One of the cool things about salmon is that it is rich enough to make rillettes with, especially when you use belly meat and the trim from around the bones. This is a pretty classic version, with both smoked and fresh salmon or steelhead trout.
Salmon and Trout
Ya gotta love ice fishing in California. First of all that it exists, second that you can fish through 2 feet of ice wearing a T-shirt, third that you can catch gorgeous rainbow trout. And when you do, you should treat them simply – with brown butter, parsley and lemon.
Butterflying, also known as splitting or kiting a fish, is a basic skill you will want to know, especially when dealing with smaller fish. It keeps the fish whole but largely debones it. The technique is ideal for either quick pan frying or for stuffing the fish, in this case a trout.
Chowder for me has always meant my mum’s clam chowder — to make it properly, you absolutely must follow an ironclad set of rules with an ironclad set of ingredients. But mum does not make salmon chowder. So when I began making it, I suddenly felt free to play. And play I did.
Salmon salad. Pretty ordinary, right? My version, as you might expect, comes with a twist: It’s not made from salmon fillets. I make my salmon salad by grilling the bones after I’ve filleted the fish, then stripping the meat from the ribs for this salad. Thrifty, and awesome.
Deviled eggs are one of those foods I have a hard time controlling myself with. I’ve been known to eat a dozen at a sitting, and even though I know I’ll feel ill afterwards, I can’t stop eating them. These deviled eggs, made with smoked salmon, are especially good.
I always order salmon at sushi restaurants, but I am no sushi master so at home I stick to easier preparations, like salmon tartare, which, if you’ve never heard of it, is chopped raw salmon. My version has a Northern European flair to it, with dill and a special pumpkinseed oil the Austrians use a lot.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I actually like the rest of the salmon as much – if not more – than the fillet. This is salmon head soup, done Japanese style. And don’t worry, there will be no eyeballs staring back at you: You only use the salmon heads to make the broth.