Salmon Florentine

IMG_3185For several years, my partner and I used to open up a marina during the winter for special dinners, brunches and lunches.  They became so popular that we would be sold out within a day or two of advertising the event.   We didn’t have a liquor license, but folks would bring their own if they wanted a glass of wine with dinner.

One night soon after everyone was tucking into their dinners, there was a knock on the door.  Two RCMP were standing there in the cold.  Invited in and asked if they wanted to join us, they declined, simply saying they wanted to moor overnight, but had their own dinner ready to go.  I am absolutely sure they were oblivious to all the hurried clinking as bottles went back into bags under tables.

These meals were so much fun, and somehow squeezing in seating for 36 in a small store made it more intimate.  The night would finish with folks chatting over coffee, with us wondering to ourselves how late they’d stay, so we could get on with clean up.

One early spring dinner, we toyed with the idea of serving salmon, but had no grill and limited cooking facilities, so I came up with this recipe.  It’s easier than it looks, and presents beautifully. Continue reading

Pacific Fish Chowder

A few years ago, I was asked to create a signature dish for a restaurant opening.  It needed to be available all the time, and a go to dish for the clientele.  It also needed to showcase seafood from our region.  One other thing I added was that it needed to be simple enough that all the cooks could make it and its qualities would be consistent.

As I was doing this on my own, well before the restaurant was due to open, making this dish once a week was about all my husband and I could handle without getting tired of it.  So over several weeks, this is the chowder I made.  Creamy without being too thick, and enough chunks of fish to know what you were eating!

It calls for Pacific Sockeye salmon, but you could use any wild Pacific salmon.  For the white fish, halibut is best, but you could use Pacific cod or Atlantic Pollack in its place (but then you can’t really call it Pacific Fish Chowder).

I’ve halved the recipe for home-use, but it doubles beautifully, so if you’re having a houseful one weekend make a double batch. Continue reading