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Fish and other seafood


Adam Balic
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I've been having problems with overcooking the salmon also. My husband thinks salmon is always dry(!) anyway, and my efforts have done nothing to change his mind.  So far I've tried frying it - not my favorite, but his favorite treatment for fish - and baking it with a pecan crust. I'll try @heidih's method next time, or else try poaching the salmon in olive oil or butter.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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I think I've mentioned the wild Alaskan salmon dryness problem before.  The way I deal with it and keeping it somewhat moist is very low heat cooking - I don't think you have a CSO, @KennethT, but in that oven, I cook it on steam at the lowest possible temperature for a very short time...they're pretty thin pieces.

 

I've also smoked it to good effect in a gin donabe.

 

And finally, try poaching it. I had good luck with that. Don't boil; just barely simmer.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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6 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I've been having problems with overcooking the salmon also. My husband thinks salmon is always dry(!) anyway, and my efforts have done nothing to change his mind.  So far I've tried frying it - not my favorite, but his favorite treatment for fish - and baking it with a pecan crust. I'll try @heidih's method next time, or else try poaching the salmon in olive oil or butter.

I know many will consider my dissing of salmon as sacrilege, but after years of having abundant sockeye and coho, thanks to a fishing-for-fun husband, I have finally accepted that I don't really like salmon any way other than cold smoked. Now that, I love. I just don't think it is one of the best fish out there and even when barely cooked to a safe temperture, I still find it dry and "fishy." Halibut, ling cod, sablefish - I could eat several times a week. I have made a salmon/corn chowder when corn is fresh and abundant and we like that. Now salmon goes in the smoker, either traditionally smoked or cold smoked. And horror of horrors, I have been known to can both sockeye and coho, as we do enjoy a salmon sandwich now and again and my 94 year old dad thinks that a plate of sliced garden tomatoes topped with a can of sockeye is a meal straight from heaven so I am happy to oblige. I will probably have my coastal BC residency revoked after this post...

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6 minutes ago, MaryIsobel said:

And horror of horrors, I have been known to can both sockeye and coho, as we do enjoy a salmon sandwich now and again and my 94 year old dad thinks that a plate of sliced garden tomatoes topped with a can of sockeye is a meal straight from heaven so I am happy to oblige.

 

More about canning the salmon, please. I probably won't get to it, but I'd like to know more in case I want to try it.

 

I also wonder about potting the salmon. I like potted shrimp, why not potted salmon? That could be done without the high pressure I suspect canning the salmon would require.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
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6 minutes ago, KennethT said:

@Smithy and @weinoo Yes I have a CSO and I've steamed whole fish in it really well - it's an idea. I could always treat it like I treated the farmed stuff and SV it to a core of 102F

Oh yeah - try it in there.  I actually like to salt it a couple of hours ahead.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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49 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

More about canning the salmon, please. I probably won't get to it, but I'd like to know more in case I want to try it.

 

I also wonder about potting the salmon. I like potted shrimp, why not potted salmon? That could be done without the high pressure I suspect canning the salmon would require.

 

I pressure can it with nothing other than a half teaspoon of salt per 4 oz jar (this is about the same amount as you would get in a purchased can of salmon) - the fish gives off enough liquid/oil. It must be pressure canned - as with all meat or meat containing products. Some leave the skin on, I don't. Bones are fine and turn soft and calcium rich once canned. Friend of mine cans the skin and scraps for dog food. My husband and I have a deal - he catches and cleans, I process. It is leaps and bounds above commercially canned salmon. My late friend had a connection for fresh caught tuna and we would get together and can that as well. Absolutely no comparison to what I grew up knowing as canned tuna.

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The last time I made the sockeye, I coated it in curry paste, wrapped it in a banana leaf and put it under the broiler.  I cooked it in the Eric Ripert method - until when you can insert a thin metal skewer (I have one just for the purpose) and it feels just warm on the inside of your lip.  Because of the banana leaf, it doesn't get the heat of the broiler but basically steams itself but is flavored with the charred banana leaf.  Even though it was just barely warm, it was still dry...  The coho is next up...

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11 minutes ago, MaryIsobel said:

I pressure can it with nothing other than a half teaspoon of salt per 4 oz jar (this is about the same amount as you would get in a purchased can of salmon) - the fish gives off enough liquid/oil. It must be pressure canned - as with all meat or meat containing products. Some leave the skin on, I don't. Bones are fine and turn soft and calcium rich once canned. Friend of mine cans the skin and scraps for dog food. My husband and I have a deal - he catches and cleans, I process. It is leaps and bounds above commercially canned salmon. My late friend had a connection for fresh caught tuna and we would get together and can that as well. Absolutely no comparison to what I grew up knowing as canned tuna.

Sounds good!

 

I don't know where you're located, but what pressure and how long please?

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4 minutes ago, KennethT said:

The last time I made the sockeye, I coated it in curry paste, wrapped it in a banana leaf and put it under the broiler.  I cooked it in the Eric Ripert method - until when you can insert a thin metal skewer (I have one just for the purpose) and it feels just warm on the inside of your lip.  Because of the banana leaf, it doesn't get the heat of the broiler but basically steams itself but is flavored with the charred banana leaf.  Even though it was just barely warm, it was still dry...  The coho is next up...

