Hawkshaw Salmon Arrives!
There is a time of year that I crave almost more than any other. The stone fruit starts to slowly arrive at the farmer’s markets, fresh peas are abundant, tomatoes are just around the corner and, we receive a phone call from Fred and Linda Hawkshaw, of Terrace, BC.
I was first introduced to this amazing salmon in 2005, when I was cooking at C Restaurant. The way they fish should be copied by all. Longline caught, the fish are kept in saltwater tanks in the hold of the boat until they reach the docks, where they let them calm down overnight. The next morning, the fish are killed, bled, gutted and packed in a ‘coffin’ and flown to the city. You just can’t get fish any fresher or better looked after. We buy as much fish as we can possibly use/cure during the summer months when the Skeena and Nass rivers are open; receiving all five species on some occasions. Lot’s of sockeye, springs, cohos, chums, and, if we luck out, amazing pinks!
We got our much anticipated first shipment last week, scoring sockeye, chum and springs. Alvin got all the sockeyes at Campagnolo, and we cut into the chums first, as they are best used quickly. Oh my god the fish is awesome!
After talking with Susan from Glorious Organics in Aldergrove, she assured me that she could sort us out with some spring onions for a month or so. I was totally stoked on getting these beauties and serving them simply with the amazing salmon.
We tried a few techniques for cooking the salmon, slow roasting and searing being the two favourites. While the seared had awesome crispy skin and a pleasing roasted aroma, cooking the salmon in a 200F oven for about 15 minutes had the most amazing flavour and texture. This technique lends itself best to fish with a good amount of fat present, like this gorgeous chum.
The onions were taken into three sections – the tops were pureed with potato and creme fraiche, then used to fill agnolotti. The very bottoms were roasted in butter, finished with caramelized honey and some sherry vinegar, while the middles were sliced and sauteed in foaming butter.
The onions are finished with a few leaves of young spinach and the plate is sauced with more creme fraiche, this time hot and spiked with a little dijon.
The salmon will be around only for a short time, so it’ll make it’s way onto one of the starters as well. A couple of dishes with cherries and a dessert or two with raspberries in the works for next week. I love this time of year.