A few years back, we took a vacation that was jammed packed with adventure. Lots of hiking, dune buggy riding and an exciting boat trip up the Rough River. We took a seven-hour white-water jet boat excursion. Wow! As our boat headed up the mouth of the Rough out of Gold Beach (104 miles round trip, with over 40 miles total of white water thrills) we waived a friendly “hello” to the fishermen. While it was late in the year for the summer run of salmon, these fishermen were all hopeful. Upon our return, a few lucky anglers were eager to hold up their catch. Some mighty beautiful Salmon were held up with pride to the hoops and hollers from our fellow passengers.
That got me to thinking about an awesome recipe for Salmon from another wonderful place – Monterey Bay. For us, Monterey Bay holds a special place in our hearts. It was our honeymoon destination over 30 years ago. I remember the awesome Clam Chowder we had at a hole in the wall place on Cannery Row. I can’t remember the name of the place, but the food was good. Seafood in Monterey is delicious. The Bay’s King Salmon run is in May, and the restaurants from Carmel to San Francisco clamor for the beautiful fish.
Pan-Roasted Monterey Bay King Salmon
1 cup butter, divided
2 cups fresh Lima beans
½ teaspoon salt
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 ears fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob
20 asparagus tips
8 ounces fresh Dungeness crab meat
Melt ½ cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in Lima beans and salt. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat tomatoes, sugar and remaining ½ cup butter. Cook until tomatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir tomatoes and asparagus tips into Lima beans and add corn. Cook 10 minutes more. Remove from heat then add Dungeness crab. Stir until crab has warmed through. Keep warm.
Lemon Hollandaise Sauce
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of Salt
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture has thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler)—the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Continue whisking rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and doubles in volume.
Remove from heat, and whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use.
If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
4 (5 oz portions) king salmon, skin on, scaled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
In a large nonstick pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper and place in pan skin side down. Sear it for 4 minutes then turn over and continue to cook flesh side down for an additional 4 minutes, until browned and crispy.
Cover and allow to steam for an additional 2 minutes until cooked through. Remove from pan. Place a layer of succotash in a serving dish or on a plate. Place the salmon on the succotash then top with a spoonful of Hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.
Note: While the recipe calls for king salmon, the season is short and the salmon rather expensive. This dish can be made using any good size, meaty salmon filet.