Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday, April 4th - Cypress and Grilled Wild Salmon with Yellow Beets

We hit Cypress this morning so breakfast was on the run. I had the last croissant with Adams all natural Peanutbutter. I hate that stuff. Really. I hate that it separates and you have to stir it. D says the trick is to stir it when you buy and keep it in the fridge. He is the only person I know who keeps peanutbutter in the fridge. It won't spread cuz it's cold and hard. So my toasted croissant had small islands of peanutbutter strategically placed on it. The croissant was warm so I daren't try to spread or I'd tear it up. It taste alright, Adams' but while it's cold, it doesn't. It's like icecream, it has an optimal temperature for flavour. The 4 degrees of the fridge is not it.

It was the last of it so I was really hoping that meant we could try something new like Almond butter or Sunflower seed butter. My sister O is up on this new book called 'You are what you eat.' and apparently peanutbutter is not the optimal choice. I am not like some people and will largely take that sort of advice at face value, therefore, I cannot tell you why. Not for now. I realise that's not very responsible of me as a blogger. I had some of her almond butter and sunflower seed butter when I was visiting San Francisco earlier this year. It's very tasty. D wouldn't hear of it while we were in Choices yesterday. Even though the Almond butter was right there. He did at least concede a bit and chose a new all natural peanut butter that doesn't require stirring. I'll tell you the brand once I've tried it.

Lunch was ramen noodles up at Cypress. It was just so empty. Surprising. Sunny and warm as well. We started bringing our ramen to Cypress two trips ago after checking out the disappointing fayre at the new lodge at the start of the season. The Cypress regulars are still stuck in their old habit of following one continuous line around the whole of the food area instead of just walking over to to the counter you want so the whole experience is just annoying. Also, there were meant to be two other counters, mexican or something which were closed so it was just a newly lit version of the old menu, burgers in foil paper, fatty pizza, hotdogs and giant cookies. So we bring our big ass ramen bowls from TNT or HMart and use the tea station to brew them up. I have a photo. Filling, has some 'water' to replenish and it's comforting warm is just what you need. Also, it's a darn sight better than spending 15 dollars on junk food.
We bought some wild sockeye salmon fillets at Choices on Richards on the way home. D got it into his head after I mentioned that I like the sound of a gravlax recipe in the Taste Magazine we get for free at the BC Liquor store. But this was a previously frozen variety and I expressed my doubt that it would serve the purpose. He didn't seem worried.

Wild Sockeye Kosher Salt and Pepper GravLax (Altered by me)

1.5 lbs of sockeye
1 cup chopped FRESH DILL. no subs here allowed. it has to be fresh. Go fresh or go home.
1.5 cups of course kosher salt
(this is where I stray from the recipe out of necessity than choice. we couldn't find course salt in Choices and D was too tired to hit more than one grocery. Choices did have some course sea salt but it was like 10 bucks. for SALT? no thanks)
2 Tablespoon sugar, berry sugar (fructose) if you have it. D does. How random.
1/2 T water
1/2 T vodka (I alter here too cuz I saw this on TV once following a Norwegian recipie and I liked the sound of it.)
1 T black peppercorns from Bali. You could smell how spicy they were from the first slice of the pouch.

Clean the salmon. I had to scale the fish. I was rather surprised that a fillet from a market would still have scales but it did. You simply need to run blade against the grain of the skin as if you're scraping it. You'll know immediately which way is 'against' the grain. You'll see scales start to fly. You might want to do this outside. I asked D if he cared and he hemmed and hawed which I took to mean he did. In the end he didn't cuz he didn't know what I meant which surprised me. I guess he assumed as well that a cleaned filet wouldn't have scales. Rinse with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Make sure it's not a linty variety which will leave bits of paper on the fish.

Check for any bones left in an remove them with your fingers or fish tweezers.

Lay the fish out skin side down in a non reactive baking dish. That means, baking tray or glass pan not aluminum or copper. Steel, non stick, glass or pyrex are best. If you have two trays of the same size that's great cuz you can use the other one for weighting later.

Cover the fish with the chopped dill. Pat it down.

In a food processor or mini blitzer combine the salt, pepper and sugar and water/vodka. Blitz until you have a uniform sort of moist sand. Spread over the whole of the fish. Push it down and spread evenly. Use all the mixture. Cover the fish with plastic wrap. I used two pieces which over lapped in the middle because you want it to cover the fish not the dish. Push down over the fish.

Place your second baking tray or other dish that will fit into your dish and weigh it down with a few cans. You may want to drain off some water once or twice. The original didn't say to do this but I remember this from the other TV recipe.

Refridgerate for at least 24 hours.

I'll finish the recipe tomorrow when it's done.

Dinner was BBQ. We bought nearly just over 2lbs of salmon. We BBQ some for dinner. I cut two filets for dinner. Sprinkled with some pepper and soy. Simple this time. I was kinda tired of the Dean and Deluca rub we use so often.

D made a great sauce for the side.

Dill and Mustard sauce.

2 T Grain mustard
2 T fresh chopped dill
1 T olive oil
1/4 c cream
salt and pepper.

Easy peasy. Simply wisk together and set aside in frigo and serve on top or aside your salmon.

Our sides were a Yam and Golden Beets. Scrub and wash both of these well. They're root veg and sit in the dirt so you want to be sure they're clean. Now if you're doing red beets, careful trimming off the greens or you'll have red hands for days.

We par cook our Yam for 4 minutes, poked, in the microwave.

D has never cooked fresh beets so he wasn't sure about the timing and micro'd them for 6 minutes and was worried it wasn't enough. But really, they don't get soft like potatoes. They're meant to be firmer so I wouldn't recommend microwaving them for more than 4 minutes if at all.

Slice the Beets 1/4-1/2 inch slices. If you're using red beets, you might want to leave them whole. Or at the very least wear gloves when you're slicing. Toss with olive oil. Enought to coat and make it all shiny. The yam can stay whole.

Put the beet slices directly over the heat. The whole of the dinner should be done about the same time. The beets may require a bit more time. 15-20 minutes.

The beets were soooo yum. They're going to be more firm but that's beets. If you like them soft, steaming them is a better alternative.

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