One of the best things living in Seattle is the abundance of beautiful seafood and how easy it is to find fresh Alaskan fish, just in from the boat or in the case of Yukon and Copper River Salmon, the plane. Yukon River Salmon is like butter. There is no other way to describe its succulent, deep colored, oil rich flesh. It has a gorgeous texture and the fat content makes the fish so flavorful that it really is a sin to overcook it, season it too much or burdening the flesh with too heavy of a sauce or too pungent of a marinade. The flavor of the salmon should be the star. Not a lot of room for messing up the fish if you do the least possible to it to begin with and mind the grill, cooking it for just the right time and not a second more.
So when Barrett, from Too Many Chefs announced the theme for this month's installment: IMBB? 6 - Grillers (and Barbecuers) Delight I knew exactly what I was going to grill. However, only today did I figure how I was going to marinate it and what I would serve with it. I just knew I had to make the most of whatever looked best at the market. I also wanted to test a new gourmet product I had purchased recently.
The salmon came from Mutual Fish. The Heirloom Tomatoes ( a fat, dense and meaty ruby red) from our favorite produce guy, Philip Catanzaro of Catanzaro & Sons at Pike Place Market. We got our peaches and tomatoes from him this morning. We also found beautiful Nectarines and Apricots while perusing the stands. And the Purple & Yellow Haricots came from the market too. But I digress (produce does this to me)....
As I was looking for a light citrus kick to season the fish with I used O Yuzu Rice Vinegar. I brought this vinegar back from Los Angeles (Yuzu is a rare and quite pricey Japanese citrus) and it proved to be a great choice. Extra Virgin olive oil, Maldon salt, freshly crushed pepper, garlic and about 20 minutes later we were ready to grill. The salmon was grilled skin side down on a sheet of Reynolds "Release" Non-Stick Aluminum Foil so as to not risk the beautiful fish slipping through the grate and straight into the fire and brimstone below.
The Yukon was cooked medium rare and served immediately after. It was delicately infused, with all its wonderful natural flavor still showing through. The salad and beans were delicious too. Everything super fresh, without any added vinaigrette or seasonings other than a little crushed Maldon salt.
For dessert we had the leftover fruit at the bottom of the pitcher with a little Fage Greek Yogurt from Trader Joe's and local and very fresh Dancing Bear Wild Blackberry Honey from Everett (Nancy, the beekeeper, sells a large range of honey and honey based products honey from her stand at Pike Place Market). A glorious if simple meal, enjoyed with friends and neighbors in our building's terrace on a sunny Seattle Sunday. A slight breeze. The Space Needle in the distance. Live jazz playing in the background. What can possibly be better than that? ;-)
Grilled Yukon River King Salmon
Yukon River King Salmon
*Yuzu Rice Vinegar
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Freshly ground red and black pepper
Mix all ingredients in bowl (except for the salmon)
Let fish marinate in mixture for about 20 minutes.
Grill to taste (SBV recommends medium rare)
*=To taste. Fellow Nigel Slater fans take heed: My recipes, for the most part, do not include exact proportions, unless it is a preserving or baking recipe. Let your palate be your guide.