Saturday, August 1, 2009

Color Theory

I may have spent the better part of last night eating chocolate chips out a bag. Which made me feel the need to do something more exciting tonight, and so I went and bought a salmon fillet from the store today. (Side note, they were selling these itsy cartons of blackberries for three fifty each, and this store is on the Burke Gilman, people are crazy) But I decided that nothing sounded better than salmon and blackberries, and so I googled blackberry sauce and came up with…almost nothing. Steamy kitchen has a variety that looks good, but is heavily based on brandy which I have none, and being underage which I have no means of getting. So I decided to come up with a something and see how it tastes.
I should of course, issue a word of caution. When cooking with a plank, have a bowl of water nearby, because mine caught on fire a total of three times and set off the smoke alarm once.

Salmon with Blackberry Sauce
Serves 2

½ teaspoon butter
Pinch of thyme
1cup blackberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 salmon fillet
1cedar plank

Combine vinegar and blackberries on stovetop, cooking at a very low temperature. (If you want your blackberries more whole, don’t add them till the end, but I wanted all of their flavor). Once you’ve done that for a couple of minutes add the honey, then the mustard, thyme, and butter. Simmer for a while longer, until you get the consistency and flavor you want. This isn’t very sweet despite the honey and berries, and is more mustardy and savory. If that wasn’t what you were looking for with the berry approach, I’d omit the Dijon.

After letting the sauce cool for a while, I poured it on top of the salmon and set it in the fridge to marinate until dinner a few hours later. About two hours before I was going to start cooking I took out a glass pan and placed the cedar plank in it while filling it up with water. You can weigh the plank down with a bowl, it needs to soak two hours so as not to catch on fire in the grill. This is not a desired result.

Once the plank has been soaked for two hours, turn the grill on and let it preheat for 5 minutes before putting the salmon on. Cook salmon as normal, and for an elegant finish you can even serve it still on the plank. Unless of course, you’re like me and your plank has turned the color of a bruise.

I served mine over the pilaf mixed with some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, and although it was tasty my favorite thing about this might be the color. The entire salmon was purple, and purple happens to be my favorite color (my being a husky is really a coincidence). If my parents had made this for me when I was two (and refused to wear anything but purple for an entire year) I might have been the happiest kid. As it was, I was still a pretty happy adult.

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