this took a while, birthday and travel, blue screen computer and all. but here it is: continued for your pleasure and, of course, mine.
a few days ago, back in berkeley, back at monterey fish, there was a small table outside the store with brochures presided over by len peterson. he, father of taku river reds, had come to town to do the show and sell of ‘the passionate pursuit of sustainable salmon’. taku river reds is a small direct-to-market fishing business. a few fishermen work together to catch, process, package, ship, and market this salmon. he explained ‘their’ way of ‘salmon’, both the catching and preparing of the fish for sale and ultimately its consumption. individual fish are snared and taken from a salmon-size gill net and immediately bled. bleeding of the fish is made to preserve the quality of its meat, usually done in larger fish, but in the case of the taku river reds, really to care that their salmon reaches the consumer in as fresh a state as possible. monterey fish has it that this is their very best sockeye salmon. it shows, a side of salmon has a deeply intense red color, the flesh is tight and has the feel of a freshly caught fish.
i cooked this fish two ways: one, over a slow fire, skin down, brushed with lemon flavored olive oil. the gently smoky flavor enhanced the salmon’s sensuous texture. the fish stayed firm in texture, juicy and fragrant to taste.
we took a side of red-fleshed sockeye, nicely iced, to portland and cooked it there a very few minutes under the broiler. this turned out just as fancily delicious, together with a side of sweet berry tomatoes. as in any variant way of cooking salmon, most importantly though with thin fleshed coho and sockeye, it is imperative to under-cook the fish either over slow heat or under a hot-hot broiler, or, imagine, butterflied upright three feet from a beach fire, and so to retain its famously silky texture. anywhichway, this fish is so fabulously fresh you will readily do a sashimi, ditching stove, grill and beach fire altogether.
the folk of taku river reds have a beautiful site: http://takuriverreds.net. it explains and delights in the pursuit of their salmon way, even suggesting direct ‘from the boat’ purchase.
so, i simply wanted to thank these alaska guys for showing up at monterey fish, what a catch, yet another delicious way to have a superb, yet quick dinner ready for any mate, mine always preferred.