Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Monday, April 5, 2010


Nutritionally friendly, salmon is an interesting meal solution, providing rich flavor to various types of dishes. Known to be rich in Omega -3 fatty acids, and other nutrient powerhouses, this fully flavored fish is great for a heart smart diet, those watching their waistlines, and those hoping to reduce their risk of certain cancers.

From a culinary perspective, salmon is also incredibly easy to prepare. Grilled, sautéed, poached, steamed, or smoked, salmon is one the most versatile protein choices available.

For as many preparations there are for salmon, there are even more varieties available in most seafood counters. Alaskan King, Coho, Sockeye, Atlantic or Pacific are the most popular and widely available types of salmon.

There is a tremendous amount of farm-raised salmon (aquacultured) being imported to the US today. Most of this farmed salmon comes from Norway and Chile being the largest producers. Although some farmed salmon are raised in salt water, their flesh doesn’t have the same rich flavor and decadent texture as their wild counterparts. Pacific salmon are in season from spring through fall.

Atlantic salmon is sometimes less abundant because of industrial pollution of North American and European tributaries. Atlantic salmon have a higher fat flesh, which is pink and succulent.

Salmon may be sold in thicker cut steaks, filets, or whole. It is recommended to keep the skin on when buying salmon, as the skin holds the salmon together nicely when cooking. However, if you prefer to leave the skin off, that is perfectly alright. Simply be more careful when cooking.

Salmon is flavored nicely by lemon, thyme, garlic, olive oil, dill, white wine, Dijon mustard, and capers. As a side dish, think of asparagus, peas, potatoes, rice pilaf, risotto, roasted tomatoes, or Hericots Verts (French style green beans).

When selecting salmon, choose a bright color, firm flesh, and a clean aroma. Fresh seafood should not have a “fishy” smell to it. Instead, it should have a mild scent, similar to fresh cucumbers, watermelon, or other fruit. If the salmon is packaged, it should be in an airtight container with no liquid.

Also, knowing the right questions to ask your fishmonger is essential. Instead of asking “when did this fish come in?” The right question to ask is, “When did that fish come out of the water and how was it stored the minute it came out of the water?” In other words, even if the fish came to the grocer yesterday, it can actually be quite old. Knowing when it was caught and how it was stored is what you really want to know.

If there are any temperature issues on fresh fish anytime in the process, the fish will lose its freshness. That’s why it’s important to ask your fish purveyor how to store the fish until you’re ready to use it, if you aren’t going to get to it until the next day.

To learn more about the Mirepoix Cooking School, visit our website at or become a fan of Mirepoix on Facebook.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home