Virtual Cooking Class with Chicago Chef Paul Kahan

Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Paul Kahan

Roasted Sockeye Salmon with Pepita Pesto
Charred Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey and Lemon

Sitka Salmon Shares, an Alaskan direct-to-consumer seafood company, paired with Chef Paul Kahan, the two-time James Beard Award winner behind popular Chicagoland restaurants avec, The Publican, and Big Star for a Virtual Cooking Class featuring their wild Alaska sockeye salmon.

Guests received a meal kit for two shipped to their door plus a code to cook virtually alongside Paul, and Culinary Director Perry Hendrix. The cost was $149 plus shipping. There was a generous amount of product in the shipment, enough to feed four, making this a delightful gourmet experience a very reasonable cost per person. And it was especially neat to spend time with one of Chicago’s great gregarious chefs in his own kitchen.

Cooking Class Recipes

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Sockeye Salmon Crudo

Sockeye Salmon Crudo

Sockeye Salmon Crudo, Two Ways

Sockeye Salmon Crudo

The bright red-orange color of sockeye salmon flesh comes from eating plankton and krill while they are in the ocean. Fans of wild Alaska salmon appreciate the sockeye variety for its deep rich flavor, delightful fatty texture, and gorgeous striking color.

I recently joined Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery, where we share in the catch of Alaskan small-boat fishermen using low-impact gear that respects the ocean and its sea life. This month we received a box of Sockeye Salmon with fish from both Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.

The dense, firm flesh makes sockeye a great fish for serving raw. And because it’s blast-frozen, Sitka Salmon is all sashimi-grade. They say, “The on-boat standards our fishermen follow, short boat trips, and individual handling of our fish ensures the quality demanded by any raw preparation. But it’s the blast-freezing process that kills parasites that could be in the fish, which would otherwise be killed by heat in cooking.”

Alaska

Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Crudo Recipes

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Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns

copper river sockeye, copper river salmon, pink peppercorns

Pan-Seared Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns
Blistered Shishito Peppers

The celebration continues! Taste With The Eyes is 4-years-old and we’re splurging with Copper River Salmon. The most expensive fresh salmon is only available for about four weeks of the year, from mid-May through mid-June, when the King salmon swim up the Copper River in Alaska to spawn. At our local Bristol Farms Market, Copper River King Salmon was selling for $50/lb.! At $50/lb. the 8 oz. filet in the photo above would have cost $25. Market factors such as commercial harvest, supply and demand, plus the cost of oil have pushed the price from $40 last season to this all time high of $50.

Even for the crème de la crème of salmon, this price is out of range for most people (myself included). In fact, after speaking with the fishmonger at the market, I learned that they were unable to sell their entire shipment of Copper River King at that price, and some had tragically gone to waste. The good news was that Copper River Sockeye sales went way up, as folks were introduced to this smaller, more plentiful species of salmon. Some say that sockeye has the truest pure salmon flavor and is preferred by aficionados.

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Salmon with Cantaloupe, Horseradish Vinaigrette


Fresh Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Cubed Cantaloupe, Drizzled with Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Horseradish Vinaigrette, Crispy Fried Shallot
Embellished with Celery Leaves and Lime Zest

served with
Andrew Rich 2008 Roussanne Columbia Valley

We had spied this magical salmon recipe in the July issue of  Food & Wine magazine on our flight to Portland, Oregon. I was hooked just reading about the pairing of salmon with cantaloupe, but it was the horseradish vinaigrette with fresh lime juice, brown sugar, and fish sauce that put it over-the-top. And as it turns out, a friend in Portland had just returned from Alaska with her catch of sockeye salmon.

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