“I’m optimistic they’ll return,” says Dr. Geoff Shester from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “There are salmon coming back, but officials won’t open the fishery until a certain number of salmon come back to spawn – which is a signal of good management.” Which means if you’re trying to make good choices when it comes to eating salmon – wild caught from Alaska is still your best bet. Alaskan salmon fisheries are closely managed and maintained. It’s even written right into the state’s constitution. How cool is that? But did you know that just like summer tomatoes or sweet corn, there are seasons for different types salmon? You'll most likely find chinooks, also known as king salmon, in May and June on restaurant menus and at good fish counters. Next up are deep-red sockeyes which run from mid-May until early August, followed by the highly prized cohos, available August through early-October.
Some of the most prized salmon you’ll come across are those plucked from the 300-mile stretch of the glacier-fed Copper River in southern Alaska. Highly coveted by chefs and serious foodies for their spot-on flavor, sought-after fat content (which the fish develop to make the tumultuous trek upstream), and for its melt-in-your-mouth texture. Not only is it delicious, but you can pat yourself on the back for making a truly sustainable choice. Nicely done.
Pan-Seared Copper River Sockeye with Porcini Mushrooms, Red Bell Peppers & Sea Beans Courtesy of Dan Enos, executive chef, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Boston Serves 2 INGREDIENTS: 2 tbls. canola oil Salt & pepper to taste 1 pound Alaskan sockeye (or coho) with skin intact 3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh porcini mushrooms 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced 1/2 cup sea beans* Saute mushrooms and roasted red peppers together in one tablespoon of canola oil until mushrooms are tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Next, add sea beans, until wilted slightly. Combine with mushrooms and peppers. Heat skillet on high, add remaining canola oil. When very hot, sear salmon skin side down for 4 minutes. Flip to flesh side down for approximately 3 minutes. Test for doneness. Plate over bed of mushrooms, peppers and sea beans. Drizzle with white balsamic and basil vinaigrette. * If sea beans are unavailable, substitute asparagus or haricots verts, and adjust salt to taste. White Balsamic & Basil Vinaigrette INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup basil oil 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3/4 tbls. minced shallots 1/2 tbls. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar Mix shallots, mustard, pepper and vinegar together, whisk while adding oils. Thank you for sharing, Clare! We are now officially craving salmon something fierce.
Visit Clare's portfolio of food writing:Related: Recipe: Warm Potato and Salmon Salad
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