Cut 2 pieces of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil about 6-inches longer than the salmon side. Stack the foil pieces (shiny side down) on a baking sheet and spray generously with cooking spray. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the middle of the foil. Fold the foil sides and ends up (1 to 2-inches) to make a shallow pan around the salmon, leaving at least a 1-inch margin around the fish. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
Carefully transfer the foil pan to the center of the preheated grill. Do not cover the salmon with foil or close the foil over the salmon. Close grill cover and cook for 10 to 13 minutes, cooking just until fish is lightly translucent in the center – it will finish cooking from retained heat. Remove from the grill and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Variation: Roast in an oven preheated to 375°F, cooking 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly translucent in the center. Be sure to let the salmon rest a few minutes before serving.
Fresh Herb, Shallot and Lemon Butter: 1-1/2 cups finely chopped shallots or green onions 1 pound unsalted butter, divided 1/4 cup Chardonnay 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh leafy herbs, such as thyme, tarragon, dill, parsley, or basil 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sauté the shallots in 3 tablespoons of the butter until soft but not brown. Add the wine and continue to cook until all of the liquid is evaporated. Cool completely.
Soften the remaining butter with an electric mixer or by hand and stir in the shallot mixture, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or roll into logs, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for later use.
To serve, cut and place thick coin-sized pieces of compound butter on top of hot fish and let it melt. If using frozen butters, soften them just a bit before placing them on top of your grilled foods so that they can begin to melt as you bring them to the table.
Nature, by nature, produces excess. Cut open a tomato and see how many seeds there are. Somewhere between none of these seeds and all these seeds will become a future tomato, depending on the level of desire, care and knowledge of the gardener. Beekeepers know that bees store vast excess quantities of honey to feed themselves through winter. Knowledgeable beekeepers take enough honey to satisfy their honey needs for a year but leave enough honey in the hive for the bees to sustain themselves through winter. Thereby the bees can get a good head start in spring on another season of gathering pollen and nectar, so that they can continue to produce honey for the beekeeper for the following winter.
Seafood and, most emblematically, wild salmon work in a
similar way. If managed correctly, wild salmon runs produce excess and can feed
us into perpetuity. Nature produces excess so that we can harvest salmon each
and every season for as long as we like. That is, once again, if managed correctly
by human beings, and there are plenty of examples around the world where wild
salmon populations haven’t been managed well.
But the state of Alaska has written into its constitution to
harvest by the sustainable yield principle, which establishes the baseline for
the excess to be harvested. As a result, Wild Alaskan Salmon populations have consistently
been abundant. All told, Alaska supplies more than half of the wild-caught
seafood in the United States. And Alaska will always be home to the greatest
salmon runs in the world, providing around 95 percent of North America’s wild
salmon. All finfish from Alaska are sustainably harvested and wild by law.
There is no finfish farming in Alaska, so you can count on all species from
Alaska being wild caught, natural, and sustainable.
Chefs and consumers alike struggle to know what is and isn’t
sustainable when it comes to seafood. There are various certifications, watch
lists, and environmental group lists. It’s hard to know who to trust. In
Alaska, we continue to focus on just how long our fisheries have been
sustainable. Globally, Alaska is viewed as the gold standard in responsible
fisheries management. As a result of the state’s commitment to sustainability,
and rigorous fisheries management, no Alaska seafood species has ever been
listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
For the roasted tomatoes: 2 cups small yellow and red tomatoes, such as grape and cherry, sliced in half 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper
For the pistachio pesto: 1 cup shelled roasted pistachios 1 cup basil leaves 1⁄4 cup cilantro 2 cloves garlic Zest of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided Kosher salt
1. To make the roasted tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatoes on the pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and blistered.
2. To make the pistachio pesto: Mean- while, in a food processor, combine the pistachios, basil, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, cheese, and 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil. Process on medium speed, drizzling in more olive oil as needed to reach the desired consistency. The pesto should be slightly thinner than a paste, but not runny. Season with kosher salt to taste.
3. Prepare the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain lightly, reserving about 1⁄4 cup of the pasta water. Return the angel hair to the pot with the pasta water. Stir in the pesto until coated.
4. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat the halibut fillets dry and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Sear them until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes (see note). Gently turn them with a metal fish spatula and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, or until cooked to medium-rare to medium in the center, being careful not to overcook, or they will become dry.
5. To plate the pasta: Divide the pes- to-coated angel hair among 4 pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with a halibut fillet. Distribute the roasted tomatoes evenly among the 4 bowls. Serve promptly with freshly grated Parmesan.
Note: Searing time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets. If your fillets are quite thick, the cast-iron skillet can be transferred to a 350°F oven to finish cooking. But again, be very careful not to overcook and dry out the halibut.
