Salmon is definitely king in the Pacific Northwest and lucky for me there were two kings in our house yesterday. One brought the other one home for dinner.
Yes, Big Guy's getting this retirement stuff down pat. He went fishing yesterday with Mike and Rob and came home with his catch of the day, a first, and the resulting fillets from a 15 pound King salmon, also known as Chinook.
Salmon fishing season is on and one of the prime fishing areas just happens to be at the "jaws" below our back yard and a part of the view we enjoy every day. OK, I know I'm bragging again but quite honestly I still can't believe our good fortune in finding our little utopia.
The "jaws" is what the locals call the area where the Alsea river meets the Pacific Ocean and can be mighty tricky to navigate. The fish enter the area to head upriver to spawn so it's supposed to be mecca to a fisherperson. Notice I say "supposed to be" because from what we hear it's been pretty slow fishing so far this season. Personally I imagine the head fish sent some scouts out for a lookie-loo and the scouts returned to headquarters saying "there's too many boats out there so let's take a pass for a while and make 'em sweat it out." I imagine my King musta' caught one of the scouts.
Anyway, a very excited Big Guy stocked the freezer with his catch minus the huge piece he cooked up for dinner of course.
I had some potlatch seasoning mixed up for just such an occasion, so we rubbed it onto the piece of beautiful red fish and Big Guy cooked it on cedar planks that he'd soaked in water for a couple of hours. After the fish had a good headstart on the grill, he starting basting it with a mixture of real Grade B maple syrup courtesy of my homeland (Canada) via Trader Joe's mixed 4 to 1 with a bourbon, Knob Creek of course.
Now be forewarned, cooking anything on a cedar plank always takes longer than you think, so give your fish about 15 minutes per inch (depth) rather than the usual 10.
Big Guy finished the piece over direct heat with another slather of glaze to give it a deeper color and crisp up the glaze a bit because there's nothing like caramelized maple syrup with a bourbon twist.
Pretty darned amazing isn't it?
Potlatch Seasoning (adapted from Foodnetwork.com)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine ingredients together in a small jar and seal tightly.
A year ago - Southwestern Style Eggs
Two year's ago - Chipotle and Green Chile Pork Burgers
Three year's ago - Fried Mac and Cheese