Sunday, May 17, 2009

Well, things are in an uproar around here this morning as The Chows got word last night that Copper River Salmon has arrived in Seattle. Holy Month or Salmon Ramadan has begun. God bless us and bless us and bless us.

I should have known something was up when I glanced outside this morning and saw Cleo backflipping up and down the pool deck; you ever seen a Chow Chow make breakdance moves? They do, for Copper River salmon. Sylvie Ruth was on the phone to all her friends belly laughing, and Red Dorothy just kept making those gritty, growly oouww sounds like soul singers make when they're driving their point home as she strutted around and around the patio with stiff legs and a bobbing neck. P33t just started sniffing hard and biting his lip a little bit and every time anybody got close to him, he'd crack a little smile, toss his head and say I'm bad. I'm bad. The Chows go ca-razy over Copper River salmon.

The red fish that is like red cake, red food for the gods, the Red Eucharist, brings out only the best in everyone, a sort of Great Pacific Northwest Springtime Aphrodisiac. I personally believe it's the final confirmation that the long dark days of winter are finally gone. You don't really get spring until the Copper River is runnin'. Oh, sure it's the Milk Moon now, the second full moon after the spring equinox. And yes, Easter's come and gone. Bloomsday is over. Mother's Day is history again. Heck, Ben's another year older and another class graduates, even. But for reals, spring does not come around here until you put that first forkful of Copper River salmon into your mouth. Mother Earth's Milk on tines.

So here's how we're going to kick off Holy Month at Bellemaison. We particularly like this version of salmon because the dijon snaps us to attention. We like that. And we can use our newly sprouted herbs from out back in the garden, just now back from the darkness of winter.

Dijon Salmon
from Nordstrom 'Flavors'

4 green onions, minced
1/4 cup firmly packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup firmly packed chopped fresh basil
1 T firmly packed chopped fresh oregano
1 T firmly packed chopped fresh thyme
3 large cloves garlic minced
1/3 cup EVOO

6-6oz skinless Copper River salmon fillets
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 T Dijon mustard

Preheat over to 450 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Using a small bowl, stir together all the herbs and drizzle in EVOO. Set aside.

Season the salmon on both sides; place salmon on pan. Using the back of a spoon, evenly spread 1 teaspoon of mustard over each fillet. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread about 2 T of the herb crust over the mustard coating each piece of fish.

Roast in hot oven until the salmon is barely opaque when flaked with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes. Just don't even think of overbaking.

Using a thin, flexible metal spatula, gently transfer salmon to warmed dinner plates. Criss cross with asparagus that you have grilled over charcoal, using EVOO, kosher salt and good black pepper, over the top. If you are at the absolute top of your game today, you'll have a succulent warm rhubarb pie with cinnamon cream waiting for dessert. Aphrodisia; real-time, live aphrodisia.

If His Holiness Benedict knew of Copper River salmon, surely He Himself and President Obama would come to The 'Kan EWA today to sort out and discuss their differences, each listening and joining in respectful communion as the garden choir sang around them. The sights and sounds of springtime and the taste of the dialogue, like the salmon, would be savory, eternal and would smell deeply of our ancient woods and waters that cause our souls to spontaneously sing-- so hard, so loud-- every year at this time.

To Spring!

The 'Kan EWA


The Fool said...

Well, the Kings are in the Anchor River, and the eldest son arrives tomorrow, so I'll give your recipe a try this weeknd. Thanks.

The Fool said...

...and since I'm going to be substituting Anchor River Kings, I'm just gonna have to change that dessert to a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Mmmmmm. :)

JBelle said...



MarmiteToasty said...

I love boneless salmon fillets wiht a passion and I have them lightly steamed with spices on top once a week :)..


inlandempiregirl said...

This recipe sounds great also. I just think of that skin the chows got tonight and laugh. Again... all you pictures of the flowers are stunning. I love the tulips also.

Bent said...

Nice post, Jbelle. thanks for the recipe