October is National Seafood Month so without a doubt you are seeing a lot of press swirling around this highly nutritious protein. To celebrate, I could certainly feature an array of ideas, species and dishes but in an attempt to keep things simple I’m going to share my recipe for an affordable, quick and comforting dish–the Dillingham Salmon Melt.
I created this simple lunch dish for myself last spring while I was researching, developing, and testing recipes for canned Alaska sockeye for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. This recipe was created early on in my adventure, and I made it one cold and rainy Seattle day. It was ridiculously easy and incredibly comforting for lunch so I am happy to share it with you here.
I’ve dubbed the recipe the Dillingham Salmon Melt because Dillingham, Alaska is home to the Peter Pan Cannery, one of the longest continually operating salmon canneries in Alaska. I’ve toured that historic blue clapboard cannery twice and it’s a true maritime icon…not to mention a salmon processing workhorse!
The Dillingham Salmon Melt
Prep Time: About five minutes
1. Get a can of Alaska sockeye salmon, which can easily be found in the canned fish section of the supermarket. You can get a small or large can, and I should note that the salmon will most likely contain the skin and the bones, which do NOT need to be picked out because they were cooked and softened during the canning process. Open and drain the can, discarding the liquid.
2. Preheat the broiler. Put the salmon, with the skin and the bones, into a food processor or mini chopper. Add some fresh dill, chopped scallion, and a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon. (I find that the lemon really brightens the salmon flavor.) Run the food processor for four or five seconds, pulsing the button as necessary in order to process the fish evenly. Add two or three blobs of low fat mayonnaise and pulse two or three times to combine. (If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry. Just use a fork and combine thoroughly.)
3. Cut your English muffins in half and toast lightly in the toaster, transferring to a baking sheet. With a tablespoon, scoop up the salmon mixture and place it on the English muffins.
4. Take 1/2 cup or so of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and toss in some grated cheddar or Parmesan. Sprinkle this evenly over your salmon sandwiches and drizzle the sandwiches with a little melted butter if desired. Put the salmon melts under the broiler and watch carefully, cooking until they are browned and heated through.
5. Serve on a bed of lightly dressed greens and enjoy!