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silver salmon, the goldilocks of salmon

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Silver, also called coho salmon, is the in-between salmon: not too big, not too small, fatty but not the fattiest, firm but not the firmest — pricey, but not nearly the priciest salmon you can buy. Silvers are caught from Oregon to Alaska, and typically run starting in June and last until November. These fish are Alaskan caught, frozen at sea (FAS). Anything out of Alaska is extremely sustainable. This fish we have today is at its peak for a Silver salmon – fat content wise. They are a pretty chrome in the ocean and when they first appear in rivers, but turn deep red when they head upstream to breed. Once they turn, or develop that crooked mouth you may have seen, coho salmon are basically inedible. Poaching salmon, silver or coho in particular, is not only a great low fat way to cook, but helps retain moisture in this salmon as Silvers tend to dry out a little easier than their King cousin due to a lower fat content. These salmon are a perfect poaching fish. Their relatively low fat content benefits from the gentle cooking, which keeps it moist. Bottom line: You can use silvers in any typical salmon recipe, but definitely think about poaching, sautéing, or if grilling/broiling – keep it nice and moist with a marinade or olive oil coating. We do not recommend freezing it again.

Basic Poaching: Even if you don’t cook you’ll find it fairly easy to poach salmon. Prepare the liquid, such as a half cup of wine and a half cup of water per 1 or 1 1/2 pounds of salmon fillets with a few thin onion slices, some fresh or dried dill, a sprig of parsley, some fresh ground pepper. Simmer this mixture in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the fillets, skin side down. Cook about 5 minutes. What is easier than that? Here are a few moisture-retaining recipes that will work well with this salmon…

Poached Salmon with Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients
3/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 small lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh dill
6-10 peppercorns
1 lb salmon, skin removed (grab corner or skin with fingertips and using sharp knife follow along fillet to remove skin)

Preparation
Heat wine, water, lemon, dill and peppercorns on medium heat in a sauté pan until close to boiling.
Reduce heat to a bare simmer. Using a spatula, place salmon fillets in liquid a single layer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until fish flake easily with a fork.
For the Sauce:
1 small pot (5-6 ounces) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Combine yogurt, lemon juice, mustard and dill in a small bowl. Serve salmon with sauce.
adapted from about.com

Steamed Salmon and Asparagus in Parchment

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (I’d skip this – it’s unnecessary)
1 lb salmon
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, halved

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a 13-by-12-inch baking sheet. Put the potatoes on the sheet and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Distribute the butter over the potatoes(or not!) Roast in top of oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, lay out 4 sheets of parchment (at least 13 by 13 inches) and place 1 fillet on each. Top with the asparagus, scallions, and tarragon. Drizzle with the oil and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Top each fillet with a lemon half, after first squeezing on the juice. Pull the sides of the paper over each fillet, folding several times to seal. Fold and twist the ends to form rectangular parcels. Place them on a sheet pan. Bake on lower rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes while the potatoes finish cooking. Place a salmon parcel on each plate and cut open. Serve with the potatoes.
adapted from RealSimple magazine

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