Banana leaf, in my experience, is a flavor and an envelope but not whole lotta moisture. Very light steaming with aromatics? Maybe take a page from pho and char the onion, ginger etc first.  Have you delved into poke or other raw preps?

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Sounds good!

 

I don't know where you're located, but what pressure and how long please?

I'm on the west coast of BC, Canada, about 300 feet above sea level. These are the instructions I use. I know you are a well seasoned "preserver." I just can't stress enough that a pressure canner must be used - I just get scared thinking that someone will try to water bath. Not you though - just a disclaimer! I don't use olive oil or peppercorns, just fish and salt. Skin on is fine, it all blends in once canned, but my husband is a master filleter/skinner, but I don't worry about bones.

  • Add the salmon pieces to half-pint jars. If you are using skin-on salmon, make sure to put the skin side towards the outside. Then, top with canning salt, 2 peppercorns per jar, and oil if using. Do not add water, the fish will release its own liquid. Next, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel. Then, top with a lid and seal it finger-tight.
  • Place the liner on the bottom of the pressure cooker, and add a few inches of water.
  • Add the jars to the pressure canner and process for 110 minutes at 10 PSI, or according to your pressure cooker’s instructions.
  • Turn off heat, and allow the pressure indicator to drop down naturally. Open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool to room temp.
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11 minutes ago, MaryIsobel said:

I pressure can it with nothing other than a half teaspoon of salt per 4 oz jar (this is about the same amount as you would get in a purchased can of salmon) - the fish gives off enough liquid/oil. It must be pressure canned - as with all meat or meat containing products. Some leave the skin on, I don't. Bones are fine and turn soft and calcium rich once canned. Friend of mine cans the skin and scraps for dog food. My husband and I have a deal - he catches and cleans, I process. It is leaps and bounds above commercially canned salmon. My late friend had a connection for fresh caught tuna and we would get together and can that as well. Absolutely no comparison to what I grew up knowing as canned tuna.

Sounds good!

 

I don't know where you're located, but what pressure and how long please?

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

This morning I experimented a little more with two pieces of sockeye from Wild Alaska.

 

IMG_4697.thumb.JPG.039091d85d1f27420f46ada28f9f3df3.JPG

 

Came out as moist as I've ever been able to do in the CSO - 200℉, no steam.  For about 12 minutes. It's delicious.

 

so that's convection bake?

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7 minutes ago, KennethT said:

so that's convection bake?

Yes - no steam, just plain old convection bake. I didn't look to see if it goes lower than 200℉ - but imagine it would be even juicier at a lower temp.

 

By the way, these two pieces were packed together in one vacuum pack - they were a little thicker, too which can't hurt.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, palo said:

@weinoo - residual moisture from thawing?

 

I don't think so; it thawed for around 36 hours in the fridge before I cooked it this morning, and before cooking, i patted it as dry as possible with paper towels, salted it, and cooked it.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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5 minutes ago, palo said:

36 hours in fridge should certainly have dried it up + salt = desiccated? 😛

 

It was just a thought

 

p

 

I don't understand because I defrosted it in its packaging. Then I salted it like you'd salt anything before roasting it, so no - it wasn't desiccated.

 

 

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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23 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

I don't understand because I defrosted it in its packaging.

Did you poke some holes or cut the vacuum pack before defrosting in the fridge?  Depending on the temp of your refrigerator, it would be a good idea since botulism bacteria is slightly active at the warmer end of the fridge temp scale, and the vacuum pack is a great environment for them.  Giving it any access to air is a good way to make sure that doesn't happen since they're anaerobic.

 

Also, according to Wild Alaskan's website, they cover everything in a glaze of sea water, so if you defrosted it still in the packaging, it was in a small amount of brine.  They recommend taking it out of the packaging and defrosting on a rack so the sea water can drip away as it melts.  I usually just defrost it in a bowl of water (out of the packaging) for like 30 minutes, then remove and pat dry.

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Uh oh, how long does botulism take to manifest itself? My guess is there was a hole or two in the packaging after i ripped it out of the freezer.

 

I do keep our fridge at the lower end of temps possible without stuff freezing - around 37-38℉.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Actually I just checked the TWO real thermometers I have in the fridge.  One said 32 and the other 35 in different locations. (Probably why I get the occasional frozen lettuce or why some things I put on the bottom shelf take 3 days to defrost).

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

Uh oh, how long does botulism take to manifest itself? My guess is there was a hole or two in the packaging after i ripped it out of the freezer.

 

I do keep our fridge at the lower end of temps possible without stuff freezing - around 37-38℉.

Botulism will grow above 34 degrees, albeit much more slowly than at room temp.  At 38, it's much faster than at 34.  I keep my fridge literally on the cusp of freezing.  The produce stays in the produce drawers which are a bit warmer.

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

I don't understand because I defrosted it in its packaging. Then I salted it like you'd salt anything before roasting it, so no - it wasn't desiccated.

 

 

 

"desiccated" was a joke but if you defrosted it in its original packaging there was probably some liquid retained in the fish - but not to beat a dead horse (or salmon) bottom line it looked great and apparently tasted fine as well.

 

p

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