The summer king salmon fisheries are now in full swing all across the region from coast, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and clear into Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Some reports indicate fishing has been lights out off Neah Bay, Port Angeles and northern Puget Sound.
That means many will be bringing home their catches to prepare for a tasty meal.
Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas will contribute some of his tasty cooking advice and recipes for the Reel Time Fishing NW blog in our Catch of the Week each Wednesday through October. Catch of the Day will also include recipes from other local chefs, tackle shop owners and fish-market owners.
Douglas is owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Etta’s, Serious Pie Downtown, Seatown, Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, Serious Biscuit and Serious Pie Westlake. Another new Douglas restaurant that just opened is Tanaka San at the Via6 Apartment Complex in downtown Seattle.
Here are some suggestions by Chef Tom Douglas on how to “wow” your friends and family at the dining table:
Summer in Seattle allows me to indulge in some of the region’s top culinary delights – I’m talking about wild king salmon and fresh, ripe Washington stone fruits and berries like cherries, peaches, plums, and blueberries.
Spooning a seasonal fruit relish onto a plate of grilled king salmon is very much my style- flavorful, straightforward, and unfussy. I also like the way fresh, ripe fruit balances the richness of the salmon.
Sweet Washington cherries and Walla Walla onions are two of my favorite local treats. Enjoy them together by making this relish: Cut the cherries in half and pit them, slice and grill the onions and roughly chop them, toss together with a splash of balsamic and season with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper and you’re done.
For a simpler relish, just season a bowl of halved and pitted sweet cherries with a drizzle of olive oil and a grind of black pepper. You can do the same simple treatment with a bowl of pitted and sliced peaches, plums, or nectarines. Add a bit of chopped or snipped fresh herbs to the mix if you like: thyme leaves, chives, mint leaves, or basil leaves are a few of the possibilities. Another favorite flavor combo is blueberries and corn: combine some cooked and chilled corn kernels with blueberries, then dress with a lemony vinaigrette. Finish with julienned strips of basil.
Simple sauces and relishes can be made from other fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget summer’s abundant fresh herbs. Core, seed, and chop ripe summer tomatoes (if you are using cherry tomatoes, just cut them in halves), and dress with a slug of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and pitted chopped olives if you like. Another idea for saucing a rich, fatty piece of king salmon is salsa verde. Finely chop parsley, tarragon, chives, basil, shallots, and capers, dress with plenty of flavorful olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon, and season with salt and pepper. This makes a perfect summer companion for just about any fish.