1 sheet (12” x 18”) aluminum foil
4 Alaska Gold Halibut portions
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices
8 large fresh whole basil leaves
2 medium tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat broiler/oven to medium-high (450°F). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Halibut under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Place halibut in pan and broil about 5 inches from heat source for 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Turn fillets over and season with salt and pepper. Broil an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
Remove halibut from oven and layer 2 slices cheese, then 2 basil leaves, and 2 slices tomato over each portion. Return halibut to the oven and broil an additional 2 minutes, until cheese begins to melt.
Blend balsamic vinegar and oil. To serve, spoon dressing over fillets and garnish with chopped basil.
But a number of customers have caught on to this fantastic way to get a high-quality wild salmon in their routines at a reasonable price.
Our Alaska Gold Easy Salmon, , which is the same salmon we use for our coho salmon portions, is just minced into an easy-to-use ground salmon meat in one-pound packs.
Check out what others have said about our Easy Salmon, which is the same salmon we use for our coho salmon portions, just minced into an easy-to-use ground salmon meat in one-pound packs.
“We have loved regularly receiving Alaska Gold salmon for our family. We thought that we would try the Easy Salmon and see how we liked it, even though we love the fillets. We couldn’t be happier. It is so very easy and quick and extremely versatile. The taste is also delicious. It has made adding seafood into our diet even easier. Now, I always want my freezer stocked with this Easy Salmon! Once again, thank you Alaska Gold Seafood!!”
“Let me just say that my order was over the top fabulous the fish is amazing, the minced coho
made into salmon burgers was over the moon delicious.”
“I made my first batch of salmon cakes following the recipe I found on the Alaska Gold website and OMG! I was skeptical at first but I’m truly converted: the minced salmon is amazing with no variation in flavor whatsoever […] [T]he easy salmon is delicious and yes, easy to prepare. It took 30 minutes from preparation to sautéing! Dinner in a snap and tasty too!”
“I recently received my first delivery of Easy Salmon. I couldn’t wait to try the Easy Salmon Cakes recipe shown on the Alaska Gold website. The recipe was easy to follow and came out just like the photo – beautiful! My husband and I were amazed with the texture and fresh taste of the Easy Salmon. Ideas of using the Easy Salmon have been spinning in my head. So I came up with Easy Thai Salmon Meatballs with a red coconut sauce recipe. They came out delicious!.”
“First, I am on a very limited budget, but demand the best from my food. I am thrilled with the Alaska Easy Salmon I ordered last time. It is a versatile way to order the salmon as so many different dishes can be prepared with it. Of course, one can’t go wrong with a traditional salmon patty, but I also like to add some to my morning omelet. Even hubby, who does not like salmon, eats this salmon with gusto. Thanks Alaska Gold!”
“This is a recipe that has evolved,” says Darlene, a customer in Port Angeles, Washington. “My husband didn’t use to like halibut as much as I do, but with the tarragon from my herb garden, some lavender salt, mashed potatoes and Annie’s shiitake sesame oil, this recipe is a hit. The mashed potatoes add some heft that he likes and the Alaska Gold halibut is fresh and sweet, which I like, and this recipe brings a nice balance for us. I bake the Alaska Gold halibut at 425 F for 8-9 minutes and this dish comes out perfectly. The whole family loves it.”
Make mashed potatoes from 2 Russet type baking potatoes. Add milk,
half ‘n half, or cream as you usually would do and mash. Add salt and
pepper to taste, then add butter and whip ‘til smooth.
2 – 8 oz. portions of Halibut
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. virgin olive oil
Orange-Lavender salt to taste
White or black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Place Halibut on a greased baking sheet (I like
to line with aluminum foil). Bake 8 – 9 minutes. Save any juice. Serve
over Mashed Potatoes.
8 – 10 Standard or Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 oz. Fresh Tarragon, sliced slightly
2 T. Butter Olive Oil for sautéing
2 T. “Annie’s” brand Shiitake Mushroom Vinaigrette
While Halibut is baking, sauté mushrooms slowly in a small pan (I like
to use an 8 inch non-stick pan) until softened – careful to use low heat.
Add seasonings and Annie’s Vinaigrette. Add any Halibut juices to the
mushrooms and spoon over the cooked Halibut.
This Thursday we celebrate Wild Whatcom with a benefit dinner at Bellingham eatery and gathering place Ciao Thyme. Wild Whatcom is a local organization that helps kids become healthy, engaged citizens who care about the earth and relish the outdoors, rebuilding a connection to the natural world and instilling an ethic of service to the community.
Wild Whatcom works on the premise that children who participate in the outdoor educational programs they lead have stronger self-esteem and sense of purpose and deeper commitments to stewardship.
