Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Alaskan Salmon for February--American Heart Month


During spring I often book a late autumn trip to Canada or before the pandemic it was Alaska. Today, images of snow and salmon are on my mind. This week I’ve been having fantasies of making a second trip to the Northwest.
In December  2019, I finally got the trip to Anchorage; but I didn’t get the fresh salmon dinner of my dreams. On a Sunday night flying first class was adventurous. Not only was their rough air but the novelty of possibly being diverted to Fairbanks was spooky and exciting. At SeaTac I called hotels at Fairbanks. One clerk was honest and chillax. I asked, “Do you have room service?” After all, I wouldn’t arrive until 3:00 A.M., and would need a cup of Joe in the morning. There was a pause. “You have to find your own coffee,” he said and chuckled. “It’s a different vibe here.” I took the risk and carried on with the rough flight watching “The Lion King” movie to stay calm.
This week for the fun of it, I splurged on Wild Alaskan salmon. Yeah, it was pricey – and the pandemic hiked the cost. But sometimes treating yourself to a special food like salmon can transport you to a place you can’t visit. And since we are homebound you probably get why I am craving a food adventure.

Baked Lemon-Herb Wild Alaskan Salmon

6-7-ounce skinless salmon fillet
1 tablespoon European style butter, salted, cut into 4 pieces
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon each chopped fresh rosemary and parsley (dried can do the trick)
1 lemon, slices (save two for juice)

Place salmon on foil. Top with butter. Sprinkle with pepper. If you use dried herbs, go ahead and sprinkle on the raw fish. Top with lemon slices. In a 425-degree oven bake 10 to 14 minutes, till flaky. Remove from oven. If you use fresh herbs, sprinkle on top of cooked fish and add lemon juice. Cut fish in slices. Serve with wild rice and asparagus or green salad. Makes 2-3 servings.

So, this salmon with wild rice provided an “aha” moment. Not only was the moist herb-alicious salmon to live for it was a sign that live goes on. Now if I can get the nerve to book that flight for an Alaska sequel… but to Fairbanks – farther north I may get to see the northern lights. And who knows, perhaps I’ll hire a nature guide that will help me catch a wild Alaskan salmon for the thrill of it.

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)

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