Sunday, March 17, 2013

Budget Buster

There was a dinner of leftovers planned for Saturday but a trip to the local market changed things as the first truly wild salmon of the spring made an appearance.  In this case it was Columbia River King Salmon and since it is very early the fish are known as springers.  They enter the river in March though they don't swim upstream to spawn until autumn.  And since they don't eat once they enter the fresh water of the river they must have a super high fat content to sustain them until their trip. Springers are known to have a fat content as high as 22%, double what a farm raised salmon will have.  Their numbers are limited and that means the prices are high, around $48 a pound by the time they reach Ohio.  Pictured above is slightly more than half a pound.

With something this rich simple preparation is best.  It got some salt and pepper and was pan seared, flesh side down, in a hot skillet.  The fish was flipped and then spent five minutes skin side down in a 425 degree oven, bringing it to a melting medium rare.  A final sprinkle of Malden salt and a few drops of lemon juice and it became a small piece of heaven.

The wine needed to be bold to hold up against the strong flavors so I opted for a local white wine, a 2011 Kinkead Ridge Viognier - Roussanne.  There were wonderful aromas of spring blossoms and dried apricots.  The full body in the wine held up great against the fatty fish and the acid cleansed just enough of the palate to make one want to repeat the process over and over.  A lighter bodied white wine would have had some trouble here, but this wine made some beautiful music with the fish. 

2011 Kinkead Ridge Viognier Roussanne, Ohio River Valley.  14.2% alcohol and $17.  77% Viognier and 23% Roussanne.  110 cases produced.

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