We were recently the recipients of some amazingly beautiful Kokanee salmon, a freshwater salmon that is smaller, more tender and lighter in color than the large, traditional, red-fleshed sea-faring salmon that you can get in fish markets and grocery stores. A friend of ours, the highly-talented J., decided to make the transition from omnivore to vegetarian and so, lucky for us, she offered us this gorgeous fish because she knew how much we liked to cook and would enjoy it. THANK YOU, J!!
Last night, we took these little beauties, dredged them lightly in flour, and pan-fried them over medium-high heat in a little olive oil and butter until the skin was crispy and golden brown and the flesh was just-tender. They were incredible. The fish was mild and delicious, more like trout than salmon, and without a hint of fishy-ness. With just a bit of salt and pepper, a squeeze of lime, and a few sliced tendrils of scallion, it was perfect. Next time, I'll lay the lengthwise strips of scallion inside the fish before I cook it to infuse the flesh, but those are the types of things that must be figured out as you go. We had roasted cauliflower with sweet paprika and japanese sweet potatoes on the side and I think that neither of us said a single word during dinner...only murmered mmmmmm.....ohhhh wow...
Even better, however, was breakfast. With the two fish we at last dinner came a third, smaller one that we cooked in the pan alongside them. It was much too small for a dinner serving, but perfect for breakfast the next morning. As I was describing yesterday, LB and I have our Saturday morning rituals. While he is whipping up breakfast, I spend my morning sipping my coffee and watching what can only be considered Food Porn...Tyler's Ultimate. While I'm not sure how I feel about the man himself (he's pretty cheesy sometimes), I'm infatuated with whoever does the filming for his show. I remember the first time I saw the show - LB and I were actually eating lunch at a new restaurant here in town shortly after it had opened, Sweet Basil, and the show was on a television above the bar. I couldn't even concentrate on what LB was talking about (sorry, LB!). The images were so beautiful...close-ups of onions being pefectly diced, Tyler's fingers gently rubbing butter into a flour mixture, gorgeous tomatoes and other perfectly ripe ingredients...I think my jaw stayed open the entire time. Plus, I dig on his kitchen in the show. Needless to say, I've been addicted ever since.
This morning, while I was glued to the tube, visions of fresh green herbs sizzling sauces in my head, LB whipped up a healthy, new take on his Saturday morning breakfast, and he's offered to let me share it with you.
First, melt a bit of butter in the pan until the bubbles begin to subside. Add just a touch of minced garlic (less than half a clove) and let it cook gently for a minute or so to take any bite out of it. For me, because I'm starting to have to watch my cholesterol, he whipped up 3 egg whites with a bit of low-fat milk, salt and pepper (you, of course, could use whole eggs and cream, if you'd like). These went in the pan to mix with the butter and garlic. After the eggs begin to set and you've mixed them gently a few times, add thinly sliced scallion and sprinkle on chopped parsely. Just before the eggs are finished (but not dry), add the fish to warm it through, and you've got breakfast. My eggs came with a slice of store-bought english muffin bread, but if you've got the time and energy, try a thick slice of this homemade English Muffin Better Bread. Ah, another perfect weekend morning...now, back to work!