Posts Tagged ‘fish’
Admittedly, this food/adventure blog has taken more of a fish-heavy turn than my pork-loving self would care to admit.
The reason? I started habitually going to Dorian’s Seafood Market, a local fishmonger on the upper east side. Over the past year or so, I’ve become friendly Dorian, the owner, and have used her oceanic comestibles in previous posts. She’s been in the business for 20+ years, and it shows when you stop by the market.
About a month ago, she laid a surprise on me and had me come pick up a few pounds of Copper River Salmon, which had just been flown in from Alaska. What’s the big deal with Copper River Salmon? Take it away, TinyUrbanKitchen!
“Copper river salmon come from the Copper River in Alaska, a 300 mile long 1-mile wide river in Alaska that is well known for its salmon runs. Each year 2 million salmon swim upstream (climbing over 3000 feet in elevation!) to their spawning grounds up north.
Exactly three weeks ago (on May 16, 2011 to be exact), the the 2011 Copper River Salmon season officially opened. The fisherman have been out in the city of Cordova (right near Prince William Sound on the map), catching salmon for this season’s harvest. Currently, they are catching Copper River King (or Chinook), which is seriously among the most prized salmon in the world. It’s known for its high oil content (yay omega-3!) and juicy rich flavor.”
Needless to say, I was pretty excited about cooking it up. It was also a perfect excuse to invite people over.
With 2 lbs of it to mess with, I decided to head straight for one of my favorite cookbooks: Simple to Spectacular, by Jean Georges Vongeritchen and Mark Bittman.
The book starts out with simple recipes that get more and more complex with each iteration. I like to think that when you’re dealing with a prime-time ingredient, keeping it simple is a great way to showcase what the ingredient is all about. They had a fantastic raw/ceviche preparation, as well as a Slow-cooked salmon recipe that looked like a perfect fit for the CRS (copper river salmon).
The raw preparation was a bit slap-dash, and paired with a simple salad. I sliced the salmon thinly (Note: time to buy a Deba knife), and drizzled lemon juice, olive oil, capers, and chives over it.
I was a bit wary of the slow-cooked preparation for the salmon. I typically like to use a hot hot oven for a short, short time. Jean Georges’ recipe called for a 300 deg oven, cookin the salmon for 15-20 minutes. As for seasonings, we kept it super simple: Salt N’ Pepper.
I’m glad i followed the recipe: The CRS came out tender and perfectly cooked. We paired it with another recipe in the book: Asparagus with a shitake-cream sauce (spiked with a bit of bourbon):
The salmon itself definitely has more personality when compared to the farmed stuff. It’s a livelier flavor, and more complex. I’d love to eat it year round.
We capped off the dinner with fresh berries that had a quick run-in with the oven and some sugar in order to release the juices, paired with creme fraiche.
Keep it simple stupid? More like Keep it simple and spectacular.
Now that we’re clear of that wretched, soul crushing winter we just went through, it’s time to look ahead to summer. For me that means excuses to do the following:
- eat pork outdoors
- drink beer outdoors
- drink bourbon outdoors
- ride bikes and motorcycles outdoors
Along with the following outdoors extracurriculars, the summer means a return to lighter, brighter, fresher flavors. It seems like in the winter I cope with the depressing cold by adding cream, oil, and fat to everything I eat (I’m not complaining, mind you…)
Ceviche is the antithesis to the winter. the combination of succulent fish, citrus, veggies, and herbs yields a dish full of bold, fresh flavors and textures. Best, of all, it’s about as healthy and easy a dish as you can make. There’s no added fat unless you add avocado. And guess what? It’s cheap to make as well.
The ceviche, pictured above, was made with some beautiful Tilapia that I picked up from Dorian’s Seafood Market. At $10/lb for super fresh Tilapia, you can’t go wrong. You can also make ceviche with many other pale fish, as well as shellfish (scallop ceviche is dabomb.com)
For those who aren’t familiar with ceviche, check out Alton brown’s bit on Ceviche (in the video he’s making a catfish ceviche, but just pay attention to how he’s making it and what the process is)
Oh yeah, that reminds me: Only make ceviche with super Fresh fish. Otherwise, you’re asking for food poisoning. Do yourself a favor and get yourself some fish same-day from an actual fishmonger. Remember, fresh fish shouldn’t smell fishy. Unless it’s mackerel, in which case, NOMNOMNOM.
The ceviche pictured above is super simple, but full of great flavors. Just combine the following:
- fresh tilapia, cut into 1/4 -1/2 inch cubes- 1 lb
- Orange peppers- 2
- Thinly sliced red onion- 1
- Cilantro- a handful, chopped
- Lime Juice – 3 limes
- a touch of apple cider vinegar
- Pomegranite Molasses
- Siracha to taste
- Sea Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in an air-tight container, and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Serve with crispbread crackers (Wasa or Fincrisp are my favorites). Proceed to shovel it into your mouth.
That wasn’t so hard, was it??