It’s Salmon Season!

Nothing says Pacific Northwest like salmon. It’s that time of year again when this rich, delicious local gem is readily available. Bring on the sunshine; it’s Alaska salmon-cooking season!

Grilled Salmon
D’lish Salmon!
(Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing)

There are several varieties of salmon available locally that can fit any budget and taste, from King to Keta. Rich in slow-digesting proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids, this nutritious fish is perfect for a healthy meal whether in a salad, pan seared, or grilled.

Salmon’s natural oil and fat content help keep it moist and tender, even when grilling. You can also help it stay that way and add some flavor with a wonderful brine before cooking it.

Brining possibilities are endless. One of my favorites is made with brown sugar and soy. Just dunk your pieces for half an hour to an hour, then grill if the weather is warm enough or pan-sear and finish in a hot oven. Yum!

Salmon makes the perfect platform for glazes, vinaigrettes and other tasty toppings. How about a nice coat of Chipotle Honey Glaze, a smear of Orange Ginger Butter or a drizzle of Zesty Lemon Basil Vinaigrette? This makes me want to fire up my trusty BBQ right now! See my tips below for outdoor grilling  with Alaska salmon.

So whether you’re smoking your salmon, grilling it or oven-roasting – be sure to select wild Alaska salmon. . –Kathy

Chipotle Honey Glaze
Make a generous 1/2 cup

1/2 cup local honey
3 tablespoons puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*

Stir together in a small bowl until well combined. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

*To make chipotle purée: Purée a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with a hand blender, blender or food processor until smooth. Freeze any remaining purée for another use.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Orange Ginger Butter
Switch this basic recipe up with different combinations of citrus and herbs. Change out the ginger for garlic and try using a different mustard as well. Roll up different variations into logs in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 4 months. Just slice off a few pieces for a salmon topping anytime.

Makes 1 cup

8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, softened, cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, very thinly sliced

Place all ingredients except the green onion in a food processor. Process until smooth and emulsified, scraping down the sides of the work bowl often. (If the butter doesn’t come together right away, be patient and continue processing.) When the mixture is well blended, add the green onion and pulse until mixed. Keep refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 7 days.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Zesty Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
This quick and easy homemade dressing is delicious drizzled over salmon. You can switch up this basic vinaigrette recipe by changing out the basil for cilantro and the lemon for lime, and/or adding a dash of hot sauce for some zing. You can also double the recipe and add all the ingredients at once to a blender to make a more creamy dressing.

Makes 1 cup

2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons local honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper

Place the lemon juice, honey, mustard and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking and drizzle in the oil to incorporate. Then stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Outdoor Grilling – Alaska Salmon Fillet Portions
5- to 6-ounce Alaska Keta or Sockeye salmon fillet portions, with skin
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper

Brush grill to clean it well and lightly oil it. (See cooking tips.)

If using a charcoal grill, load with charcoal briquettes and ignite them; heat grill to medium-high temperature, about 375° to 400°F. If using a gas or propane grill, set to medium-high temperature and heat to about 375° to 400°F.

Bring fish out of refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. When grill is hot, pat fish dry with paper towels.

Drizzle a large dinner plate with olive oil. Swipe each piece of fish on both sides through oil. Sprinkle with seasoning.

Place fish flesh side down on hottest part of grill. Let fish cook on the first side for about 3 minutes for sockeye, or 4 minutes for keta. (If the fillet is on the thinner side, reduce cooking time by about 1/2 to 1 minute on each side.) Do not move fish around as the goal is to create nice grill marks.

Carefully flip fish over using a metal spatula. Cook on skin side for about 3 minutes for sockeye, or 4 minutes for keta, or until fish is still lightly translucent in the center. Remove fish to a plate.

You will want to pull your fish off slightly underdone as there is heat carryover and it will continue to cook for a few minutes after removing from heat. Larger salmon species like King will take a few minutes more to cook. Use your best judgment.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 23rd, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

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