Salmon: Everything You Need to Know

Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

Sometimes when you review cookbooks, you find your favorite recipe is not the most photogenic–I mean, I can readily admit that my skills are not honed nearly to that of Leigh Beisch, the photographer for Diane Morgan’s most recent book, Salmon. I spent weeks pulling my hair and attempting to fix my favorite recipe’s pictures, leaving things unfinished, and more unfortunate yet, keeping the secret of this book to myself. Many don’t realize this, but I work full-time in addition to my blog and event-attending life. Many of my recipes are (as embarrassed as I am to admit it), shot long after my light has disappeared for the day. That said, my blog has never stood solely on its images, but on its content (oh God, or so I hope and strive!), so I hope you’ll forgive the images in this post. They are simply reality, and well, what happens when you mix beautiful pink salmon with soy sauce.

Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

The truth is, Salmon by Diane Morgan is a delectable read. It’s a light book, yet dense in its knowledge of salmon, from prep to labeling notes; like did you know that you should not be fooled by “certified organic” label on salmon? The USDA has yet to set standards for seafood, including salmon. I was also introduced to how to freeze salmon, which I plan on doing as soon as I can get my hands on a large amount of salmon–tools you would ideally want for the process are a vacuum sealer and a deep freeze (I’m a big fan of my GE upright deep freezer) to keep the salmon under 0°F. You can freeze either whole sides or 1-2lb fillets, and be sure to wrap up as tightly as possible in several layers of plastic wrap and keep fully sealed. Salmon will keep in a deep freezer for up to nine months, and in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator for up to one month.

The images are saturated and rich, highlighting the salmon’s pink hue, and the recipes cover every season–from salmon baked in parchment with tomatoes and corn (yum August) to a delectable salmon chowder that I know I’ll be eating again and again this winter. Now is the perfect time to get your hands on the book as grilling season (she has an entire chapter devoted to grilling the fish).

Shanghai-Style Poached Salmon
Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon fillets, about 6o each, skin and pin bones removed
  • Sweet Vinegar Sauce
    • 1/2 c Soy sauce
    • 1/4 c Distilled white vinegar
    • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 4 Green onions, including tops, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 Thin slices of ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 c Water
  • 3 Additional Green onions, including tops, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 5 Additional thin slices of fresh ginger, peeled

Method

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the 4 green onions and julienned ginger. Set aside.

[Start making your favorite rice around the start of this recipe.]

In a sauté pan just large enough to hold the salmon fillets in a single layer, combine the water, 3 green onions, and sliced ginger Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn the heat to carefully slip the salmon into the pan. (The salmon should be completely submerged in the poaching liquid. If it isn’t, add a bit more water.) Cover the pan and poach the salmon for 5 minutes. Again using a spatula, lift the salmon to a plate. Carefully drain off almost all the poaching liquid from the pan, leaving only 1/4 cup in the pan. Remove and discard the green onions and ginger from the pan. Return the pan from medium-low heat and add the vinegar sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Slip the salmon back into the pan and baste with the sauce. Continue to braise the salmon, basting frequently, until almost opaque throughout, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F (52°C) or a little above, about 8 minutes. The sauce will have reduced and thickened a little.

Transfer the salmon to warmed dinner plates or shallow pasta bowls. Spoon sauce around the fillets, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.

***

Looking to learn more about cooking salmon? Beyond Diane’s book, I really enjoy the NY Times article, How to Cook Salmon and Bon Appetit’s 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Cooking Salmon.

Maple Habanero Cocktail

Maple Habanero Cocktail

Over the next month I’ll be sharing some throwbacks to 2014-ish when my friend Aubrie (of PDXFoodPhotos) and I were teaming up on shoots for the online publication Incomplete Magazine. Since then, the magazine has sold off, and I thought our recipes and photos were lost to the web. I found them in my computer’s archive recently and decided it’s time to re-post for all to enjoy. I’m kicking things off by sharing my Maple Habanero Cocktail, made with homemade habanero vodka and served up spicy.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Successfully executed in either martini glass or tumbler, a maple habanero cocktail will quench the thirst of even the most spicy of palates. Homemade habanero vodka is quite easy to make. Simply de-stem and cut up a ripe habanero pepper (use caution! I suggest gloves!) and place into a mason jar with 2-3 cups of your favorite vodka. Age for 3-4 DAYS. Do not age any longer. Trust, me, you will find that to suffice. Feel free to test the batch as it ages, although it will be quite strong. In most cases you will be “watering” the batch down to integrate into the cocktails. Batch will keep for 3-4 months if kept well-sealed.

Build the heat up in your drinks, but remember that you can also always dumb down the heat with more vodka or soda water! Play with your proportions, and you will surely find a combination that will suit you or the one that creates the fire in your heart!

