FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)

Food Articles, News & Features Section

 

  Home   ·   Food Articles   ·   Food Trivia   ·   Today in Food History   ·   Recipes   ·   Cooking Tips   ·   Videos   ·   Food Quotes   ·   Who's Who   ·   Food Trivia Quizzes   ·   Crosswords   ·   Food Poems   ·   Cookbooks   ·   Food Posters   ·   Recipe Contests   ·   Culinary Schools   ·   Gourmet Tours   ·   Food Festivals & Shows  

 

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesFish & Seafood >  Salmon of Wisdom

 

Culinary Schools & Cooking Classes
From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training & Degrees -  Associates, Bachelors & Masters
More than 1,000 schools & classes listed for all 50 States, Online and Worldwide

 

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals

The Salmon of Wisdom

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - April 30, 2008 - Mark R. Vogel - Epicure1@optonline.net - Mark’s Archive

See Also: Salmon Facts; Wild Salmon; Salmon Recipes ; Salmon Trivia; Salmon Kitchen Tips; Salmon Quotes

(Recipe below)
Fionn Mac Cumhaill was a mythological Irish hunter and warrior.  One day near the River Boyne he came upon a gnome-like druid and poet by the name of Finn Eces.  Eces became his mentor and he, his pupil.  Eces had spent years endeavoring to catch the Salmon of Wisdom.  As the story goes, a salmon ventured into the Well of Wisdom, so named for the nine hazelnut trees known as the nine sacred hazels of wisdom.  The salmon consumed nuts from the trees which had fallen into the well, and subsequently gained all of the knowledge existing in the world.  He who ate the salmon, would in turn be the benefactor of all this knowledge.  The catch, (you know there’s always a catch), was that only the first person to partake of the salmon’s flesh would acquire the universal wisdom.  Eventually Eces caught the sagacious fish and instructed his apprentice to cook it for him.  While doing so Cumhaill burned his thumb, reflexively inserted it in his mouth and inadvertently consumed a tidbit of the fish.  Armed with the entire world’s sapience, he overthrew his enemies and became leader of his warrior people, the Fianna. 

     Salmon is a widely popular and richly flavored fish.  They are anadromous, i.e., they return to freshwater rivers from the ocean to spawn.  True salmon inhabit the the Atlantic and Pacific oceans of the Northern Hemisphere, and the Great Lakes region.  First and foremost is the highly prized Atlantic salmon, hailing of course from its namesake.  Pacific species include Chinook or King salmon, (the largest of the Pacific ones), Pink or Humpback salmon, (the smallest and most delicately flavored), Coho or Silver salmon, (a favorite amongst Pacific Northwest sports fisherman), Chum or Dog salmon, (which has the lightest color and lowest fat content), Sockeye or Red salmon, (the favorite for canned salmon) and Cherry Salmon, (found in the western Pacific).  Sadly, due to pollution, damns, and over fishing, salmon numbers, especially the Atlantic, have dwindled.  This has been compensated for with farmed salmon, which comprise about 70% of the worldwide production.  Purists will tell you that wild salmon has a deeper flavor than their aquacultured counterparts. 

     Salmon is prepared whole, cut into steaks, or thinner fillets.  Be on guard for the pin bones in the steaks and fillets.  Run your finger along the flesh and have a pair of tweezers or small pliers available.  You do not need to remove the skin; in fact it’s quite tasty.  Salmon, depending on the cut, can be roasted, broiled, grilled, sautéed, poached, braised, or not cooked at all.  It takes particularly well to cream based sauces, brightened with acidic highlights, (capers, lemon, mustard, etc.), and finished with herbs such as dill, chervil, or tarragon.  However, salmon is amenable to many other flavor profiles. 

     Smoked salmon is fresh salmon that has undergone one of two types of smoking processes:  hot smoked (higher temperature, less time), or cold smoked (lower temperature, more time).  Lox is a brine-cured, cold smoked salmon and a favorite with bagels and cream cheese.  The Scandinavian classic gravadlax, is raw salmon marinated in sugar, salt, pepper and dill. 

     Salmon is high in protein and offers good amounts of A, B, and D vitamins.  Salmon’s rich taste comes from, of course, its high fat content.  But most of that fat is unsaturated and/or Omega-3 fatty acids, the latter of which is reputed to enhance brain functioning.  Maybe the Salmon of Wisdom didn’t need the hazelnuts after all? 

RECIPE

SALMON IN MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. salmon fillet
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Vegetable oil, as needed
    • 3 oz. dry white wine
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 3 scallions, chopped
    • Fresh chopped dill, as needed, (optional)


Directions:

Endeavor to procure a salmon of fillet of uniform thickness so it will cook evenly; ¾ to 1-inch thick is ideal.  Leave the skin intact. 

Season the fish with salt and pepper and sear, skin side first in very hot oil.   Do not use a non-stick pan as they are not conducive to developing a fond, (the intensely flavored caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan that will later be incorporated into the sauce).  If you use a heavy bottomed, high quality skillet, allow the oil to get hot enough to just smoke, and place the fish undisturbed in the oil for the first few minutes, it will not stick.  Once the first side is fully browned, flip and sear the other side.  When the other side is browned remove the fish and keep warm.  Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom.  When the wine has reduced to about a third of its original volume add the cream. 

Simmer and reduce the cream.  After a few minutes add the mustard and salt and pepper.  Reduce the sauce to almost the desired thickness and volume.  Add the fish back in and warm up and coat the fish in the sauce.  Finish with the scallions and serve.  Fresh chopped dill also makes a nice finishing touch.

Also Visit Mark’s website: Food for Thought Online
 

 

RELATED ARTICLES

  Fish & Seafood   ·   Tilefish: History & Facts   ·   Amberjack Facts & Use   ·   Mullet Fish   ·   Tilapia Description & Facts   ·   Tilapia: Grilling Perfect Tilapia   ·   King Mackerel   ·   Spanish Mackerel   ·   Grouper   ·   Snapper   ·   Bighead Carp   ·   Asian Carp Become A Major Problem   ·   World Fisheries In Crises   ·   Swai Fish (Pangasius)   ·   Alaskan Wild Black Cod   ·   Aquaculture Production & the Environment   ·   Bluefish   ·   Catch Shares Fisheries Management   ·   Catfish, Farm Raised   ·   Caviar From Russia with Love   ·   Caviar: Description & Facts   ·   Cod: British Gold   ·   Cyanide Fishing   ·   Fish Facts & Health Benefits   ·   Fish Farms: Raising Fish on Inland 'Farms'   ·   Fish, Becoming More Expensive by the Day   ·   Fish, Something Fishy Going On Here   ·  Flounder   ·   Jellyfish   ·   King Salmon   ·   Komoci Konbu, Herring Eggs on Kelp   ·   Mackerel, Wild   ·   Mahi-Mahi   ·   Pompano   ·   Ocean Fisheries & Overfishing   ·   Salmon, Wild or Farmed   ·   Salmon of Wisdom   ·   Salmon Facts & Types   ·   Salmon, Wild Salmon & Dams   ·   Sockeye Salmon Record Run   ·   Shark   ·   Shark Finning   ·   Smoked Fish   ·   Striped Bass   ·   Sushi Fact Sheet   ·   Swordfish   ·   Trout: Fit for a King   ·   Trout In Trouble   ·   Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Trouble   ·   Tuna on the Grill   ·   Yellowfin Tuna   ·   Whales Still Hunted in 2012  
  Home   ·   About & Contact Us   ·   Recipe Contests   ·   Food Timeline   ·   Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: james@foodreference.com
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2014 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.