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August 2002 Issue
Sockeye Salmon and French Potatoes
by Philip R. Gantt
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Most of the wild salmon caught in Alaska find their way to the Japanese market where they will pay a premium price for the higher quality of fish. Many people and businesses in the lower 48 will pay a premium price for prime grade cuts of beef. Why not for salmon? I don't order salmon or other fish in a restaurant unless I know where it comes from. I guess that's one reason I like to catch my own fish.

I compare the color of the fish I catch in Alaska with the farmed salmon that I see in the market and there is no comparison. The farmed fish is pale in contrast to the deep color of wild Alaskan product. In fact, even wild king salmon in California hold no comparison to the fish caught in Alaska. Compare the color of these fillets to the salmon you may purchase at the local market. This photo is not retouched and the color rendition is very accurate.

The state of Alaska has been trying desperately to save the commercial fishing industry and has been trying to promote new markets for wild Alaskan salmon. Unfortunately, farmed salmon has put a glut on the market, and most people seem to be willing to accept a lower quality product. If farmed salmon were not fed chemicals derived from crab extract, the flesh would be white because they do not have a natural diet. Which salmon do you prefer? Would you pay a little extra for wild salmon over farm raised salmon? I would be interested to hear your opinions.

The recipe presented this month is from my yet to be published cookbook. Feel free to send your comments, questions and requests.

Now, on to the recipe!


French Potatoes

One evening during our stay at Mark's cabin, we decided to have a BBQ. I had brought some of my BBQ sauce and Ron bought some baby back ribs for the grill. Having brought some oak bark with me for smoking, I smoked the ribs for about 2 hours before grilling them with my sauce. They were good!

Ron, who was born in France, took over the kitchen, while I manned the BBQ. Ron made these potatoes that were absolutely the best! I had to have extra helpings of these potatoes they were so good. This is a simple and easy recipe that suits any occasion. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the dish as I was too busy at the BBQ!

  • 6 lbs. potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise and then halved
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
Boil the potatoes until done, approximately 25 minutes. Pierce with a fork to make sure that they are cooked through. Drain, and while still hot, add the butter, garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well with a wooden spoon and serve hot. Enjoy!

And, thanks to Ron Dunaway for the recipe.

  • Yields: 10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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