Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sockeye Salmon, Seabean Confit, Grilled Mushrooms and Dill Emulsion

I love summer, yet I hate it simultaneously. With all the local and delicious produce growing in the summer my inspiration for new dishes skyrockets. However, the hot and at times unbearable weather makes long cooking projects illogical. There are a few dishes from the Alinea cookbook I wish I could replicate with fresh raspberries, tomatoes, etc. but these extremely complex dishes would render my house into a heatbox. So to putup with the weather most cooking is done outside on the chiminea. By chance, we found some nice wild salmon that was surprisingly fresh at Costco. Naturally, I did it up on the grill. Randomly, I made some gravalax (salt cured salmon) with salt, sugar, lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit zest plus dill that came out incredibly, so I rubbed some of the gravalax cure on the salmon destined for the grill. Meanwhile, some seabeans lightly poached in butter and dill was pureed then emulsified with lemon juice, olive oil and salt as a "sauce" for the salmon. My dad got the fire going on the chiminea and we were ready to rock and roll. First some portbello mushrooms were grilled up before the salmon hit the open flame.
There's something special about open flame cooking. The actual wood aroma gets subtly infused into the food. Potatoes wrapped in foil and thrown in the embers come out smokey and perfectly roasted/steamed. The best thing to do with these potatoes is actually to refrigerate them overnight then cook them for breakfast. Doing this makes the potato flesh aromatized. Home fries are smokey and delicious. The salmon once placed on the grill cooked in legit 2 mins. The skin got really crispy (my favourite) and charred, the meat was still blushing, which is how I like salmon. I find that if it gets cooked through it tends to have a fatty taste and a unpleasant mouthfeel. The salmon came off the grill without tearing and was quickly plated up. Altogether a nice dish. The seabeans were briny and still retained some crispness. The grilled portobellos were tender and meaty with the dill emulsion complimenting the salmon, a little "salad" of raw seabean and radish added some acid.