15 October 2014

From the Chef ~ Salmon Dreams: Smoked Salmon Roe and Lox!

I recently got my hands on several fresh coho salmon and turned them into jewels to savor. I threw a couple in the smoker, then brined and cured some roe, and then vacuum packed a fish or two for "salmon dinners" this fall.  Next it was time to cure a bunch as savory lox; I've included a link below for an easy lox recipe I like.  We'll horse these down this winter drizzled with basil-scented olive oil and dusted with good Sicilian capers and fresh garden herbs like fennel and chives as seen on the antipasto plate above.  I then followed my whimsy and filled my smoker not once but twice with whole skeins of salmon roe.  Goodness, these turned out so, so good - my recipe is below for you to try.  I then threw some fillets on the grill for supper, grabbed a beverage, and called it a day.



Smoke Salmon Roe 

I had a hunch about smoked salmon roe.  I've cured it in years past, but something about the rich, ocean flavor of roe and alder smoke lurked in my imagination.  And the experiment paid off.  Here's my process:

1.  Soak one or up to 20 whole skeins of fresh salmon roe in a brine consisting of 1 gallon water (tap water is fine), 1 cup kosher salt, and 2 cups sugar.  Soak for 60 minutes; soak smaller skeins for 30 minutes. Pull from brine and let sit for 30-60 minutes.  

2.  Now fire up the smoker with alder chips.  Line the grates of your smoker with foil.  Smoke larger skeins for 90 minutes or slightly longer.  Again, smaller skeins need about half the time.  Pull from the smoker and enjoy.

Smoked roe is great with cream cheese or sour cream or marscapone (as seen above) and crackers or crusty bread.  Or how about with fresh pasta and marscapone or cream and maybe some fresh chopped chives.  Or try it simply over white rice to lengthen the flavor.  Avocado, herbs, cucumber, soy sauce, a little hot pepper or sweet red bell pepper all sound delicious to me. Or straight up with bourbon or beer or grappa or vecchia romagna or smokey tequila. Champagne or prosecco, too.  Enjoy!

Urban Palace by Barcelo Homes

Modern luxury, Built Green pre-sale home near Downtown Seattle with a sleek and efficient design!  This home features 4 large bedrooms, wonderful ceiling height on all levels, amazing light, entertainment-size flex area and many other impressive amenities including a 1000+ sq ft roof top view deck. Exceptional open and flowing floor plan on the main level with large decks on both the west and east ends that create a mega entertaining space. This home sits on a roomy corner lot, boasts energy-efficient systems, a deep 2-car garage, and loads of storage. With the ability for customization, this will be not only a one-of-a-kind home, but a one-of-a-kind buying opportunity.  Completion:  January 1st, 2015.

From the Chef ~ Uncle Mario's Fish Tacos

My brother recently conquered a mammoth lingcod (see above) on a fishing excursion. Gnarly to the eye but luscious to the taste, the big fish inspired us to take our stab at fish tacos, and we knocked it out of the park! There are many good recipes on the internet, including some with yummy beer-battered, deep-fried fish. Here’s our version!  Pacific cod, halibut, mahi mahi, rockcod, tilapia, or any white fish will work. The balance of spice and heat with cooling white sauce and fresh, firm fish made a taco muy bueno with which to swill our Cerveza Pacifico! Aloha, Buen Provecho, and Down the Hatch!

1. Make white sauce:  Mix thoroughly together 4 tbsp. sour cream, 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, 1+ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 clove minced garlic, kosher salt to taste, and 1 tsp. lime zest.  Set aside.
2. Rub 1 lb. of fresh fish with 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Adding any combo of cayenne, cilantro, cumin, or lime juice is a nice option as well.  Set aside for 15-30 min.
3. Prepare garnishes:  jalepenos both pickled and raw, shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions, avocado slices or guacamole, assorted salsas including hot sauce like Tapatio brand.
4. Grill fish.  Serve with warm tortillas (corn or wheat, your call) and garnish as desired.  I personally like fish, cabbage, lots of cilantro, white sauce and Tapatio hot sauce.

When a Home is More Than Just Property, Even for a Realtor

Resort living in North Tacoma! Over half an acre estate with Commencement Bay and Vashon Island views, a pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, grand circular driveway, and lush grounds! Super cool, custom-built 1965 home with vaulted ceilings, over 3,500 square feet, a kitchen fit for food TV, and a Frank Sinatra wet bar. The slower-paced Tacoma market ignited for this one-of-a-kind home. We got three offers in short order and the price went significantly higher than expected. 

Sometimes homes are more than just property, even for Realtors. I've never had to say goodbye personally or professionally to a home like this, as this was my grandparents’ much-beloved home. While I am sad to see it go, I am delighted for the happy new owners who get to make their own memories at this lovely residence.