Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Smoky maple-glazed salmon with potato-maitake hash and curry cream

The other day New Seasons had some divine Alaskan sockeye – supple, cadmium flesh – man, their seafood is so good lately. They have it all open to the air now, too, and you honestly can’t detect a single molecule of fishy amine. I totally forgive them for all those bunk clams they sold me way back when.

After tasting that sexy alder-smoked salt that Stacy gifted me, I think I was really craving salmon and maple – flavors so symbiotic and undeniably American. Salmon takes to a glaze like a dream, and it came together so effortlessly, like intuition. Hot brown mustard and a small glug of maple syrup made sweet music, and the crushed, smoky salt and black pepper consummated the relationship.

I had some puce baby potatoes, all iridescent skin and lilac pulp. I always pick out the tiniest pearls from the bin, so each one can be steamed intact and eaten in one bite. After steaming to a billowy interior, I tossed them into a hot pan with butter and broken petals of maitake; minced fire-roasted jalapeño, yellow pear tomatoes and a chiff of rainbow chard from the garden; and sliced onion and garlic. I tippled in a heaping tablespoon of hot curry powder and a splash of cream, and it sizzled into sauce with the melted tomatoes.

I brushed the salmon with the glaze a few times while it roasted, then dished up with some soft naan and curry okra and green tomato pickle.

24 comments:

Brittany said...

Your blog is the Harelquin romance of food. I swear, I get hard reading your posts.

And that new camera is taking some pretty sweet money shots.

Peter G said...

Dare I say your creations (yet again!) are mouth watering! More so the way you describe it all. Am loving the pics too Heather...great job!

kittie said...

So poetic.

In fact I kind of hate you... you make great food, write narrative porn about it, then take pretty, well-composed photographs. And this is just a sideline for you...

...humph...

Peter M said...

I like everything about this dish, save for the curry...I'm just a purest when it comes to seafood but hey...the meal looks awful perty.

Syd said...

I'd like a little private time with that maple glazed beauty.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

You're right, maple and salmon are a tag team that can do no wrong.

What is 'maitake'? It sounds rather Samurai and I'm imagining it as a tuber with small lotus-like holes, but then you said petals.....hrmmm.....

Heather said...

Brit - My grandma totally had all the Harlequin romance novels. Sweet little church lady my ass.

Petah - You're too kind. Waaay too kind. :P

Kittie - Don't tell anyone, but I have a team of elves that do the real work, I just eat the food.

Peter the Greek doesn't like a curry, eh? Well I won't claim to have made fish tikka, but seafood and curry are best mates, imo.

Syd - You'd never believe what maitake mushrooms smell like after being in a paper bag for a couple days. You almost need a new category on your blog for it.

Tina - Maitake are a mushroom, sort of like hen-of-the-woods. There's a photo of a piece of one in my hand in the mushroom tart post.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I love this recipe as I have a freezer full of (about 75 lbs) Alaskan Salmon that hubby brought back from a recent trip so this is perfect!!! In fact I just took some out of the freezer for dinner tonight!!

maggie said...

I've never roasted salmon (I pretty much like it seared and raw inside) but this looks like a winner. You do have nice mushrooms out west...sounds delicious.

Manggy said...

Your new camera is teh money :) (eerk, I accidentally typed "monkey" before that...) I've been looking for ways to use my special salts, too...

lisa said...

The glazed salmon looks amazing. I'm thinking some grill smoke could work with this too, and I'm getting hungry.

Núria said...

Gosh, Heather! I wish I could write the way you do!!! How rich the vocabulary... no need for pictures... beautiful :D

That salmon is screaming EAT ME!!!! Delicious shots!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Very poetic post Heather! Everything is described so beautifully!

abadeeba said...

you are ridiculous. ...that's a complement. or is it a compliment?

glamah16 said...

You make this salmon so not boring! PSST.Come over and see me about some oysters. And I agree with the others, Portland needs you to write a food column or something. Take it the next level and unleash your talent to world.You gat talent my friend.

peter said...

I can see Brittany and Fabio on a windswept schooner deck, taffeta billowing, pecs gleaming, licking the glaze off of your sticky salmon.

cook eat FRET said...

the making of that sauce read like a song

now if i could cook my salmon in open air because it just stinks up the house and well, i resent my house smelling like a parisian brothel before indoor plumbing came around.

Heather said...

Cathy - I'm sure you came up with something great! I'd kill for that much free salmon.

Maggie - I like it just raw most of the time, too, but when I cook salmon I like it glazed, sticky and flaky.

Mark - My friend also gave me some Bolivian Pink (sounds like cocaine, not salt) that I think I'll sprinkle on caramels.

Lisa - Grill smoke would totally work (I just get fussy about cooking in the cold, dark out-of-doors).

Núria - Well, I wish I were perfectly bilingual like you are!

Judy - Thank you! I figured I didn't have much to say, may as well make it sound pretty. :P

Innagottabadeeba, Baby - I know you are, but what am I?

Courtney - Thank you, but I'll settle for getting rich winning recipe contests.

Jube - Did you know that Fabio means "bean"?

Claudia - My house just smelled like curry for a couple days, actually, not like fish.

Lo said...

I am definitely loving the salmon-maple combo. And, once again, you've blown us away with some great food writing. Too bad you live so darned far away, I'd give you a hug.

Syd said...

There should be a Bristol Chart for smells.

matt wright said...

gotta love a decent piece of sockeye! This looks like a really great dinner - the hash and curry cream sound awesome!

MrOrph said...

What a great post Heather!

I almost forgot what you were writing about. I'm gonna have to try that there glaze. I love a smoky flava.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Ooo fancy! Like the idea of maple + curry...

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Sounds really good, never thought of using maple on salmon! :)

Margot