Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wild Sockeye Salmon & Steamed Sugar Snaps

I was lucky to find some fresh, wild-caught sockeye salmon at a store in Boone this week. At $11.95 a pound on sale, I felt like a small piece wouldn’t damage the budget too much. Besides, I rarely find wild sockeye around here.

I cooked the salmon using a recipe I saw on an Alton Brown show recently, Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Glaze. My camera pooped out before I could get a photo of the broiled salmon (even the cooked peas photo is lousy, sorry). Sigh.

For the vegetable, I picked some fresh sugar snaps. After stringing and removing the calyx (cap at one end), I steamed the snaps for about 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, I melted a tablespoon plus of butter and barely simmered some fresh chives and fresh mint for a butter sauce. When the snaps were tender, I tossed them in the butter sauce and topped with a tad of julienned mint as a garnish. They didn’t even need any salt or pepper to eat. YUM!

For a starch I made my old fall-back, bulgur, because it cooks in mere minutes. Cook bulgur in twice as much liquid as grain amount. I use any broth I have on hand (chicken, beef, vegetable) or just water or half-water and half-broth if I don’t want the taste to overpower another dish at the meal. This time I used water. Add a little salt to taste in cooking. Tip: I salt the water to taste before adding the grains to cook, same as I do for rice.

Recipe: Sugar Snaps with Mint and Chive Butter Sauce

Choose the amount of sugar snaps needed for serving. I was cooking just for myself, so maybe a heaping cup. (They aren’t very good leftover, too mushy.)

1-2 Tbs. Butter

1 tsp. fresh chopped chives

1 tsp. fresh chopped mint

Salt, optional

Remove the calyx and string the sugar snaps. When the peas are ready to steam, put the butter in a saucepan large enough to hold the peas; melt the butter and when it starts to bubble, add the herbs. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Place the peas in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam 4-8 minutes until they are as tender as you wish. (They don't have to be cooked to eat; I eat them raw in salads.) Remove cover and remove from heat immediately. Drain for just a moment, add the peas to the butter sauce and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

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