My mom was recently passing through the Columbia River gorge and stopped to buy us a salmon from the native tribe in the area. Salmon fishing is highly regulated in the rivers of Oregon, but the restrictions are much looser for the native peoples who traditionally fished this area. My mom knows of some roadside stand where they sell some mighty big fish for a mighty good price. So she picked out an 11 pound specimen for us as a gift. The man gutted it for her in exchange for some cinnamon raisin bread and some blackberries. Not too bad a trade, it seems. But we still had a very big, nearly whole fish to figure out what to do with.
Not to worry, Denis is resourceful. He found an instructional website, complete with pictures (from which I borrowed the one above) telling him just what to do. The fish's head and tail exceeded the borders of the largest cutting board in the house (which is very large), but the fillet knife that we optimistically bought last year was good and sharp. About 15 minutes later, we had 6 portions of salmon which will each feed the two of us quite nicely. In fact we just cooked the largest one tonight and were able to invite Mom over for a thank you dinner. Now, if there is one thing that is my honey's cooking specialty, it is salmon on the grill. Several months ago, he bought a cedar board from the hardware store and cut it into foot-long segments. We take one of the planks and soak it in some liquid (preferably apple juice) for at least 30 minutes. Then the plank goes onto the hot grill with the fish on top. As the salmon is cooking by indirect heat, the plank is partially burning on the bottom half and lending a smoky flavor to the meat. It makes for a nice trick afterwards to show off the plank that now has the outline of the fish burnt into it's surface. To quote Rachael Ray, "yumm-o".
2 days ago