BBQ Salmon With Garlic Mayo and Brown Sugar

I love salmon on the barbecue, and a good piece fresh wild salmon doesn’t need a whole lot of preparation to make a great meal.
Having said that, it’s always nice to try a new angle on salmon and this recipe definitely fits the bill. This recipe calls for the fish to be layered in brown sugar, mayonnaise and then grilled on the BBQ.
The end product is absolutely delicious and I would encourage you to give it a shot.
Ingredients:
1 fillet wild sockeye salmon
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup mayo (we used fat free but full fat mayo would be much better)
Preparation
If needed cut the rib bones off the salmon and pull the pin bones. In this salmon recipe I removed the skin but it is okay to leave it on.
Pat the salmon down with paper towel and spread the brown sugar over the fish, rubbing it into the flesh.
Grate or press the garlic and mix it with the mayonnaise. Spread the mayo on the fish with a fork or with your hands covering the fillet fillet completely.
Place the fish on tin foil and wrap, leaving the top semi-open.
Barbecue at medium low for 15 minutes. As with all salmon it is best prepared with the middle of the fish a little undercooked.
Plate and serve with fresh salad and a good piece of bread!Barbecued Salmon, Brown Sugar and Mayo Spread

Smoked Salmon Pasta

I’ll be the first to admit the photo’s on this smoked salmon pasta didn’t turn out great. I swear it tasted a million times better than it looks!
This is a quick easy salmon recipe that we whipped up with some leftover smoked salmon that I made that week. Smoked salmon in a white sauce on pasta is a real treat, rich and full of flavour. Give it a try sometime.
Sauce:
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1 cup milk
1 clove garlic
Salt/Pepper to taste
4 tbs cheddar cheese (should use Parm but we were out)
2 tbs white flour
Mix ingredients in blender
Add 1 Cup chunked smoked wild sockeye salmon
Heat in saucepan for 15 minutes on low
Boil 4 cups rigatoni. Linguine would also work well.
Serve pasta and pour sauce on top.

Thawing Salmon

One mistake a lot of people make in handling salmon is the way they freeze salmon .
It’s also important to realize that the way that you thaw salmon will have an impact on the quality of the fish.
A lot of fish you buy frozen, or freeze your self, will come in a vacuum pack. It is important that you remove the fish from the vacuum pack while frozen and allow it to thaw slowly on a tray covered with saran wrap. If you allow the fish to that in the vacuum pack, it can become mushy, discolour the flesh and ultimately spoil the product.
So thaw your salmon slow and out of the pack and you’ll have quality fish every time!

Salmon Chowder w/ Scallops

This is an adaptation of a clam chowder recipe from the Tomato Fresh Food Cafe. If you are looking for a great collection of recipes check out the cookbook they’ve published.
We’ve kept pretty close to the original recipe but have substituted sport caught wild sockeye salmon from the West Coast of Vancouver Island,and east coast scallops, for the 4lbs of clams that is called for. For the record the scallops add very little, local mussels would add a lot more value to the soup.

The broth in this chowder is unreal, give this recipe a try – you’ll be impressed.

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs Wild Sockeye Salmon
1 lbs Scallops
5 Small Potatoes
8 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Walla Walla Onion Diced
2 Stalks Celery
3 Medium Carrots, Diced
1 Large Bell Pepper, Diced
Half Cup Butter, unsalted
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tsp ground coriander
3 cloves minced garlic
Half Cup whole wheat flour
2 Cups Cream
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Half Cup Cheap Dry White Wine

Process:

De-bone the salmon and cut into chunks. Brown in frying pan until 80% cooked.
Steam the potatoes in the white wine for 20 minutes until soft. You don`t need to steam in white wine but it gives you a good excuse to drink the rest of the bottle! Let the potatoes cool and dice them.

Bring the chicken stock to a slow boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
In a large pot saute the vegetables in the butter for 8 minutes. Add the coriander, thyme and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.

Slowly blend in the flour and stir. Once all the flour mixed in, cook for an additional 3 minutes. Slowly add in heated chicken stock, making sure to stir so that it does not go all chunky.
Add the salmon, scallops, diced potatoes, cream and bay leaves. Let simmer for 20 minutes covered.

Notes: The recipe above will make 6 big bowls. This soup tastes 500 times better the next day so make extra if you have a big group.

