Did I mention that I love fishing? Not in the past few posts, huh? Well…I love fishing. I’ve always loved fish and reptiles, so naturally I used to love watching the 90’s versions of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and all those wildlife documentaries definitely left there mark (thanks, Steve). I don’t keep or eat the fish I catch, so the main draw to fishing has always been the thrill of seeing what was living in the murky water…but I’ve been getting increasingly curious about catching my own dinner.
Last winter, Dani and I got really into Life Below Zero, which shows a bunch of different people who live off the land in different parts of Alaska. For them, catching salmon is a way of life, and critical for survival in the winter. I’ve never fished for salmon before, but when I saw this beautiful piece of wild-caught salmon, I could *pretend* to be badass enough to pull a salmon out of a river. Here’s what comes next.
I started to take the fish out to let the skin dry out a little before cooking, but noticed that all the scales were still on– so I scraped them off with a small knife and cut the salmon into steaks. It’s a little messy, but it only took ten minutes. Now, I prefer to keep the skin on, but in this case it wasn’t dry enough to prevent sticking, so I had to cut it all off. I seasoned it very lightly with salt, and pepper, seared it, and roasted it in the oven with a head of garlic and capers.
Meanwhile, I stir-fried some mushrooms, shallots, and artichoke hearts, tossed in some arugula, and finished with balsamic vinegar and feta. Just add penne, man, and it’s done.
When you plate everything, don’t forget to peel those roasted garlic cloves and eat them! The slow cooking gets rid of the sharp, raw flavor and turns it into a savory bomb.
2 Salmon Filets, scaled
6 Cups Penne Pasta
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Cups Mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 Cups Arugula
2 Artichoke Hearts, marinated and halved
2 Tbs Basil, minced
2 Shallots, sliced thinly
2 Tbs Feta
1 Tbs Capers
1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Dry the salmon with paper towels, then season with salt & pepper, and place skin-side-down in a heavy pan. Slowly raise the temperature to medium-high to render the fat, then flip, and add butter, capers, and garlic. Transfer to an oven preheated to 425 degrees, and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Place a separate pan on medium with one tablespoon of oil, then sauté mushrooms, artichoke, garlic and shallots. Season, then add feta and arugula.
- Mix penne into the mushroom, and arugula. Add fresh basil, then remove from the heat.
- Plate and serve.