SALMON TWO WAYS (ITALIAN)
Our local gor-may fish shop got in a special shipment recently of some really good-looking Norwegian salmon fillets. They weren't cheap ($10.00/lb), but they looked too good to resist, so I didn't. Came home lugging a pound-and-a- half slab, enough to last us and the cats for two meals.
First night: Grilled the whole thing in a sort of semi-smoked preparation. Coated the fillet lightly with olive oil (just enough for flavor and so it wouldn't stick to the grill) and lots of fresh-ground black pepper, and left it to contemplate its fate while the charcoal developed an even, low heat in the smoker/grill. Then I grilled the fish, skin down, over direct heat (but no wood chips) with the lid on ... took about 15 minutes to get this thick (1 1/2 to 2 inches) cut just to the flaky stage; would have done less for a thinner piece. Tasted great, with the skin nice and crispy, and just a hint of smoky flavor but not enough to make it "smoked salmon."
Second night: Took the leftover chunk, flaked it into bite-size pieces with a fork and set aside. Put spaghetti for two to the boil. Sautee 1/2 chopped onion and 1 large garlic clove (minced) in minimal olive oil in a sautee pan; when translucent, stirred in 2/3 cup tomato puree (Italian, from the box) and 1/3 cup water, salt and pepper, and let it simmer while the spaghetti cooked. Just before serving, mix in the salmomato sauce and enjoy! (The key here, in case it isn't clear, is that this is NOT a red spaghetti sauce with salmon in it but a mound of salmon chunks with just enough tomato sauce to moisten it and add a bit of flavor.)
We enjoyed U.S. Sauvignon Blancs with both entrees -- the 1992 Robert Pepi "Two Heart Canopy" with the grilled salmon, and the 1992 Hogue Cellars Fume Blanc with the pasta.