If I had a salmon -- part.2
If your fishmonger doesn't look like this, your fish isn't fresh enough.
Check out these babies! Three chinook salmon, about fifty, yes fifty, pounds of fishy goodness, just waiting to go home and be turned into a winter's worth of tasty fillets. (warning, they are pictures of the process lurking ahead so if you squick out easily be afraid, be very afraid...)
And because I want more filler before the carnage, how's this for prehistoric looking?
Those beasties are sturgeon and they are just for show. We had our hands--and counters, and freezer--full with the salmon.
Once it's split all the way open, the guts spill out all over the counter, making you very glad that you laid out butcher paper--oh, so that's why they call it butcher paper!--on the counter first. That big bundle of pink bubbles means it's a hen (did you know that female salmon are called hens?) and I guess some people eat salmon roe, but I am really not so much into caviar so it got trashed. The kitty got the hearts, and the heads went into the freezer and will be buried with some trees we're planting this fall; they make great slow-acting fertilizer.
I think this is two out of the three fish filleted, double wrapped in heavy plastic wrap and ready to be stuffed into freezer bags (I'm looking for a cheap foodsaver and faking it until then) and stacked in the freezer for winter. I ended up with a bit over 30 pounds of skin-on fillets, enough to keep us in salmon for quite some time to come.
And here's some of the fish, from the bits of scraps that got stashed for seafood stew. Isn't that beautiful?
We had some for dinner tonight, poached in wine and lemon thyme, with a sauce of shallots, wine, lemon juice and lots of tarragon. Very simple and truly delicious.
Once we got that all dealt with we hosed down the kitchen and ourselves, dropped entrails on the front porch for the oh-so-spoiled cat, grabbed a few things and went to some friends for an equinox bonfire. We took a bottle of homemade (by a friend, not us) blueberry wine, while our hosts offered apple wine they'd made (it won the superintendent's award at the last fair). The first wine was sweet and rich as mid-summer, bright and bursting with the full-on summer taste that berries do so well. The apple wine was a lovely contrast, dry and almost sparkling on the tongue with a wonderful tartness, evocative of this season of fructification. (I dare you to say that quickly while half-drunk and laughing!) There were slices of creamy bittersweet chocolate tart generously sprinkled with delightfully crunchy toasted coconut, some of my homemade raspberry marshmallows for toasting, and enough of a chill in the air that being near the fire was a very good thing. Add in some beautiful and evocative guitar, an amazing starfield--you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye out here--and good friends and it was the perfect way to celebrate the turning of the seasons. Hope your first day of fall was beautiful and your celebration of it meaningful.