Spring is here, and despite the persisting snowfalls throughout New York State, the ice fishing season is coming to a close. I haven’t had much luck recently. No matter how hard I tried and how long I froze my butt (sometimes way after all the other fishermen had given up), I didn’t land anything. I’m starting to doubt whether some of the lakes I’ve been to actually contain fish at all. So I decided to have my small revenge and just buy some fresh salmon at the store.
For a change, here’s a recipe from the “let’s make a trivial dish with 3 ingredients and write about it” school of blogging. It’s inspired by something I found in a Russian cookbook called Pro Okhotu I Rybalku [Of hunting and fishing]. Not only does it come with very appetizing pictures, and cover most wild game and fish you’re likely to kill for food, but it offers a different take on preparing your catch. There are traditional Russian dishes of course, but also more creative recipes (such as partridges in chocolate sauce or pigeons with kumquats and couscous).
The idea behind this simple recipe is to give fishermen another way to prepare their catch when fish has been biting more than expected (I wish I had that problem!), and they’ve already cured, pickled, kippered, and burgered everything they could. It works equally well with any Salmonidae, and the jars can be kept refrigerated for a while — the original recipe says up to 3 months, but I’d recommend exercising your judgement after a few weeks.
Jarred salmon in olive oil
Yields 1 pint jar
5 oz top-quality olive oil
6 g smoked salt
0.5 g finely grated lemon zest
0.3 g ground black pepper
12 oz cleaned salmon fillet (skin, bones and brown part removed)
- In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the smoked salt, lemon zest, and black pepper.
- Cut the salmon into 2″ squares, then toss into the oil mixture.
- Poor some of the oil into a sterilized pint jar, then arrange the salmon squares by packing them loosely inside, and poor the rest of the oil on top. The salmon should be completely covered in oil.
- Seal, and cook in a 146 F water bath for 90 minutes.
- Remove the jar from the water bath, let cool upside down for 1 to 2 hours, then refrigerate.
- Serve within a few weeks.