Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chicken or Salmon?

Yes, it's that time of year again. The flutter of large envelopes falling from mail slots everywhere and landing in your foyer. Pretty stamps, fancy writing and loving words. All enticing pick chicken or salmon. Which will it be?

After attending about 25 weddings in a three year span, I always went with our pink friend from the sea. Why? Because you really have to try hard to mess it up. I mean, you have to have a fish vendetta to make it taste inedible. It's light, it's healthy and it doesn't need much to showcase it's flavors.

If you read any cooking, nutrition or fitness magazine, you're bound to see the benefits of salmon highlighted within the pages. If for some reason you've missed it, here's a great article about salmon's nutritional benefits:

Personally, I've found that eating fish at least 2 or 3 times a week - especially salmon- provides relief from any pain I feel due to inflammation. Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. But why take those horse pills full of fish oil when I can enjoy the actual fish?

When picking salmon from the glass case, I always ask the fishmonger for the tail. It has virtually no bones in it and I enjoy my meal more because of that. I also make salmon the first day I purchase it. I know that it can be frozen, but for me defrosting fish affects the flavor.

Usually when you unwrap your fish when you get home you will notice the portion is uneven. I finally figured out that I must slice through it horizontally to create even fillets. Otherwise, I'm constantly going into the oven and finding a cooked fish all around with a red mushy center. I used to overcook the fish to make sure the center was done, and that led to the worst tasting over cooked meal ever. But this trick has helped (if I remember to do it!.)

I've also been baking salmon at a high heat for a shorter period of time. Try 450 F for 12 minutes and see if you're there yet.

For flavors, I always go very simple. A little white wine and some fresh dill does the trick. But you can do any herbs you like. It's totally up to your preference.

I do have a funny salmon story to tell you. The first year that my hubby and I lived together, he took a ten day trip to Alaska with "the boys." I was bummed because I wanted to go to Alaska on my honeymoon, but he was taking the trip ten months before our wedding. Well, he made it up to me by promising to send fresh salmon that he caught on a fishing trip. I honestly didn't know what to expect when the fed ex cooler was on the doorstep. I honestly imagined a whole fish with blank eyes staring up at me. I was totally freaked and didn't want to open the cooler. So I took everything out of the freezer and tried to stick the entire cooler in. I was short about 1 1/2 inches. I couldn't do it. So alas, I sucked in my breath, put on some latex gloves, peeked through squinted eyes and opened the cooler preparing to see one dead ugly fish.

What?! No scary fish! It was fillets!!! Oh thank goodness. My heart began beating again and I had a good laugh. They filleted them on the dock. I had 18 1lb fillets (we enjoyed them for about six months) not one scary fish like I expected.

Speaking of chicken or fish, weddings and hubby, today is our wedding anniversary. I'm a very lucky girl to be married to such a talented and loving guy. I would love to put up our wedding portrait, but I'm respecting hubby's privacy. But here's a shot of me trying desperately not to lose my veil to the wind before the ceremony:

Guess what? In a few short days - May 12 to be exact - our CSA begins and the blog shifts gears. From May 12-October 20th, we'll be receiving a veggie box from Calvert Farm every week. I'm going to showing you what's in our box every week and letting you know how I use everything and try not to waste a precious morsel. Check back this coming Monday to see the first box!


Sharon said...

Congrats on your anniversary! At weddings, chicken seems to always ends up dry, so salmon is a great choice. Can't wait to hear about your CSA deliveries!

Ricki said...

Happy anniversary (and fabulous photo!). What a riot that you tried to fit an entire cooler into the freezer!!

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

Karen, have you noticed that wild salmon makes a much less fishy odor, when being cooked, than the farm-raised salmon does?

And I must thank you again for the tip about getting rid of cooking odors (the bowl of white vinegar on the counter)-- it works so well! :)