Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Salmon Candy Rilletes, Fillets, haricots verts & Quinoa

The story behind my moist, sweet-and-smoky Salmon "Candy" explains why it is so deliriously delicious.The oil content of Yukon River King Salmon – a whopping 25-35 percent – is unequaled by any other wild Salmon. In fact, Yukon River King boasts up to twice the fat content of better-known Copper River King! Why is this?

The Yukon River runs for 2,300 miles, making its length unsurpassed in the US.

Yukon King Salmon must travel this huge distance to spawn, and cannot eat during this arduous migration.
Accordingly, they've developed unique genetics and instincts that lead them to gorge themselves at sea and accumulate the uniquely high body fat levels needed to sustain them on their epic journey.

Yup'ik Eskimos harvest Yukon King at the peak of fat content and deliver these incomparably oil-rich Salmon to be hand de-boned, brined in salt and organic brown sugar, and smoked using natural alder wood.

The taste is subtly sweet and so unbelievably rich and flavorful that Alaskans call this treat "Salmon candy" or 'Squaw Candy'.

For my first recipe using the salmon I have chosen a classic French recipe, Rilletes that normally you would find pork, and pate on crostini. I have read that this dish is served almost regularly to company at parties or even casual gatherings, and is not considered a delicacy like we might here in the States. Other than smoking the fish, it is quite an easy undertaking...

I made my own whole grain crackers for this recipe since bread is not an option in my house for weight loss purposes, and this is a buttery delight to make up the difference...

8 ounce piece of salmon, preferably wild, bones removed
salt (I am opting for the few pieces that I did not brine and smoke)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter- (using French butter I purchased)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice (no lemon-using some juice from a salsa I made)
2 tablespoons chives
1/4 cup red onion
4 ounces smoked salmon candy, flake with fingers
¼ teaspoon paprika
a pinch white pepper (1/4 teaspoon in my book)
A few dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce
Splash of Cognac

With a fork mash the butter and oil together once it has softened or you can use 'My little friend', (placing everything in here and fold in fish afterward), and then add the other ingredients and lightly toss; refrigerate for about two hours, and then spread onto crackers or sliced crostinis, and serve. (you may freeze for future use)

The second dish I have created is Salmon Candy Fillets over haricots verts and Quinoa

Quinoa- heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add pepper, carrot, and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add quinoa; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in fish or veggie stock (measurements as per box, I cooked traditional white), 1/2 cup cognac, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley. Bon Apetite!

I then sauté haricots verts in a touch of olive oil on medium heat; adding a some veggie stock to steam, but still al dente; move over and set pieces of salmon to heat through a bit; then add a splash of heavy cream to pick up flavors, and plate!

Information- Quinoa (pronounced /ˈkinwɑ/ KEEN-wah or /ˈkinoʊə/ KEE-no-uh, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa) is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal as it is not a grass. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

To celebrate my hubby's return we paired this with a 1995 Burgundy...