May 19, 2008

Javanese Roasted Salmon

Some lovely Wild Coho Salmon in the supermarket! It actually looked wonderful. It’s rare to see good fresh salmon up here in the land of 'filet of Gila Monster'. There are some terrific seafood restaurants in Phoenix, but as summer comes on, all I can think about is a shipping container sitting on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport in 120 degree heat. And then a truck driving up here, some 100 miles, by a guy named Buddy who stops every 20 minutes to get a Pabst from the cooler back by the fish. But it’s not that hot yet, and I wanted to make a special sauce. Something heavenly. I wanted to blog something good, not just some insane rant about my feet. You know how I get.

Heather will know about this. Hell, I know she cooks it better! But, she LIVES in a cornucopia of beautiful fresh food and I live in a place where “Whole Foods” means a bale of hay.

It’s an adaptation of Javanese Roasted Salmon from Saucebox in Portland. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same ingredients, but it’s close enough and so very good. I perched this salmon on a bed of a mix of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and baby bok choy. And some coconut rice, but I could have skipped that. The pics look kinda disgusting…like a big bloody scab or something, but I promise the flavor of that sauce is addictive. Maybe I should take a camera class? I just can’t get capture the beautifulness of some of my kitchen action.

Oh, and there’s a picture of my pet robin. He’s a male that couldn’t find a mate this spring, and he’s been squawking his head off first thing in the morning for 2 months. He’s very lonely and comes hopping across the yard when I whistle at him. He gets pretty close before he remembers that I’m a human, then he pretends to be all busy with the grubs and bugs. But I know he loves me.

Ok, that last comment was kinda crazy. Talking to birds. And I said this would be an issue-free post. Sorry.

I just can’t post a recipe without some weirdo confession, can I?

Javanese Roasted Salmon (lifted from The Saucebox)

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, grated into fine mess
¼ cup packed brown sugar
About 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup shoyu
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
4 beautiful salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed (I use my trusty, eh, eh)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the sugar, lime juice, and shoyu…bring to boil. Simmer, stirring a lot, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Then add the cornstarch/water and boil until thick, about one more minute. Set aside.

2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil In a sauté pan, heat the remaining butter over high heat. Swirl to coat pan. Sear salmon fillets until golden on one side. Flip and sear over side, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to baking sheet. Smear about a tablespoon of the sauce over each fillet. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 5 minutes or until opaque and flakey.

3. Serve over a bed of butter-sautéed spinach or other greens. Drizzle with remaining sauce.


Julie said...

It's ok Catherine, I talk to my backyard critters too as well as the indoor four-leggers.

Heather said...

Haha that robin totally has a crush on you! I talk to the birds, too. Can't help it! They're so damn talkative.

Saucebox has great food, though I've only had their appies (great cocktails, too). I can't believe you got coho salmon - was it $30/lb.? They've closed the fishery in California, Oregon and Washington for the year because of declines in the population.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

I'll talk to everyone and anything...! Glad to know I'm not alone!

well, the label said "coho"...but knowing this store, it could really mean "canal"
I love birds. I can call in a wild turkey too! Talent, I tell ya.

Peter M said...

Catherine, we have lots of robins up here, the females are all hussies, send up your male robin...he's in for a Caligula type of visit!

Nice salmon, wild at're the 2nd person to used wild salmon today.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds awesome, Catherine! I think people that don't talk to animals are weirdos.

Lina said...

mmmmmm i love salmon!

Jenny said...

Mmmm Catherine,
Your salmon looks tasty! I love the robin picture. Did you see the pics of the birds that lived on my front door for a month or so. Have a good night girl!

Dhanggit said...

i often talk to the computer LOL when there's nobody to talk too..good thing it dont answer me back.. i love this javanese roasted salmon my hubby will definitely like this :-)

Veronica said...

I love your robin-we have a nest behind our front door lamps. She's only flown in the house once when we opened the door, but we were able to get her out a window! Salmon sounds delicious!

Toni said...

You mean, it's considered crazy to talk to animals? I didn't know this!

Wild caught salmon is probably one of life's best offerings, and your dish looks superb! Bet it would work on the grill, too!

Emiline said...

I think it looks so good...

The robin is cute. I feel bad that he doesn't have a mate. Poor guy. Try to hook him up, ok?

Catherine Wilkinson said...

No way! My robin is very shy.
The sauce on this salmon is brillz!

nah, me either...they are way more interesting than humans

me too! and halibut!

I didn't see them! Gotta go back and look! I just love 'my' birds!
we have lots of big trees and have a big variety.

i talk to computer too, but it's all bad words! Yes, this sauce is good husband pleaser!

totally would work on the grill!
and I think I'm Dr. Dolittle!

thanks! Robins are pretty bold, aren't they? I just wish I could get my guy a date!

I'm going to and see what happens!

Lisa said...

Hi Catherine,
I left an award for you on my blog today....come on over!

Tracy said...

Awww ... I love the robin!

Did you enjoy the Coho? Was it like other salmon you've cooked? I grew up eating it and never liked it. I thought it was soft and strong tasting. But maybe I should give it another chance.

Creative Commons License
"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.