Salmon and Hedgehogs: Perfect North Coast Dinner
I love having a chest freezer, because it makes a dinner like this possible in January.
David bought a fresh Chinook (king) salmon off the boat last summer, brought it home and cut it up into two-serving chunks, while I packed each in Ziploc vacuum freezer bags and employed one of those little hand pumps. They really work!
So yesterday David pulled a piece of salmon out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge. Tonight I pulled it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while I started yellow potatoes and green beans steaming. Then David took over.
He first sauteed some wonderful hedgehog mushrooms—our favorite—that he got free from a local mushroom buyer. It’s a bumper mushroom crop this year on the North Coast of Mendocino, despite the lack of rain. It’s still drippy-wet in the forests at night. Apparently, the buyers have so much inventory built up, they can’t sell them all and temporarily stopped buying. Lucky us!
David sliced the mushrooms and sauteed them in a hot pan with ghee and a little salt. Lower the heat gradually as the moisture cooks off. Keep it on the edge of burning without letting it actually burn. The mushrooms will shrink and concentrate their flavors. It took about 10 minutes.
David then sauteed the salmon in ghee, about 3 minutes per side. He cautions that thin pieces should be separated from thick ones so the thin part doesn’t overcook. Or, cut a thick piece down to size so the outsides don’t burn before the insides are done. We had the salmon and hedgehogs with the potatoes and green beans and, of course, lots of butter.
These mushrooms would also be fantastic stirred into eggs for scrambled eggs, as would any leftover salmon.
Alas, there was none.