Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Citrus and Sockeye

There are a few foods that I have tried to force myself to like. So far I have been fairly successful at this. It may sound weird, but I believe there are certain foods that as a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’ I should like. Just like the list of books I should read to be a better person – there are some foods I need to enjoy to be a better foodie.

I don’t know how this came about, but at some point in my adolescence I determined that there were certain foods I should eat to be more classy. Class apparently was very important to me. Maybe not class so much as snobbism. Either way, I felt it was important to eat fancy food and the first thing on my list was fish.
My sisters and I had eaten our fair share of fish sticks as children but I knew this did not count as fish. Plus, I have always wanted to (and still do) go deep sea fishing. I have, however, been “off-shore” fishing a few times while vacationing on the Jersey Shore. In fact my grandmother enjoyed fishing and she did not mind baiting my hook with a slimy piece of clam, then watching me drop the line until it hit the ocean floor. And as grandma’s go, that’s pretty cool. She even watched my pole for me while I chummed over the side of the boat.
Somehow this experience inspired me to want to eat fish. Crazy, but that’s me. So the flounder we caught that day was filleted and given back to us. My grandmother broiled it and served it with a wedge of lemon. I thought it was magical. And if I recall correctly, only her, my father and I ate that fish. This may be the real reason why I was determined to enjoy fresh fish – not everyone else liked it. I could be different and slightly weird in my affinity for these creatures.

So I added flounder to my list of acceptable seafood, but knew that I needed to increase that list. I tried the Spanish mackerel and bluefish my dad caught while deep-sea fishing, but immediately moved those over to the “ewww gross” column. And then one Mother’s Day while out at a very fancy lunch I decided to try salmon. I consulted with my dad (who, since he was willing to eat any seafood, was my go-to expert on the matter) as to whether or not I would like salmon. “Sure!” he said, with a shrug of his shoulders.
Excellent! I would have the salmon, please waiter! When it came, it was very pretty, and I knew I would like a pretty fish like salmon. But as we all know 15 years ago, fresh fish was not that common in most restaurants, and this was no exception. It was fishy and dry. I choked down the first bite, played with my rice pilaf and wondered if anyone would notice that I was not eating my salmon.

My great-grandmother, who was wary of my “classiness,” snidely asked if I was enjoying my salmon. When I looked up at her, she seemed determined to hear me say that no, in fact I did not like it. My stubbornness saved me in this instance and I said, yes of course I liked my salmon, I mean it is salmon after all. Hmph! I managed to eat the entire piece of salmon and perhaps that was my tipping point. I don’t remember being skeptical of other fish, and since then I do remember enjoying salmon almost every time I have it.
This recipe is a good starter salmon option, for those of you who may not like it. However, the most important part of this dish is the salmon, so be sure to buy one that’s fresh and preferably wild caught.

Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Yogurt Sauce
As adapted from Bon App├ętit June 2005
Currently it is Sockeye Salmon season, and I recommend that you take full advantage of it. This is an easy dish that really pulls through on flavor. The citrus yogurt sauce is a very nice accompaniment to the salmon and I find that both, cold the next day, tossed with cold boiled potatoes and lettuce make a very nice salad.

1 fillet sockeye salmon, pin bones removed (size as needed for your dinner - 1 pound=4 servings)
1 c strained, greek style yogurt*
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the zest, juices, oil and honey with the yogurt and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Preheat your broiler to low. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, place on a greased broiling pan.

Broil salmon for about 5-7 minutes, until the top of the fish is nicely browned and cooked through. (If you prefer a medium-rare cooked fish, place broiler on High and cook for less time.

Serve salmon with citrus yogurt sauce on side.

*I prefer to use the strained Greek style yogurt because it has less liquid in it. Since the recipe calls for so much added juice, it’s best to start with a fairly dry yogurt. If the yogurt you get has a lot of liquid on top when you buy it, drain that off, or let the yogurt sit in a paper towel lined strainer over a bowl for about an hour prior to making the sauce.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question.