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20140315-120700.jpgBack to this later after a word from last week.

To prove that I am moving back toward a healthier menu, I give you salmon, and a title fit for Dr. Suess. Why you might ask? Because, I will be crashing a party this weekend and the hostess of the party is “Suessing-out”, so I thought, “when in Rome” (or Whoville).

This is not just any salmon, by the way. This is king salmon, “Springer” salmon actually; caught fresh from the Columbia River and available for the first time this season, last Friday, at Gemini. That’s right, Friday. Once again, as the weekend began, I shed my usual habit of steak night in lieu of Fish Friday.

Usually, this salmon would find it’s way to the grill via a wooden plank, which would impart smokiness and inherently steamed in moistness. Instead, as I stood at the cash register, seconds before the numbers on my card cyber-netted their way into (and out of) my bank account, I grabbed a box of cleverly packaged parchment bags from the stand, conveniently located less than an arms length away (heck, it only increased the order by less than 5 dollars). I was tired. It was an extraordinarily long week and, although it was sunny (yep), and warm (in the sun anyways), it was still Winter. In a few short hours, when the sun had retired, I knew that a simple dinner would make much more traction than one that I wouldn’t be able, or happy, to finish. So the parchment bags seemed like a good idea. Never used them before. Well, maybe once, I think? I had a crisper drawer full of aspiring extras and pulled them together quickly to accompany the salmon in it’s bag.

20140315-113752.jpgKind of fun, and easy!

20140315-113704.jpgA happy, healthy start to a weekend.


However, I still prefer the grill, or pan (seared). Tonight for my party crash, over to the Novice Gardener’s “Fiesta Friday” I thought I would go back for seconds, of salmon, not parchment, and cook it up with a little Mexican flare. Maybe they’ll like my recipe and they won’t throw me out…just yet.

King Salmon Green Enchiladas with pickled poblano and fennel relish
Serves 2


1/2 cup (approximately) green sauce (recipe to follow)
Rancho Gordo Ayocote Morado beans, cooked (follow black bean method here)
1 handful (each serving) lime-pickled poblano and fennel (recipe to follow)
3/4 lb king salmon fillet, skin removed and trimmed
Sea salt and pepper to season the salmon (or a combination of roasted sea salt, coriander seeds and black peppercorns, ground fine)
4 corn tortillas
Oil for softening tortillas
4 oz ball Buffalo mozzarella
Garnish ideas: cilantro, avocado slices, tomato slices

INGREDIENTS (for green sauce; you will have extra sauce to use for another dish or to add extra salmon, tortillas and guests.)

1 1/2 lb tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 sweet onion, peeled
1/2 tsp each, cumin, Mexican oregano, natural sugar
1 wad of fresh cilantro, long stem trimmed but short stem left intact. Rinsed (should wad up to the size of a ping pong ball; if you love cilantro, use more).
1-2 TB lime juice

COOK (green sauce)

Parboil the tomatillos, jalapeño, garlic and onion. Drain and put on a sheet pan. Set under the broiler (set to 400 degrees F) and broil until the skins are brown. Transfer all of the contents of the pan (juices included) to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cumin, oregano and sugar – purée. Add in the cilantro and lime juice – process to incorporate. Transfer to a small sauce pan and keep warm. For a prettier, more vibrant-colored sauce, leave out the cilantro, but the flavor is better with it’s inclusion.


INGREDIENTS (for lime-pickled poblano and fennel)

1/4 sweet onion, shaved very thin
1/4 fennel bulb, cored, shaved very thin
Juice of 1 lime (3 TB approx)
1/2 tsp each, cumin, Mexican oregano, natural sugar
1 pinch course sea salt, ground between your fingers; add to taste
2 radishes, julienned

PREPARE (lime-pickled poblano and fennel)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, at least 20 minutes in advance of assembling enchiladas.


Soften the tortillas by cooking each side briefly in a hot, oiled pan. Hold between sheets of wax paper as you finish each tortilla.

Season the salmon and sear in a very hot pan coated with olive or canola oil. Let sit undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until a nice, brown crust has formed on the top. Turn and cook a few minutes more until medium rare inside.

20140315-115135.jpgAhhhhhh, such beautiful red fish – so delish.

Meanwhile, lay two tortillas, side-by-side, on a small sheet pan. Top with a ladle of green sauce, then a layer of cooked beans (drained of liquid). Spread over a few of the pickled poblano strips and top with slices of mozzarella.


Top each with another tortilla. Ladle over sauce and top with a salmon fillet.

Put the pan under the broiler to heat through. If you have prepared the enchiladas, sans-salmon, farther in advance and they are cold, heat through first, then add the salmon and serve.

Transfer the enchiladas to separate plates and garnish with more cilantro, slices of avocado and slices of tomato if you like. This would also be nice topped with fresh pico de gallo.

In the spirit of a good party, be sure to share with your friends (new and old).

20140315-121845.jpgThese two are always willing participants – have fish, will travel (to the bowl).