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September 11, 2005
Cajun Salmon and Fixin's...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats

My friend Scott at the Pragmatic Chef has been hosting a recipe contest and he's decided to allow submissions through the weekend. I'll post mine here and send it to him for posting over at his blog as well.

To honor back home Louisiana cookin', I offer grilled Northwest salmon - with a twist.

To start, invite some friends over. 'Cause this is going to be good eatin'.

Serves 4-5 (or 3 if you have my neighbor Pete and me at the same meal, that'd go for Scott and me too I think ... this recipe easily doubles or triples for a bigger party.)

2 lbs Silver, Coho, or King Salmon filet (I'm talking fresh Northwest critters here - farm raised won't work - if you want to get the right stuff and you don't live in the NW, order it from Pike Place Fish. I've sent salmon all over the country from this place and it is first rate - you can probably get it for less (depending on shipping) from here than you'd pay at the high end market in town. Salmon freezes well but use fresh for this recipe.)

1 large lime

1 large lemon


1 Shaker, Konriko Creole Seasoning (Sorry Scott! I suspect that Survival Spice might work as well - but we gotta have the kick!) - this stuff has an unusual property: the first taste is like fire, but almost everyone gets immediately accustomed to it and the kick is not overpowering.

5-6 Andouille sausages (or your favorite brat - most anything will work)

3-6 Ears of corn on the cob

At least 2 sticks of butter

1 large cantalope

Optional: Jar of Farhmans Sauer Kraut, with a pinch of rye and fennel seed.

Chilled filtered water (or San Pelligrino if you want to be more stylish. Scott will instantly know which wines would work well with this offering).

This is simple, but hearty fare. Start by placing the salmon filet skin side down in your favorite marinate dish - I use a glass 13 x 9 baking dish. If necessary cut the filet in two to fit. Cut the lemon and the lime in half and squeeze all of the juice from them onto the salmon. Liberally sprinkle (OK, I shake a pretty good amount) of the creole seasoning onto the salmon. Rest the lemon and lime halves on top of the salmon. Leave uncovered for 30-45 minutes. (The lemon and lime juice actually begins to cook the salmon - like ceviche - so you don't want a really long marinate time).

While the salmon marinates, take a strip of aluminum foil and place a shucked ear of corn in the strip. The aluminum foil should be a large enough piece to wrap the corn about 3 times. Inside the aluminum foil with the corn put at least a tablespoon of butter - 2 tablespoons isn't too much. And sprinkle liberally with the creole seasoning.

Cut the cantalope length-wise into eighths. Using a sharp fruit knife, trim the fruit from the rind - chill.

Get all your grilling gear together and take the corn, salmon, sausages and kraut out to the grill.

I preheat the grill to 350-400 degrees which is about medium-high on mine.

Put the corn around the edges of the rack to get it started.

On the side burner, using a large saucepan, I put in the kraut and a pinch of fennel seed and rye seed. Sprinkle the kraut with the creole seasoning (season lightly because the kraut is already salty.) Put on medium heat.

I use a 'fish grate' in my grill - it helps me manage 'skinning' the fish and generally helps me to keep the fish together so it doesn't break up and fall through the normal grates. It goes in the grill to get preheated also.

Throw the sausages on the grill around the grate.


The fish goes on the grate skin side down. I cook it for 5 or six minutes - long enough for the skin to get pretty crunchy and burned. You know it's right when you turn it over and the skin comes off in one nice crunchy piece - discard. I use a stainless spatula and after turning the fish will trim the filet a little more of the skin backing - the idea here is to infuse the lemon, lime, and spice as much as possible. After the turn, pour or ladle the juice from the marinate dish onto the skin side of the fish and sprinkle on some more of the creole seasoning.


Once the sausages have browned, throw them into the saucepan with the kraut. Turn the corn at regular intervals.


I usually turn the fish twice more - it will cook in about 10 minutes - maybe more than 15 if you are using a really oily dense salmon like King. I look for the fat to emerge from the meat - it's white and oily - when that happens you are about one minute from being done on the thin parts of the filet. At that point I will usually break up the thick part of the filet from the thin using the spatula and begin to transfer the thin parts to the serving platter.

For an added touch - kick it up a notch! - take two or three of the sausages and put them on top of the salmon at the last.


Ready to serve!


After you've cleared the fish and the grate from the grill, place the corn in the middle of the grill, close up the grill and crank it up to high. Finish off the corn in about one or two minutes - you may open up the grill and roll the corn around a bit if you'd like.


I like to get the edges of the corn a bit carmelized and the butter nicely broiled. Should look about like the picture.


Commence to eating!

You might wonder about the sausage addition. If you've had home cooking in Louisiana you know already that you get sausage with just about everything. If you're from the Northwest and you haven't tried it before, you will be amazed at how good salmon and sausage are together (and it's not too much of an adventure to try the spicy kraut as well). Some folks like to have a serving of fish and then a serving of sausage. The cantalope serves as a good palate cleanser in that case.


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» MC's Northwest Salmon with a Twist from the pragmatic chef™
MC has sent in a cool combination of flavors, a great piece of Pacific salmon with a citrus-Creole seasoning, accompanied by some grilled sausages, corn and sauerkraut with some cool cantelope. Great, simple flavors well executed, which as you... [Read More]

TrackPulled on Sep 12, 2005 11:12:25 AM

» MC's Northwest Salmon with a Twist from the pragmatic chef™
MC has sent in a cool combination of flavors, a great piece of Pacific salmon with a citrus-Creole seasoning, accompanied by some grilled sausages, corn and sauerkraut with some cool cantelope. Great, simple flavors well executed, which as you... [Read More]

TrackPulled on Sep 12, 2005 6:46:13 PM

People Pulling

Awesome, MC. Just awesome, except for that seasoning....


EMCEE: I think I have to get educated on that Survival Spice! Thanks Scott.

Posted by: Scott P at Sep 12, 2005 9:38:40 AM

OHH!! Yum! Not fair though ... you can get really fresh fish on the coast. It's usually 2-3 days old by the time it arrives here in the middle of nowhere.

EMCEE: M'lady, I think that Pike Place Fish can ship it fast - even to you Southern Canadians!

Posted by: Diana at Sep 12, 2005 4:04:57 PM

Even tho' they're "World Famous", I don't think they ship out of the country. I'm still waiting for a reply.

EMCEE: Well, I'm going to have to pay a visit to those positive thinkin' little fishmongers... Or even though they can across the counter in Seattle, maybe fish can't fly through customs...

Posted by: Diana at Sep 12, 2005 11:44:15 PM

I'll just post this here so that the furriners know ... Pikes Place Fish response to my query was ...

"We are currently working on getting our FDA approval for international shipping. We should be able to ship to Canada by the end of October."


Posted by: Diana at Sep 13, 2005 12:27:46 PM

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