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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Friday, December 02, 2005

Salmon Steaks

Sometimes it's nice to buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sometimes it's nice to do a little butchering yourself. Same thing with salmon. The fillets are like boneless, skinless chicken breasts - just so darn easy and versatile. On the the other hand, salmon steaks (even though they're usually less expensive) are sort of... well, ugly. And who knows what to do with them? Alton Brown does. And ever since I saw the episode where he taught me how a couple years ago, I do too. I think that's when I decided he's a cool, geeky, genius. Plus, he's from my hometown and I've gotta love that.

Trim the bones from the cavity of the salmon steak. Alton says to use a a sharp paring or boning knife, but I like to use my kitchen shears. Then I get out my paring knife and trim the stomach flaps so that one side is missing about 2 inches of skin and the other side is missing about an inch of meat. Run your fingers across the surface of the fish, and if you feel any pinbones, use your handy-dandy pliers to pluck them out. Pliers are definitely AB-approved for the kitchen, in case you were wondering.

Roll the skinless part up into the hollow of the cavity. Then wrap the skin side around the outside to form a round that kind of resembles a filet mignon. Tie the whole thing around together with butcher's twine. (Don't tie it too tight or fish will pop out of the string when it cooks.) I keep my twine in a little plastic container with a hole in the top, so I can pull on the string with mucky fingers without contaminating the whole roll. Maybe you're organized enough to cut the right length before you get all mucky to begin with.

After you cook the salmon steaks (I like to grill them, but you could sear-roast, poach, or pretty much do whatever you like), snip the twine with your kitchen shears. Give it a little pull, and the skin magically comes off with it. So there you go. Ugly salmon steaks that end up sort of like beautiful salmon filet mignon. Amazing.


At 12/04/2005 10:50 AM, Blogger Sheri said...

Definitely the way to go with steaks, which I never buy because of all the skin and bones - bleh!

Thanks for the photo tutorial!

At 12/08/2005 10:29 AM, Blogger it's only fuel said...

Yes, the photo tutorial is key here, so thanks!


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