The leaves are beginning to turn here in Bristol Bay. The tundra shifting from greens and tiny vibrant blooms to deep rich maroons and yellows, signaling Fall is arriving. Fish and berries fill our freezer and moose hunting season began on the 20th, with several of our friends posting early successes on social media.
School starts for the Dillingham City School District on the 30th to allow for subsistence activities to be engaged in prior to the academic year resuming. And to my great joy Bronson finally docked the boat after a long season hauling in salmon on the F/V Sea Breeze.
Along with harvesting and farmer’s market hoarding Fall signals a bit of cleanup mode for me. The other day, while sorting through boxes in our storage, I came upon a giant tote filled with cooking magazines! I eagerly began to flip pages remembering trends from seasons past – cake pops in full craze (not my thing), heirloom tomatoes on every page (certainly my thing), & grilled everything to name a few. I also found loads of reasons why I had kept the publications in the first place.
In particular was a recipe in a Saveur magazine (issue Number 140) circa Aug./Sept. 2011. It was a Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce recipe by Madhur Jaffrey that looked to die for. I made several adaptations consistent with my rural Alaskan food availability and bent what I had in the fridge and pantry with fantastic results. Spicy, mustardy results meant to be shared. This dish pairs well with cooked jasmine rice and broccoli florets sautéed in sesame oil, and a splash of cold white wine in your glass…
Sockeye Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce ~ loosely adapted from an article in Sauver magazine – Edition Number 140 ~ “Making it Work” by, Madhur Jaffery (recipe serves 5)
- 1 – Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillet, approximately 1.5 lbs, skinless and cut into 5 individual portions
- 1 tsp. flaked sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbsp. stoned ground brown mustard
- 4 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 cup water
Rub the skinless salmon portions with half of the sea salt, turmeric, and cayenne then set aside. Mixing in a small bowl blend together the brown mustard, cumin, water, and remaining salt, turmeric and cayenne creating a thick sauce.
In a 12” cast iron skillet heat sesame oil over medium high heat, toss in the mustard seeds and cook stirring for 1-2 minutes. Scoop in the sauce, add fish and cook, basting frequently until done, approximately 10-12 minutes.
Serve the salmon over rice with the sauce drenching the plate.