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cooking fresh salmon

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
37 pounds of flash frozen, fresh salmon from Alaska is being flown in to me today. I have 2 questions. I have not dealt with pin bones before. I have been told to use a tweezer to remove them. Any suggestions to quickly and efficiently remove them? I am catering in a private home (one oven) for 70 people. Do you suggest I under cook it in my commercial kitchen and then put it in Cambros and carry it to the job site? I don't want it to over cook and dry it out. Any suggestions will be welcomed. Thanks.
post #2 of 7
tweezers will probably not work - they don't for me. a pair of needle nose pliers does work.... you run your finger down the line feeling for anything pointy <g> works best if the fish is not really cold (i.e. not 'stiff') - the flesh is softer and you can find the little critters easier. and, if you're on my technical scale, you'll miss some . . . <sigh>

>>not dry out... if you have a choice, go with poaching. the 'wet cook' keeps it moist, you can fully poach it, drain the liquid (save it!) transport to site, put back the liquid and keep warm - not simmering / further cooking, just warm.

the usual seasonings apply for poaching but I'd hold off on any citrus until serving time to keep that flavor sparkling.
post #3 of 7
For the pinbones, you want a heavy pair of tweezers, a light needle-nose pliers, or a strong strawberry-huller. Start at the collar end, and run your fingers lightly down the surface of the fish. You will feel the pinbones immediately. Starting again at the collar, simply feel for the first bone, grab it with the tweezers, and pull steadily and firmly. Don't yank. After two or three bones you will have a clear sense of what pulling angle works most smoothly, and you will move faster. When you think you're done, run your fingers again -- I always miss at least one. Unfortunately, there isn't a better way if you want to keep the fillet more or less intact, but it takes less time than you might imagine.

Edit: By "heavy tweezers" I mean something like this:
post #4 of 7
Something in parchment to keep the moisture in.
Never trust a skinny cook
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Never trust a skinny cook
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post #5 of 7

pin bones

Needle nose pliers work well for pin bones. I would think if you cooked the salmon to about 120 degrees or a little less and then moved it to your cambro you could finish it just to heat it very quickly. Good luck
chrisandcindy family recipes
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chrisandcindy family recipes
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post #6 of 7
There's no fast way to remove the pin bones, but you can get set up for maximum efficiency:

Assuming you're working just with scaled, head off and dressed whole sides, have the following:

- something to elevate the salmon, to reduce the amount of hunching your back has to take.

- good lighting!

- a small pan of water to periodically dip the tweezers as it gets clogged with bones.

- a container for useable scrap, if you have to trim anything. Save for soup, rillettes, etc.

- a container for scrap not worth saving. It will be quicker than constantly flinging stuff into a garbage can each time.

Also, if you intend to twice cook it, the tail will cook much faster, and possibly dry out. These could instead be reserved for other uses, or cooked only once on site.

Pat
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

caterer

Thanks to all of you for your help with the salmon. The needle nose pliers worked beautifully...took about 2 hours. Ended up cooking it on site in batches and it turned out wonderfully. Thanks again!
Linda
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