The nice thing about living on the coast is the abundance of fresh seafood…treated The Little Woman to some steamed clams last night! Just steam the clams until they open. I place a colander/strainer inserted inside a larger pot with water. The colander never touches the water. Once the water “boils over” the clams are perfectly steamed.

Just received my ‘fishing report’ from Inland Seafood and here’s what hot right now!

1. Gulf Red Snapper…always one of TG’s favorite

2. Halibut…from Homer, AK…a very versatile fish and mild flavored

3. Mahi Mahi…great for your grill

4. Have you ever had shark? Now is the time to try some black tip shark on your grill

One thing The General is not short of is recipes! I was going through some old recipes in a file drawer and found a 3 page article, out of the Seattle Post dated Wednesday, June 5, 2002, called “Know Your Salmon.” This article is a great resource and has helped clear up some of my confusion about the different types of salmon.

Here are the Pacific wild salmon species (NOT the farm raised)

  • King (chinook) is the largest species…often more than 30 pounds. It is prized for its high oil content, which enriches the flavor of the soft, orange-red flesh. Kings run in the spring.
  • Sockeye (reds) runs from late spring through the summer and contains less oil than kings. Some prefer the milder taste. The texture is firmer than the kings. Sockeyes weigh 6 to 10 pounds.
  • Coho (silver) runs in the fall and weighs 10 to 20 pounds. It has light red flesh and a mild flavor, which makes it good for pickling or smoking if you don’t like a heavy salmon aroma.
  • Pink (humpy) is the smallest species and is used for canning. Pinks tip the scale at 2 to 5 pounds.
  • Chum (keta), about 7 pounds, contains the least amount of oil. It is also known as dog salmon because it is frequently fed to sled dogs.

Any of the above salmon can be considered “Copper River salmon.” It merely describes where the fish was caught. Watch when your market sells Copper River salmon, as there can be a big difference in price based on the type of salmon it is!

**A word of warning, and I know TG is repeating myself, once you have tried any of the wild species, you will not want to return to the “color added” farm raised varieties.

I have a good friend and BBQ comrade who lives in the Pacific Northwest, Bob Lyon. He is a retired school teacher who now makes BBQ his favorite passion…and he is a BBQ legend. Here is his recipe for salmon:

Bob uses alder wood to grill fish, but if you can’t find it he recommends substituting apple wood chips.

4 C alder wood chips

1 T finely shredded lime peel

2 T grated fresh ginger root

1/2 t salt

1/4 t white pepper

2 pounds fresh salmon fillet or salmon steaks cut 1″ thick

Nonstick spray coating

2 T butter, melted (can substitute margarine)

2 t lime juice

  • Soak chips for 1 hour in water; drain.
  • Combine lime peel, ginger root, salt and pepper. Rub on top of salmon fillet
  • Fold a 12 by 12 -inch piece of foil in half to form a rectangle that is 12 by 6 inches. Spray with nonstick coating.
  • Place salmon on foil, skin side down, cutting off any part that is longer than 12 inches. Combine butter and lime juice. Brush half of the butter mixture on top of the fish. Sprinkle the wood chips over the coals. Place salmon on a covered grill directly over medium coals.
  • Grill 10 minutes. Baste with the remaining butter mixture. Cover and grill 10 to 15 minutes more until fish flakes easily with a fork. (For steaks, grill about 8 to 12 minutes, or until done, brushing again after about half the time.)

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