Maple Habanero Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 3 oz Potato vodka (I love Portland Potato Vodka by Eastside Distilling –pictured)
  • ½ oz Homemade habanero infused vodka (see notes)
  • 2 T Pure maple syrup
  • 1 T Fresh lime juice
  • 2-4 oz of Soda water, chilled
  • Course raw sugar (or rimming sugar) (optional)
  • Ice

Method

Combine vodka, pepper-infused vodka, maple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice. Cover, hold together with a rag, and shake—a lot. I like to keep things shaking for at least a full minute. If serving with sugar-rimmed glasses, dip the edge of each glass in some extra lime juice (or the inner rind of the lime if you used fresh limes!), and run each part of the rim through the raw sugar. Strain off the ice and fill each glass equally. Fill the rest of the glass with soda water to taste. Consume cold!

Makes 2 Cocktails

 

An Oregon Cherry Pie Fit for Pi(e) Day

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Red Tart Cherries | The Spicy Bee

I can handle a Monday when it coincides with Pi(e) day. It’s a great excuse to pick up a $2 Take-and-Bake Pizza from Whole Foods and tuck in for the evening with a fresh piece of pie. Whether you’re a fruit pie fan or looking for something a little more savory (hello, chicken pot pie!), Pie Day is always a cause for celebration and sharing pie with those you love. This year I whipped up an Oregon cherry pie made with Oregon Specialty Fruit’s Tart Red Cherries. A standard 9 inch pie calls for 2 13 oz jars and I felt it was enough for my shallow pie plate, but you may need a little more if your plate is much deeper. Always be sure to test your portions against your pie plate. While it requires a little extra clean up, you can ensure you have the perfect fit for your pie. Other tricks I love involve incorporating an egg wash just for sealing the top to the bottom and topping before popping the pie into the oven to ensure your product is crispy and golden brown. Don’t worry too much if your pie’s a touch runny in the end, but know that a tablespoon of cornstarch in your filling can go a long way in holding things together!

I played around a lot with my top crust this time. You’ll not a pinched outer rim, a braided inner rim, and an easier-than-it-looks lattice that I completed with the help of this Lattice Pie Crust Tutorial from Gimme Some Oven. I also realized in the meantime how many different ways one could top their pie, so feel free to exercise some creative juices!

 

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Red Tart Cherries Recipe | The Spicy Bee

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Oregon Specialty Fruit Red Tart Cherries

Ingredients

All Purpose Butter Pie Crust (double to create full top)

  • 1 1/4 c flour (all purpose)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 8 oz butter, cold & sliced
  • 1/4 c cold water

Filling

  • 2 jars (or cans) of Oregon Specialty Fruit Red Tart Cherries
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 2/3 c extra fine sugar
  • Egg wash (1 egg, 2 T water, whisked)

Optional– ice cream!

Method

Prepare the crust first as it will require 1-2 hours of chill time in the fridge. Chill time is flexible based on your preference, however I’ve seen as much as 12 hours fridge time. I’m impatient, so this recipe is typically done with 1 hour of fridge time. You decide! Also, if you’re planning on a top for your pie, make an extra half batch for a lattice top or a full second batch for a complete top. I liked to make mine in separate batches, but you’re welcome to do them all at once, then divide evenly. Measure out flour and salt, sift, and slice butter into the mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. coat butter in flour and using a pastry blender, slowly incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it has a cornmeal-like consistency. Push the contents of the bowl to the side and add the cold water, about 1 tablespoon at a time to the open side of the bowl, mixing completely before adding more. After adding the last of the water, you should be able to free the dough from the pastry blender and finish with your hands. Once the dough has just come together, wrap it up in pastry cloth or plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Red Tart Cherries Recipe | The Spicy Bee

Toward the end of the refrigeration time, begin work on the filling. Strain the liquid from the cherries, reserving one jar’s worth of liquid for use in the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine juice from only 1 of the jars of cherries with the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk vigorously until mixture thickens, then remove from heat and combine with  the cherries slowly to bring them up to temperature. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the pie.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove from fridge and roll out the pie crust on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin. Once large enough to fit into your (greased) pie plate, fold the dough in half and quickly place into the plate, folding carefully into the corners and trimming to fit the pan with kitchen shears. Put the filling in the pie, roll out the top of the pie if you’re using one, and before placing the top onto the pie, brush an egg wash over where the crusts will connect. Place the top crust over the pie and draw vents through the top, finishing with a generous coat of the egg wash and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool about 30 minutes prior to serving. I enjoy mine with vanilla ice cream 🙂

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Red Tart Cherries Recipe | The Spicy Bee

Oregon Cherry Pie Featuring Red Tart Cherries Recipe | The Spicy Bee