How To Freeze Salmon

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Properly frozen salmon is nearly indistinguishable from fresh fish. The challenge is fish is delicate and special care needs to be taken to freeze salmon properly. If you freeze salmon with the same techniques as beef and chicken you will end up with freezer burnt product.
Air is the enemy of frozen salmon and the best freezing methods attempt to remove air around the fish. Below are the two best ways to freeze your salmon.
Milk Carton Method
The milk carton method of freezing salmon is a sure way of removing the chance of air and oxygen around the fish. With this method the fillets are placed in a brine solution (1/3 cup to 4 litres water) in a milk carton. The fish/brine should come to within one inch of the top of the container. Shake the brine/fish to remove any air bubbles. Use foil to create a tight seal at the top of the container to make sure no moisture escapes.
To thaw run cold water over the block until the pieces separate. Dry and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Vacuum Sealing
By far the most reliable method to freeze fish. You place the salmon in a specially designed pouch and the vacuum sealer removes the air and then seals the pouch. The most common home vacuum sealer is the external type, like the
Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum Sealing
Vacuum Sealing

FoodSaver brand. You can get into a FoodSaver vacuum sealer for around $150. This type of sealer is good for moderate sealing requirements. Expect the odd broken seal and always make sure you pick through any pieces in the freezer so that you are culling the ones with the broken seals first.

For heavy duty user a chamber style vacuum sealer is a better option but expect to pay up to 1,000 for a decent desktop chamber vacuum sealer.

Preserved this way, salmon should last for up to 12 months in the freezer.

Tip: freeze the salmon slightly before sealing in the pouch; wet soft fish doesn’t seal as well as a firm frozen piece.

Smoked Steelhead Maple Balsamic Salad

Steelhead are a form of anadromous Rainbow Trout. They weigh 8-14 pounds and are closely related to pacific salmon.
On the plate they have different characteristics than any of the pacific salmon. In flavour – mild – and texture they would be similar to an Atlantic salmon.
The particular fish in this recipe was a hatchery fish, sport caught in the Vedder River near Chilliwack, BC. It was quite the fish – a buck that was close to 20 pounds and bullet chrome. I smoked one side and rolled it into a salad:
Salad:
1 Pound Smoked Steelhead, chunked (any smoked salmon or trout would do)
5 Cups Leaf Lettuce
1 Small Red Pepper
10 Rings Red Onion
4 Table Spoons Capers, drained
20 Snap Peas, trimmed
Dressing:
1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
250 ML Olive Oil
75 ML Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
Process:
Smoked salmon – or in this case steelhead – is a wonderful addition to a salad. Other ingredients that would help this salad, and go great with smoked salmon are goat cheese and avocado.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Choosing Fresh Wild Salmon

I have this theory that the number one cause of dislike for salmon is the quality of some of the product in the seafood sections of grocery stores. It’s hard to believe anyone could dislike a fresh piece of well prepared salmon. On the other hand it is very easy to understand that someone could be turned off by a piece of skanky salmon.
Where as the differences between pieces of chicken and fish are minor, choosing fresh salmon is critical. Fresh salmon firm, rich and flavorful. Salmon that is off is fishy and soft.

Don’t take it for granted that your local fishmonger is carrying good product. Make sure that you touch, smell and visually inspect the product. Here are some tips to help you pick fresh salmon:

Firm moist flesh without discoloration (you need to understand the different types of salmon)
Fresh, mild odor. Salmon should not smell fishy!

If buying whole fish make sure:
The salmon as bright clear eyes. Cloudy eyes are a sign of poor storage conditions.
Red gills. The colour of the gills wash out with time. Pink gills are usually okay, white gills not so much.

Moist shiny skin, free of slime

When buying frozen fish:

Commercially frozen fish should be vacuum sealed. Air is the enemy of good frozen product. If the supplier hasn’t put in the effort to vacuum pack the fish I would question their storage method. The seal on the package should not be broken and their should be no frost/snow attached to the flesh.

If the seal is broken the fish will have some level of freezer burn. Freezer burnt fish is skanky fish.
Of course the best way to guarantee good fish quality is to develop a relationship with a local fish monger that consistently carries fresh salmon.

If you are only an occasion buyer I hope you find the tips above useful and I welcome your feedback!