This same friend visited once before and brought a cooler full of goodies from the famed fish market in Seattle, so I was hoping for a similar style box. This time, though, he was flying so I had to keep my request to a minimum. Since it is salmon running season out there and they are easy to find fresh, I choose fish.
I love salmon, but it is a fish that can turn “fishy” quickly. Unlike many white fishes such as grouper, for example, salmon already has a strong flavor. My mother always says she is not sure if she likes salmon but having witnessed her enjoy fresh salmon, I know what she really means is that she only likes fresh salmon.
So, salmon in hand, Mark arrived. Now the question was, what do we do with it?
I am a big fan of keeping things fairly simple. I generally grill fish simply: seasoned with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil. I think I do this because I just love the flavor of seafood and don’t think it needs too much added to it. My dad, who lives on the coast and cooks fish all the time, seasons his with Cavenders and olive oil. That is a really good combination too.
My mom suggested doing a barbeque-style salmon. We looked through many recipes and finally found a few that looked interesting. There are so many versions of barbeque sauce. Some are mustard-based, some thicker, some sweeter and some with a good kick of spice. I would say that this tomato-based version was the perfect blend of interesting flavors without being particularly spicy or sweet.
One of the things that made it great was the consistency. My mom finely minced the onions so they added texture without being too chunky. The ketchup adds a bit of sweetness while the rum contributes a depth. I am not a crazy fan of all barbeque, but this one was so good I could have eaten it by the spoonful.
We grilled the salmon and everyone added extra sauce to the meal. We served it with roasted baby potatoes and a delicious cucumber relish. The entire plate was pretty incredible. It would also be great with jasmine rice.
If you can’t get a hold of any fresh salmon and aren’t lucky enough to get a visitor from the west coast, this sauce would also be amazing on pulled pork or chicken. In fact, I am going to take a roasted chicken, pull the meat from it and mix it with this sauce. Then I will place it on a toasted bun, add coleslaw on top and enjoy what I envision to be a great sloppy joe-style sandwich.