My friend Laura told me once I have an energy efficient freezer, in that keeping it full means it takes less energy to cool. It’s completely stuffed to the gills with frozen salmon, halibut, moose, venison, and homemade ice cream—so stuffed there’s no space even for ice. It’s a treat to cook salmon mid-winter, a taste of summer that takes you straight to sitting on the back deck grilling after a day of play. I was looking forward to trying Salmon Matisse (page 104). With a yogurt-based topping, it sounded healthy and I thought it would satisfy my hunger for healthy omega-3s. But it just didn’t turn out quite right: I lit the oven on fire and thought the fish, once served, tasted like dirty socks. Guess you can’t win ‘em all.
The salmon marinates for four hours in a blend of oil, vermouth (I used dry white wine), and spices. Next it’s broiled and the yogurt topping added in the last couple minutes. I drizzled some of the oil over the salmon before placing it underneath the broiler coils set to “high.” After a couple minutes, flames licked inside the oven, my boyfriend and I frantically trying to get the fiery tray outside. Must’ve been that the excess oil ignited. Luckily, the filet survived. After the stress of the fire, we turned the broiler to low and checked frequently ‘til the salmon flaked nicely. But once plated, the taste was off. Maybe the thyme reacted funny when overheated, I don’t know what. I think it might be better another time/place. But for me, Salmon Matisse was more a disaster station than a winter treat from the freezer.