Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something fishy this way comes"


I misquote Shakespeare when I can. It's an occupational hazard. It does underline the love/hate relationship I have had with fish. I know it contains all sorts of elements that fight disease. It's low-fat (although I have wearied of that phrase), one can eat it sensibly and easily find sustainable fish. I live in the Land of 10,000 lakes where even in winter, you can dig a hole in the ice and find some tasty protein. (But then we tend to deep fry it, negating the reason you're eating this stuff with a zillion (I don't exaggerate) tiny, crunchy bones.)

I adore lobster - growing up in New York City and vacationing in Maine, I was introduced to this luxurious treat in my childhood. Shrimp (never frozen) makes me sing. Halibut can be a delectable. And then there's salmon. Widely available, sustainable and sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't. My favorite is the Copper River Salmon - available four weeks out of 52. Minnesota does seem to get a good crop of salmon in from Canada all winter. Fresh. Sustainable. I like the idea of that meal usually more than I like the meal itself.

As our weather soared into the fifties, I took some salmon home. Grilling season has begun. My entire block was lighting up their grills. And I tried a variation of Giuliano Hazan's recipe. I can usually count on him to give it a light, Italian taste. And he came through.

Salmon with Thyme and Parsley Sauce adapted from Giuliano Hazan: (Serves 4)

2T fresh lemon juice


8 sprigs flat leaf parsley

8 sprigs thyme (I use more herbs that Mr. Hazan)

5 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 lbs salmon fillets

freshly ground pepper

4 T bread crumbs

Preheat gas or charcoal grill (I am hooked on charcoal). Put the lemon juice and the salt in a small bowl and stir till dissolved. Chop the herbs finely to have 2 T of each. Add herbs to the bowl and whisk in 4 T of the olive oil until emulsified.

Season fish with salt and pepper and coat it with the bread crumbs. Drizzle remaining 1 T of olive oil over it. Place salmon on grill. Cook the fish for about 5 minutes per inch of thickness, turning the fillets once. Salmon should be pink in center and flaky when done. Transfer to a serving platter, pour the herb sauce over it and serve.

I served it with some brown rice and a Greek Salad (my salad of choice in the winter: greens, thinly sliced cucumber, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, scallions and a lemon-oil vinaigrette.)

It wasn't fishy - tasting like the first buds of spring - all lemony and herby and fresh. I liked it. Don't think I will even do the breadcrumbs next time. There. I said it: next time! So, maybe it isn't that I don't like most fish, maybe I'm just fussy over its preparation.
Oh! And for dessert? I had my eye on the French Yogurt Cake that was the recipe of the week over at Tuesdays with Dorie. It was perfect and will be the dessert for the monthly family Cover Girls Cooking dinner. The recipe is here.


Nancy/n.o.e said...

I love the sound - and look - of this salmon. Making a note of it for the next time I have some. I usually like salmon, but I always like halibut!

Claudia said...

Thank-you. Actually the herb dressing on the halibut? Mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Grilled salmon sounds really good with parsley and thyme - yummy!

Sara said...

This salmon sounds great. I was just thinking earlier today that it's been way too long since I made salmon!

Marthe said...

Your cake looks perfect! And the salmon looks pretty good too!

Claudia said...

I'm certainly trying to incorporate the fish thing. I still prefer dessert.

ShellyH said...

yummy! We love seafood too and Salmon is so tasty and usually easy to prepare! Great blog!

OhioMom said...

Salmon on the grill is to die for ... we are experiencing warmer temps, I am trying to figure out how to grill outside (live in an apartment building with no yard :)

Elyse said...

I've never had Copper River salmon. I have my love/hate with the fish, as well. I'm not a fan of the extremely pink sockeye salmon, but I do love an Atlantic catch. Looks like I would love the Copper River, too, especially made using your awesome-looking recipe!

Claudia said...

With my fishy-tendencies towards fish, I have found I love Copper River salmon. If only its season was as long as say - the holiday season is!

I do remember grilling on the back stoop of my apartment building. Needed permission! One thing I do love about White Bear is smelling the grills during nice weather. A tad different than the aromas of NYC in the summer.

Jennifer said...

Wow, that salmon looks good! I love seafood and feel lucky that both my kids like it, too.

Claudia said...

Well 50% of my kids like that (meaning one out of two). It was a nice change from four months of comfort food.