Saturday, March 15, 2008


(Okay, if your appetite doesn't run to seafood, you can enjoy this week's offering on chicken.)

The Spring salmon run is almost here in the Northwest! Am I a fanatic fisherwoman? Well, no, but my husband and son are, and when they start hyping up for the salmon run, I celebrate in my own way by getting my creative juices running toward some new twists for enjoying their catch.

Mind you, I can have a wonderful time along with my men out on the boat, anticipating that rush when the hit comes; and yes, I have caught a few beauties of my own, but my addiction very definitely includes the part after they're cleaned, filleted and delivered to the kitchen. Last week, I started practicing on a beautiful fillet of Copper River Sockeye salmon (caught at the local fish counter) and received a response from my fellow diners that was enthusiastic enough to prompt us to share it with all of you.

My personal preference in preparation, is one that doesn't smother the delicate deliciousness of the fish itself, but is simple and compliments the natural goodness that is already there. I think the smoky flavor of this recipe sets it apart from some of the other favorites I have traditionally used for our table. While I used this basting marinade on salmon, I'm sure it would be equally good on halibut or whatever your favorite might be (yes, even chicken!). It can be used when grilling, baking, etc. So, get ready and start looking for good buys on yummy, healthy fresh fish, or encourage your fisherman to get his gear and start indulging the hunter/gatherer instinct so you can fire up your grill or oven for a dining delight.

Smokey Basting Marinade for Salmon
Makes 4 servings

It is important to remember that when baking or grilling fish, overbaking will produce a drier, less tender result, so keep a careful watch to avoid this.

Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

2 tsp. Olive oil

¼ tsp dried dill weed

2 tsp spicy brown or Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

3/4 tsp seasoning salt (my favorite is Johnny's Seasoning)

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp. liquid smoke

Whisk or blend all ingredients together. Set aside one tablespoon of the marinade. You can adjust the salt before brushing the fish, but remember, especially if grilling, that a lot of the marinade will roll off with the juices in the cooking process and justifies a little more of the saltiness than if it were merely a dressing. (Check to stir it well to make sure that salt hasn't settled to the bottom of the mixing dish, which would make it too salty with the final basting.)Place 4 servings of salmon or other fish on a plate or in a baking dish and brush (or spoon on) one side generously with the marinade. Bake or grill until about half done; turn carefully and baste the other side. If there is skin on the under side, remove the skin after turning and before basting. Continue baking until done to your liking. Apply the reserved marinade before serving with a clean brush or spoon. ENJOY!


Shannon said...

I don't know why I never noticed this link on your blog before Janelle. I'm so excited! Alice, your recipes are the ones I return to over and over again in the Alamo cookbook! Let me know when you publish this cookbook... I will definitely buy it!

Nortorious said...

Don't we all miss the Alamo cookbook? I mostly like to read the recipes and salivate, knowing that I probably have no talent to actually create this type of deliciousness.

Lisa said...

Hi Alice! I have been reading Susan's blog for a couple of months and noticed Janelle's name as a commenter. I went to her blog and found you. I used to live in Danville and booked a couple of your trips for you. :) I have thought about you, your family, and Erin and have wondered how you all were. So, I hope it is okay if I peek at your blog and try your recipes. They all sound really great and the pictures are beautiful!

And I miss the Alamo cookbook! I don't know how I got one, but I did!