Many years ago Ed and I took our daughters on a cruise to Alaska. At the time they were going through what I think of as the usual teenage disdain for anything their parents liked. So although they went with us on deck to see some of the famous, enormous glaciers, after the first few, when we uncool grownups were still excited to see yet another huge hunk of ice, they stayed in their cabin. And so they missed the Columbia Glacier which, just by chance when we were watching, dropped what we were told was the ice equivalent of a 6-story apartment building into the water.
Okay, so they missed it. I still smile when I close my eyes and think about what we saw that day.
The other thing we all missed was the salmon. Alaskan salmon is world famous, and for good reason -- it's fat and flavorful. And some of the folks on our trip actually went fishing and caught some fish, which the chef cooked them for dinner. And for those who didn't go fishing, well, they got fresh fresh salmon anyway.
Unfortunately our daughter Gillian is allergic to fish, so we never have it on the table when she is with us.
Ed and I have made up for that in the years that followed, when we dine alone or with people who can eat and appreciate fish.
We both love salmon and eat it very often.
And so, in keeping with the political theme of this blog over the past several weeks, I will pay tribute to the Alaska Democratic political caucus coming up on March 26th (the Republicans had theirs on March 1st), and offer one of the salmon recipes we have loved over the years. It's so quick and easy to cook you can serve this any night of the week. And yet, salmon is festive, so it's a good choice for company also.
Roasted Salmon with Harissa
- 4 salmon filets or steaks, about 6 ounces each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the salmon pieces in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, harissa and mustard. Spread this mixture on top of the fish filets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness, or until cooked to desired doneness.
Makes 4 servings