Food & Drink

Updated: Canned Salmon Challenge Recipes From Tom Douglas, Holly Smith

By Seattle Mag October 25, 2013


!–paging_filter–pspan Americans really should eat more seafood. If everybody ate fish just twice a week, we’d be a whole lot healthier./span/p
pThat’s the noble mission of a Washington D.C.-based non-profit called a href=”“Seafood Nutrition Partnership/a, run by Linda Cornish, a go-getter, who makes regular trips to Seattle to meet with sponsors of this fairly new initiative./p
pOver a recent lunch with Linda at a href=”http://\/\/” target=”_blank”TanakaSan/a–citrus cured salmon and chili char squid on the table–I cooked up an idea that might take a teeny step toward realizing that goal. How about a canned salmon challenge? Especially fitting during National Seafood Month./p
pAny chef worth his or her salt can cook a beautiful piece of salmon, but what would they do with canned fish? We’re so fortunate to live in a place where quality seafood is no problem, but what about much of the rest of the country? I’d rather eat canned wild salmon caught in Alaska than farm-raised any day./p
pAnd, canned salmon is economical. As much as I love cooking and eating fresh fillets, paying $14 a pound and more–heck, I saw Copper River salmon going for $40 a pound this year–it’s become only an occasional splurge on a tight budget./p
pSo, I sent out a canned salmon challenge to a whole bunch of chefs and a few of ‘em bit./p
pa href=”“Tom Douglas/a said: “span My Seatown cooks assemble outrageously tasty tuna melt sandwiches with poached fresh albacore, but I put a delicious spin on their classic by using the same dressing on wild salmon from a can.”/span/p
pSeatown’s tuna melts are served with chips and a crisp wedge of dill pickle. For the crispest pickles, buy whole pickles, not wedges, and cut them right before serving. We use our own onion sandwich buns made by the Dahlia Workshop bakers. Look for the best quality sandwich buns you can find.nbsp;/p
pstrongWild Salmon Melt/strong/p
pFor the dressing:/p
pem1/2 cup mayonnaise, such as Best Foods/emembr1 tablespoon whole grain mustardbr1 heaping tablespoon Mama Lil’s Mildly Spicy Pickled Peppers in Oil, drainedbr1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoningbr1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradishbrA squeeze of a fresh lemon wedge (about 1/2 teaspoon)br1 tablespoon minced celerybr1 1/2 teaspoons minced red onion/em/p
pem /em/p
pspan To finish the salmon salad and the sandwiches:/spanembr1 6-ounce can wild salmon, such as Honey Boy, Icy Point, or Wild Planet, drainedbr2 good-quality sandwich buns, splitbrSoftened butter as needed for buttering bunsbr/emem4 slices Beecher’s Jack Cheese (about 1/4-pound total)brPickle wedges and potato chips for serving/em/p
pspan To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, peppers, Old Bay, horseradish and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or mini food processor. Process until everything is smooth and combined, then transfer the dressing to a bowl. Fold in the celery and red onion. (Keep the dressing refrigerated if not using right away.)/span/p
pTo make the salmon salad, in a bowl, remove any bones and skin and then mash the salmon with a fork then combine with about 4 to 5 tablespoons dressing, or as much as you need to make it nice and creamy, mixing and mashing well. Taste and season with more lemon juice, horseradish, and Old Bay (which is salty) if needed. (You will have a little of the dressing leftover, which you can store, refrigerated, for another use.)/p
pPreheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the cut sides of the buns with soft butter and place a sauté pan or a griddle over medium heat. Place the buns in the pan, buttered sides down and heat until the cut sides of the buns are golden and toasty, about 3 minutes, watching carefully and adjusting the heat as necessary. Remove from the heat. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and top them with the salmon salad, dividing it evenly between the buns and spreading it gently to cover the entire surface of each bun. Top the salmon salad on each bun with 2 slices of cheese. (The salmon should be completely covered with cheese; use an additional slice if necessary.) Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the salmon is lightly warmed about 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: We don’t put the top halves of the buns in the oven because we like them to stay soft and not get dried out. You can keep the top halves of the buns in in the turned-off sauté pan while the cheese is melting on the bottom halves.)nbsp; Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the buns to two plates, cover each sandwich with its top half and serve immediately with pickle wedges (cut from whole pickles just before serving) and potato chips./p
pYield: 2 sandwiches/p
pHolly Smith from a href=”“Cafe Juanita/a went the pasta route: “This one is straightforward and yummy and the salmon really comes through.”/p
pspan strongSalmon and Olive Pasta with Fresh Herbs and Capers/strongbrem1/2-pound dry pasta such as Rustichella d’Abruzzo Chitarra/em/spanembr3 tablespoons capers, drainedbr6 large cloves garlic, thinly slicedbr4 ounces extra virgin olive oilbrzest of 1 lemonbr4 tablespoons kalamata olives, pitted and roughly choppedbr1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, roughly choppedbr2 tablespoons mint, fresh, picked and roughly choppedbr1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)brPinch chili flakesbr1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly gratedbr4 ounces dry Vermouth, preferably Dolinbr1 6-ounce can of salmon, drained and flakedbrOptional: 2 tablespoons unsalted butterbrOptional: breadcrumbs toasted in butter and extra virgin olive oil to garnish/em/p
pspan Cook pasta in well-salted boiling water per instructions on package. Ideally, cook 1 minute less than instructed and finish cooking in the sauce as described below./span/p
pWhile pasta is cooking heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and swirl to keep it from clumping. Lower heat to medium-low and add half the chili flake. As garlic begins to just turn golden (1-2 minutes) add all the vermouth, olives and half the capers. Raise the heat and bring to a strong simmer. Add optional butter and reduce to sauce consistency. Add lemon zest and herbs and taste. Add remaining capers along with the pasta. Bring some of the pasta water with the pasta (1-2 ounces) to help finish the cooking of the pasta and make a nicely bound sauce. Add half of the cheese and toss to combine./p
pTaste and adjust seasoning with cheese, salt, cayenne or lemon (juice or zest), as desired./p
pOnce the pasta has absorbed all of the liquid let it rest off heat for 1-2 minutes while you warm pasta bowls. To plate serve pasta with flaked salmon on top to gently warm, or you can fold in last minute to the pasta then plate. Serve remaining cheese at the table for guests who choose to enjoy more. If desired top with toasted breadcrumbs./p
pServes 2-4./p
pspan Jason Wilson from a href=””Crush/a and the a href=”http://\/\/…” target=”_blank”hotly anticipated Miller’s Guild/a, who was skeptical, but game. “OMG canned salmon?” he shot back in an email before coming round with a composed salad and this assessment: “I love the convenience and it wasn’t bad at all.”/span/p
pHere’s his recipe:/p
pstrong Salmon Beet Salad with Butter Lettuce/strongspan brem2 small cans Loki Island Chum/Silver Salmo/emn/spanembr1 can organic roasted and sliced beetsbr1 tablespoon jorseradish saucebr1 teaspoon Dijon Mustardbr2 heads butter lettuce, washed and cut in halfbr1/2 cup chopped baconbr1/4 cup sliced cucumbersbr3 tablespoon sour creambr2 tablespoon chopped green onionsbr1 teaspoon ground black pepperbrSalt, to taste/em/p
pspan Place the bacon in a saute pan and render the bacon until crisp on medium heat. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, green onions and black pepper for a dressing./span/p
pDrain the liquid from the salmon cans. Drain the liquid from the beets and build individual salads. Dress the lettuce with dressing and season lightly with salt garnish with the cucumbers, salmon and beets./p
pServes 4./p


Follow Us