Being wild is also who we are as Alaska Gold Seafood. Our wild seafood and our fishermen whose lives are inextricably linked to nature and wildness are the essence of who we are as an organization. Fishing is still one of those last refuges where you can be about as close as possible, at least in this day and age, to nature and a free and wild existence that truly demands just about everything.
One of our fishermen even wrote a book on being wild. Theo Grutter, may he rest in peace after his 40 + years of being part of our fishermen-owned co-op, wrote Thinking Wild, a collection of 115 short essays, written in a poetic voice that bears his soul. Born in Switzerland, Theo was educated and destined to be a corporate banker but gave it all up to go fishing. Theo fished alone wild and free in the waters surrounding Baranof Island his small boat the Onyx for halibut and black cod. He would bicycle around Sitka and take a week to fast and sit in the trees of the Tongass Forest for a week at a time and meditate on what it means to be wild.
What is wild? These are the thoughts of a fisherman who spent a lot of time out fishing not alone, but in the company of some of the richest life on the planet: the whales, puffins, and fish in the waters around Southeast Alaska.
One can feel a tremendous amount of energy surrounding Theo as he excited talks about black cod, which he calls “the premier fish caught one kilometer below the surface of the sea.”
From his essay “Thank you, Oceans and Forests, you are a hundred sisters and brothers to me”:
Did you ever wonder why the cormorants never build shrimp farms? Why the pigeons never invented cornfields? Why a whale does not wear a tie? Good question. […] Out here on the ocean I am beyond prudence, politeness, and shame. In this grand immensity, wisdom can run free to do its very vast things like fertilizing my deeper mind.
Theo’s book, Thinking Wild, is not just a fisherman’s meditations on wildness but thoughts on making peace with oneself and how we all live in this world. Here is an excerpt from his essay “The ocean experience”:
Just now leaving the angry open sea behind, white rollers still on my heels. My boat, the Onyx, runs me on autopilot through Sergius Narrows bucking a five-knot tidal current, the Chrysler-Nissan purring like a bee. Hoonah Sound lies ahead. The quietness of six hundred square miles of inside water awaits me, with the Tongass National Forest surrounding the scene. I will set there and tomorrow pull my long line gear for halibut the same way a Kalahari woman smoothly dib-dabs, jar balancing on her head, back from the well. What we love to do turns into rhymes and becomes beautiful.
Through Theo and through our deep relationship with nature, we celebrate being wild. We celebrate the wild. Fishing is still one of those last refuges where you can be about as close as possible, at least in this day and age, to nature and a free and wild existence that truly demands just about everything.
Simply put, what’s special about halibut is their luscious flake, which is delicate but meaty. Its snow white meat and naturally sweet, delicate flavor and firm texture that retains its shape with any cooking style makes it the world’s premium white-fleshed fish, making it wildly popular with all kinds of chefs. Halibut is not unlike a white-colored steak, which makes them widely popular. And our Alaska Gold Halibut are caught by a fishermen-owned co-op whose quality comes from integrity, a pride in being fishermen-owned for more than 70 years. In addition, Alaska Halibut are managed for sustainability.
Our Alaska Gold halibut are caught by fishermen like Dick Curran, the Humble Highliner, who have an incredibly close connection to the special waters where our fish come from.
Halibut are delicious cooked in a variety of ways–this pan-seared halibut recipe is just one of an endless number of possibilities for halibut.
Halibut are as flat as a board and they spend a good portion of their lives roaming the ocean floor. What’s really wild and unusual about halibut is that they are born with eyes on each side of their head–however, after six months their left eye migrates to join the right eye on their “dark side,” giving halibut two eyes on the same side of their heads. Their top side or “dark side” with two eyes is a dark green-ish to brown-ish color to match the color of the ocean floor. This color camouflages them from predators like sharks and orcas (killer whales) who also enjoy the taste of a fine halibut. If they leave the ocean floor to migrate, for example, their bottom side is a snowy white and a predator looking up will have trouble distinguishing the halibut if the sun is shining above them through the water.
Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) are a type of flounder. Hippoglossus means “horse tongue,” which refers to the halibut’s large mouth and tongue. Stenolepis means narrow scale and refers to the halibut’s almost invisible scales.
There are Atlantic halibut, too. However, they are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s “Avoid” list because the Atlantic halibut stock is depleted. In contrast, Pacific Halibut coming from Alaska is recommended and on the Seafood Watch’s “Recommended List,” as its certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The Pacific halibut stocks are healthy and carefully managed. Since they are fish that cross international borders between Canada and the United States in their migrations, in 1923 the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) was formed. The IPHC was the first international treaty in the world established with the purpose of protecting a marine resource. Biologists from both countries work together to understand the lives and migration patterns of the halibut in order to preserve the halibut for future generations. The IPHC has been able to maintain a stable fishery and prevent stock and environmental problems that have caused problems in other parts of the world. Fisheries scientists around the world look at the IPHC as a model of good fishery management.
