Hyuck, hyuck. Forgive my terrible post title, but I couldn't resist—the special package TL and I had to drop off with JL were the two packages of wild-caught smoked salmon and two whole wild sockeye salmon (sans their heads) that he had brought back frozen from Vancouver. I don't know how I ended up with so many friends willing to haul seafood back from their hometowns to share, but I consider myself a lucky gal.
We cooked one fish that night (reserving the other one for LB and TL to experiment with the next night). Here it is before…
…and after! JL had stuffed the fish with lemon and parsley and put it briefly on the grill. Due to a grill-sticking issue the salmon was a little less pretty by the time it got to the table, but it was no less delicious. The lean flesh was tender and had a clean, sweet flavor. You can't really tell from this photo, but its color was beautiful too—a deep bright red many shades apart from the typical pale orange of farmed salmon.
Photo (left) by TL
We ate the fish with a variety of condiments and did a lot of experimenting to find the best flavor combinations. I think all of us have a habit of "cooking at the table" (which is something someone once noted about my brother): we made open-faced sandwiches with roasted garlic and parsley flatbread; laid chunks of the salmon on top of salad; ate pieces of salmon paired with grilled shishito peppers or pickled chioggia beets; and scraped the meat from the spine to make an impromptu spicy salmon mixture using mayonnaise and sriracha. With four pounds of fish on the table there was plenty of room to play.
For dessert, we had blueberry-almond financiers baked by JL. She wasn't that into the pastries, but I liked their gentle sweetness and texture, especially alongside mugs of hot tea.
The next morning I flew back to Colorado with a wedge of leftover flatbread in my bag, which I ate for breakfast at the terminal—a fragrant, tasty reminder of a fun meal.