spring chinook



the call is out, the fish are in, the official season is open for angling chinook from the shore of the columbia.
simply put, i have my first wild, freshly caught fish in the kitchen. served poached. 


with a cucumber dill salad, mayonnaise made with arugula, those gorgeous peppery greens from the locals. and as an aside new peas and cremini cooked in butter.



the poach of the fish was a dry pinot gris, with a bay leaf and a dozen green pepper corns, a little salt. the filets were out of the simmer in five, blush, delicate, nearly raw, but what with that fish, a sashimi would be befitting.



the butter is another story. not so important for this dish. and yet. everybody knows, excepting me, that you can make your own butter. i mean i knew that butter was done up from cream, i just had never, why never ever, done made my own. and likely won't want to do this expeeeeeriment ever again. i mean it is easy enough. you get a quart of h-cream, run it through the cuisine art till it churns butter and butter milk, which i strained through cheese cloth, and voilĂ , i had myself some somber butter. it was as white as a crow is black. oh, mind you, it wasn't bad. it just couldn't in any way compete with straus' butter from the store. this, neatly packaged, creamery, sweet, of a buttery yellow and an easy 85% butter fat, utterly tasting of cows cream, relished from tender spring meadows and such like. the cream i had, though fully organic, was the pasteurized kind, and from a farm who knows up what street. the thing turned out in its way. little flavor, not creamery, though on the creamy side, it was made not from the right stuff and came forth dull, no tang, no ooooh and certainly no ah. and not worth buttering up anyone's toast. let alone creaming a pan. i did the sunny side up test, with eggs, and i know where they came from, a likely tottering chicken two legging it down hill away from the chivy of a horny, spring time ornery cock. it's a fun thing to watch, and blatantly male, as she is chased, and gives in, caps to cop so to speak. eggs. well, my butter cooked them flat. and that after all this. where as the straus' kind raised the yolk high over the still cloudy white, this cooked firm, the yolk cool still and deliciously sweet. well, i'll tell you...




tonight i am vegetarian. on a lamb's ear salad. slips of bright greenery, mache, rosettes of rapunzel, dressed in olive oil, censorious red wine vinegar, a touch of dark, nutty sesame oil, the whole thing mixed like a mad man and devoured, to begin that torturous time of slimming the gut, which had way too much gamboling frivol this passing winter.