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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Copper River Salmon with Thai Coconut Rice

For Gutsy Cooks Club Thai Coconut Rice from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible was on the menu this week.We cook a lot of Thai cuisine so this was a familiar style of cooking and a welcome recipe for us to try.

Copper River King salmon has just arrived from Alaska this week and we decided to make the rice to accompany one of our favorite yearly splurges.

If you are not familiar with Copper River King Salmon it is from the icy Copper River in Alaska. Because of the pristine water environment and incredibly cold conditions the salmon develop an extra amount of fat and oil to survive there; making for a unbelievable delicious tasting fish. Yes, Salmon fat and oil is what makes a good salmon taste good. Not unlike the wonderful of a rib eye or porterhouse steak I suppose. Farm raised salmon will never taste the way a wild salmon does.

This is a beautiful piece of Cooper River King. G picked well.
First we gathered our rice ingredients: Jasmine rice, coconut milk, red curry paste, red chile, shallot, lime and green onion. (Kaffir lime leaves were outrageously expensive and looked a bit rugged so I  added extra lime zest in place of the lime leaves this time.)

I minced the shallot & chile before

adding it to the pan with oil and adding the lime zest.

Next I added the red curry paste. The recipe called for 4 Tablespoons and the can had just slightly more than that amount but we decided to add the whole can anyway.

 I added the Jasmine rice. I love the smell of Jasmine rice.

 For Thai cooking really you have to use Jasmine nothing else tastes or smells quite the same.

Next I added the coconut milk and some water to the pan and brought the rice to a boil and then simmered for about 20 minutes.


While the rice cooked we gathered our favorite Salmon Rub: Tom Douglas' Rub with Love. For Copper River you really want to taste the salmon. At $29.99 a pound covering it with sauce and overpowering seasons would be just plain wasteful.

Because we were serving the rice with our salmon I convinced G to mix  a little Chinese 5 Spice to the Rub with Love to compliment the flavors of the rice. He was reluctant at first but went with it after some convincing.

G made sure to pull the few pin bones left in the fish

and then we added our rub spices to the fish

before putting it on the grill.

I cleaned and steamed some broccolini to complete our meal.

We opened a bottle of 2004 Solena Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley from one of our Thanksgiving weekend Oregon wine tasting trips. We really enjoy Solena wines. And we traditionally always open a bottle of Oregon Pinot to have with our first arrival of Copper River King celebration meal.
Sadly I think we sat on this one a year too long. It wasn't bad yet but you could tell it was on its way down the "good" spectrum.

I set the table, we pulled the salmon, broccolini and rice.

Dinner was served.
G cooked the salmon perfectly to our liking. Just a bit pink on the inside which provides the perfect texture and keeps the flavor of the salmon intact instead of cooking it out. If you are a true salmon lover you want to taste the salmon.

Lesson learned when using a red curry paste you are not familiar cooking with go with the "start with less and add more" approach. Using the whole can was bit daring and made for a very spicy rice. Luckily we like spicy personally but we were glad it was just us and we didn't have guests because it was a bit too spicy for most.


1 comment:

  1. Oh my, you made me laugh..when I read up that you put the whole curry paste.. I cringed, since I like spicy, but wo-a! Even when I saw the 4 tablespoons the recipe called for I was like, yeah, less is more time.

    And the salmon looks so good!

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