Salmon, Old School Bay Area Style
The Old School Days of cooking in the Bay Area are not dead, but dwindle as many of these jaunts if not in a tourist spot are dying out. Calamari diore, and heavily sugared kind of lets light a fire like bananas flambé are dwindling due to the new generations dietary choices. There still exist places like Lucetis in San Mateo or the Iron Gate in Belmont that is also truly old school dining 'continental cuisine' that is still welcome if you can appreciate it. Let's not forget the Van's on the Hill. Don't drink too much in that place especially with those vodka laced pineapple chunks or is it laced vodka with pineapple.
So we are taking this piece of salmon 'well polished bay area old school'. Very simple. Capers, butter, a bit of white wine, cured lemons and a good sear. I think that's how Frank, Dean and Sammy would like it..of course they would like with a stiff side of scotch, a martini and maybe some sautéed spinach with some bread and butter.. or maybe just more doubles.
I got some beautiful salmon from Sigona's Redwood City. Don't get confused as they only sell quality meats and fresh fish out of their Redwood City location. My cured lemons I make myself.
In Morocco they quarter the lemons in a unique way, salt, put in a jar and stick in a cabinet upside down. The salt draws out the juice and just breaks the lemon down. I believe they did this back in the day because Lemons were seasonal or scarce. Me I just slice them, salt not over kill, stick in the cabinet upside down. I pull out in a few days and place in the refrigerator. Sometimes I even put capers in with it but I always make it in small batches as I have access to good lemons year round.
Tribute to Bay Area Old School Technique
Ok the Salmon is fresh and local. The basic technique made me want to sing..... "Fly Me To The Moon" as I'm still healthy enough to have this once in a while and this kind of eating reminds me of a dear Uncle:)
- One beautiful piece of Salmon.
- Preserved Lemon.
- White wine.
Get your butter going in a pan on medium high per the size of fillet you bought. Sear the fish once the pan in hot on the NON skin side down. Move the pan around to make sure it does not stick.
Flip after 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Add more butter, 3-4 slices of cured lemon to sear skin side down.
1/2 cup of white wine and 1/3 cup of capers. Finish out as I cannot really tell you how long to cook your fish depending on the thickness of the fillet you purchase.
You will know as it will begin to 'lighten up' as you sear on both sides. That is perfect. Take it off the flame.
Fresh Dill is also an add and if you want maybe a yogurt based sauce like tzatziki. This local salmon in season right now has so many possibilities. Had the remaining with scrambled eggs the next morning. It is just amazing!!