Sunday, May 31, 2009

Go Fish! On the grill.

Summer's quickly approaching. There are two things I love about these warmer months. Sitting on my porch drinking a cold beer and grilling. Now, I'm not a big meat-eater, but grilling season is my one big exception. For those of you that love the spirit of the bar-b-que, but have an aversion (voluntary or otherwise) to red meat, don't despair! With the thawing of rivers in Alaska and in British Columbia come the opening of the Salmon season. Now through August is the best time of year (in most respects, the ONLY time of year) to find fresh, never-been-frozen wild-caught salmon at a grocery store/fish market near you. Salmon does amazingly well on the grill, especially if you cedar plank your fish. But I'm not here to talk about grilling salmon fillets. Today, I want to share with you a recent and decidedly delicious discovery.

The Fabulous Wild Mushroom Salmon Burger.

This is an incredibly easy, fast, and delicious alternative to the standard burger/brat faire. Light, yet filling, familiar yet exotic, this is a genuine treat.

So here's the rundown:

2 lbs. wild (preferably fresh) salmon (I recommend Copper River Sockeye or King Salmon), skinned and cubed
1/4-1/2 lb. baby bella mushrooms, diced
1/4-1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 oz. fresh rosemary, diced finely
1 oz. fresh sage, diced finely
1 oz. truffle oil
1/4 white onion, diced
Panko breadcrumbs, add until mixture solidifies

Take the salmon cubes and break apart with fingers until its broken up into tiny pieces. The more ground up the better. Add all ingredients. Add breadcrumbs until the mixture gains a more cohesive state. The breadcrumbs serve as a bonding agent, so your burger does not fall apart on you. After mixing all the ingredients, including the breadcrumbs, I like to let the mix set in the fridge for at least a half hour, as I find this allows the ingredients to coalesce. Following this, portion out into patties and grill. Depending on the type of salmon you use, one must pay attention to the cooking time. A sockeye salmon will be less oily and less fatty, so it will dry out more quickly than farm-raised or any Atlantic salmon alternative.

If you heed all the instructions but your burger still decides to fall apart, don't despair! I often opt to take my cooked salmon burger and crumble it over a green salad, in lieu of the traditional bun option.


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