Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Salmon and Corn

But hark! A sound is stealing on my ear -
     A soft and silvery sound - I know it well.
Its tinkling tells me that a time is near
     Precious to me - it is the Dinner Bell.
O, blessed Bell! Thou bringest beef and beer,
     Thou bringest good things more than tongue may tell:
Seared is, of course, my heart - but unsubdued
Is, and shall be, my appetite for food.

I go. Untaught and feeble is my pen:
     But on one statement I may safely venture:
That few of our most highly gifted men
     Have more appreciation for their trencher.
I go. One pound of British beef and then
     What Mr. Swiveller called a “modest quencher”;
That, home-returning, I may “soothly say,”
“Fate cannot touch me: I have dined today.”

     - C. S. Calverley (from Beer)
Well, no British beef for us last night, though we did not suffer for its lack. On the Elisson menu:
  • Potlatch Salmon with Blueberry Chutney

  • Roasted Ears of Corn
Yesterday, I decided to take a page out of Laurence Simon’s book. I took five heads of garlic, drizzled ’em with olive oil, and stuck ’em in a 350°F oven for about an hour. After giving them time to cool, I took the cloves and squeezed out the roasted garlic, now reduced to a mellow paste. I got close to a cup of roasted garlic paste out of the deal, enough to last several weeks.

One heaping tablespoon of roasted garlic paste, run through the food processor with a couple of tablespoons of butter, made - what else? - Roasted Garlic Butter. I took this and schmeared it liberally on a couple of ears of corn. Then I wrapped the corn back up in its husks and tied the husks in place with butcher’s twine. These now were ready to be thrown on the grill.

I had planned to grill the salmon as well, but my Trusty Bag o’ Hickory Chips was missing in action, and my Cedar Plank inventory was down to nil. So I prepared the fish by drizzling it with olive oil and applying a liberal dose of Williams-Sonoma Potlatch Seasoning, then letting it chill for a few hours to let the flavor penetrate. Baking the fish in the oven at 350°F for about 40 minutes (it was a big, thick fillet) yielded excellent results.

Alongside the fish I served Kimberly’s amazing Blueberry Chutney, the gingery, spicy sweetness of which is a perfect complement to the rich salmon.

Hmmm, lessee. Corn. Salmon. Blueberries. Why, here was a true American meal, made with North American ingredients. Patriotic...and yummy, too.

Ask not for whom the Dinner Bell tolls. It tolls for me!

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