Here in Atlanta, finding a fishmonger is not difficult, it’s impossible. The nearest is Savannah, Russo’s
Thirty years in South Florida spoiled me. Our swordfish was swimming the same day we cooked it, the dolphin we ate for dinner was caught that same afternoon, and the salmon we ate had been flown in from Alaska, picked up at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport the day after it was caught.
Harvesting fish, preparing it, and cooking it is a big deal along any coastal geography in the world. Move inland 50 miles, and no one has a clue
Inland, like Atlanta, “decent” fish can be gotten at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and frozen at Costco. It’s not always great, but it’s never bad and packaging will be reliable.
Try this for salmon
I cannot remember the name of the Alaskan lodge, too many years ago, or the name of the chef that showed me how to cook salmon stovetop. Serendipitously, I found “his” recipe online, or what appeared to be his recipe/ingredients. Nevertheless, it mirrors the AK chef’s ingredients… almost to a “T.” The directions vary a bit.
Add some asparagus and Basmati rice and a light, peppery white sauce, voilà!
iFoodreal ingredients list (plus the AK chef/my notes)
2 tbsp honey (I use real bee honey)
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice (I use fresh)
2 – 3 large garlic cloves, crushed (never jarred or powder)
1/2 tsp salt (sea salt or kosher)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (not from a can)
If having a couple over – 6 Salmon fillets (try to get them with relatively even thicknesses), skin on or off (self only, about 4 pieces, then frig one and freeze the others)
A few tsp avocado oil or coconut oil (I use avocado)
Green onions, finely chopped (window dressing, but not so finely chopped, crunchy is good)
NOTE: You do not have to get too fussy about measuring ingredients for this dish. It’s the bee honey, garlic and fresh lime/lemon that are killer.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lemon/lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Place salmon fillets in a large resealable Ziploc bag (don’t use cheap Dollar Store bags, they break) and pour marinade over. Squeeze as much air out as possible and seal the bag. Make sure fillets are evenly coated. Place flesh side down and let marinate 15 minutes.
MY NOTE: If salmon bought “fresh” ask the “butcher” to finger test the skin side of a fillet, depressed it should pop right back up. At home before cooking, dab fillets with a paper towel to remove naturally occurring slime. Marinate at room temp – don’t go over a half hour.
Preheat large non-stick skillet on low – medium heat and add oil, making sure it coats the bottom of the skillet evenly. Place salmon fillets flesh side down leaving enough space in between them. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid, cook another minute and flip over. Repeat: cover, cook for 3 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another minute.
MY NOTE: Do not crowd the salmon in the pan – it adds cook time. A finger width is more than enough.
Featured Image: Barreled salmon from Hood Bay, Alaska in front of the Alaska Commercial Company, 1915. Image available United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division.