Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon and Avocado Salad with Watercress. That name’s quite a mouthful and I should know because I ate way more than a mouthful. From the first luscious bite of California Avocado, all the way to the last nip of heat from whole mustard seeds. I have to admit I impressed myself with this recipe. But like so many of my favorite meals, it started without a recipe. I tinkered around with a few simple ingredients and this is what I came up with.
There was a day in my life when I would tinker a recipe, serve it up and say goodbye to it. Not just because it was a success and every bite of it was finished, but because there was no making it again– ever.
Sure I could approximate what I did, but something always seemed off on the second try. So that poor recipe went away never to see the light of blog. There were some goodies too. But I figure if I can’t reproduce it myself, how will I ever get someone else to get the results I enjoyed. So, like I said, many favorites are lost forever.
However, I’ve been writing a blog for almost 8 years and have two cookbooks. These activities cause you to develop some odd behavior. Starting with muttering. I mutter as I cook in an attempt to find the recipe’s “voice” (I know, I know). I pull out my chef’s knife much as I ever did, but now it’s accompanied by an iPad. Which sits next to my cutting board so I can notate everything I do.
In some ways I admit it’s taken a bit of the joy out of cooking. But overall it’s made me a better cook because it’s easier to notice patterns. I never realized how much I relied on vinegar for example. Even in recipes you’d never quite think needed vinegar. But there’s that notation. So many times it just has to strike you – “a splash of red wine vinegar” or “one teaspoon sherry vinegar”. The crazy thing is sometimes it’s the barest amount of vinegar, say 1/4 teaspoon (or less). I guess I’m an acid freak.
Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner ‘Kamptaler Terrassen’
Pairs well with asparagus, cheese, fish, pork, shellfish, sushi and veal
Salmon and Avocado Salad
Of course, this Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon and Avocado Salad with Watercress recipe is not such an example. It needs a big healthy glub-glub of cider vinegar. The fish here is marinated (“cooked” I like to say) in a mustard vinaigrette, which actually changes the texture of raw salmon into something very silky and luxurious. Even if raw fish makes you a bit queasy I think you’ll like this salad. Besides, there are big meaty balls of ripe avocado, as well as the peppery bite of watercress. Something for everybody I guess. Including a very nice wine pairing from my brother Grant– Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner “Kamptaler Terrassen”. I should know because my notes clearly indicate that I added something for everybody to this one. GREG