the theory, and will start a quest for the answer.

But, shrimp are not orange, or shrimp colored until they are cooked and some not at all. And shrimp is a very small part of a salmon's diet.

We have five distinct salmon species here in the pacific northwest and the color of the flesh is very differant. We also have a winter king with white meat. The fish all have differant feeding habits, as their timing in the salt or fresh waters is different, and would effect their ability to feed on shrimp.
post #28 of 30
Abbot, salmon have a natural coloration based on species as well as what they eat.

In the Great Lakes, for instance, the kings (chinook) have that deep red color most people associate with salmon. Coho, on the other hand, are a pale pinkish, almost white, color. Steelhead are white-fleshed, of course; and the Native American commercial catch is often marketed as "white salmon".

The humpbacks (which most people, unfortunately, do not bother with because of their small size) have a distinct pink coloration to both their skin and flesh---hence their common name, pink salmon.

Lake trout have a comparatively dark flesh. Not exactly red, but certainly a long way from white. Lakers, fwiw, are the only salmonid native to Lake Michigan. All the others were introduced.

The biggest color variation is found in the coastal browns, which often run in the 18-22 pound range. Their color is more affected by diet than any of the other salmonids in Lake Michigan.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #29 of 30
(just had to say that, sorry)

I live in Fla now, but used to live on Vancouver Island.
When I golf, I see pink and white flamingos.
The white flamingos prefer to eat white krill, the pink flamingos eat pink krill.

Same carenotoid theory and it's perfectly logical. There are pink krill and white krill in the pacific.
Ivory King Salmon just happen to prefer eating white krill. The "village idiots", if you will. We all know pink tastes better than white.

Cat Man
post #30 of 30
My reference is p. 194, On Food and Cooking, H. McGee. I have fished for salmon species of all sorts in Alaska, Canada and Washington and am aware of the culinary differences in the 5 species. The flamingo example is a good case in point for how carotenes are sequestered from prey species into the pigmentation of the predator. Native trout have flesh that varies in color depth too, depending on the nature of their diet, and, of course, the ones you see commercially available have had no carotenes added to their diet like pen raised salmon. Pen raised salmon can have their flesh colored by the addition of ground shrimp shell waste to their food although chemically synthesized carotenoids may be more common.
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