During the summer, halibut feed on the continental shelf, but then migrate to deeper waters during the winter, spawning somewhere on the continental slope along the way .
In Southeast Alaska, the Tlingits harvested halibut during spring and this rich bounty from the sea made the Tlingits one of the richest societies in human history with nourishing foods and meaningful arts. Traditional Tlingit halibut hooks consist of two pieces of wood, usually alder and cedar, lashed together at an angle of roughly 30 degrees with split spruce root. They used a rock as an anchor and fished in canoes up and down the coasts of what we now call Alaska and British Columbia.
The long lines used today, though operated on somewhat bigger boats with diesel power, work with principles that aren’t that different than those used by the Tlingits. Typically, long liners use an anchor and buoy to spread long lines baited with salmon, squid or herring on a “ganion.” After 12 hours or so of “soaking” the lines on the bottom of the ocean, the captain finds the buoy and the fishing crews haul up the lines and the halibut using what the fishermen call a gurdy, which is a hydraulically powered winch used to pull up the heavy lines.
Male halibut can reach 100 pounds but females can weigh upwards of 500 pounds. Bigger fish mean more eggs. A 50-pounder lays about 500,000 eggs. A 250-pounder can lay 4 million eggs. Large halibut are called “barn doors,” because they’re flat and large and you can imagine what it’s like to haul them up from the bottom of the ocean–hard work! When they’re smaller they eat shrimp and small crabs. Then they move on to octopus, squid and other fish.
Halibut are particularly important to the history of our fishermen-owned cooperative, which was formed by fishermen who processed halibut in vitamin A. This was in the time before vitamin A was synthesized. Up until 1980, Seafood Producers Cooperative was the Halibut Producers Cooperative. The name changed to more accurately reflect the other fish being caught (particularly wild salmon and black cod), but halibut has always been the backbone of this organization.
A lot of the information from this blog post is shared in a beautifully illustrated, kid-friendly book Pacific Halibut: Flat or Fiction?
Everybody knows that wild salmon is a rich source of Omega-3, but few know that sablefish, commonly known by fishermen and others as black cod, have even more Omega-3 fatty acids than any wild salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be good for the heart–they’re associated with a significant reduction in coronary artery diseases–and encourage brain cell membrane integrity and fluidity. Sablefish are loaded with on average 1.8 grams of Omega-3s per 100-gram serving versus 1.3 grams for wild king salmon.
Our Alaska Gold sablefish comes from a fishermen-owned cooperative. Our Alaska Gold quality comes from our co-op’s impeccable standards and our integrity from being fishermen-owned.
Sablefish is found throughout the North Pacific Ocean and as far south as California. But Alaskan sablefish is special because it tends to be richer, possibly because of even cooler waters. Because Alaska has the sustainable yield principle written into its state constitution, Alaskan black cod are managed using science-based principles so that our fishermen’s grandchildren can fish for them the same way we do now. There is no threat to the Alaskan sablefish population, which is considered a “Green Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
For those in the know, sablefish is considered a great delicacy. Chef Kevin Lane from The Cookery in Seward, Alaska says, “Alaska sablefish is a staple on our menu. Its unctuous, fat-rich quality is well deserving of the term ‘Sea Butter.'” Our customers grill it, fry it, bake it and even make it into ceviche. Smoked black cod is also truly wonderful. One recipe that gets frequent praise is this Miso-Marinated Black Cod Recipe— a variation on a classic recipe made famous by Nobu’s Kitchen that many know as Nobu’s Black Cod. The mild sweetness of the miso marinade compliments the richness of the fish and brings on an attractive glaze to the fish. The sweetness of honey in this Honey Black Cod Recipe also complements the black cod, too. What works the best for sablefish is a mix of salty and sweet, which is why that miso marinade and the honey black cod work well. Another simple recipe is a marinade of 2/3 miso paste to 1/3 Thai chili paste. Add enough water to keep it paste-y. Don’t be afraid to cook on high. 10 minutes at 485° F works really well.
What’s unusual about sablefish in general is that it is such a rich source of omega-3s but dwells near the bottom of the ocean during its adult life. It can be found at depths of more than 2 miles! Or, as fishermen say, they can be found at depths greater than 1500 fathoms. Sablefish eat nutrient-dense fish like Pollock, capelin, herring, echelon, candle-fish, Pacific cod, jellyfish, and squids.
The inner lining of a sablefish’s stomach is lined with a jet-black film. This is a defense mechanism that protects the sablefish from being seen by other predators. Because some of the natural food that sablefish eat contains bioluminescence, their stomachs would light up and attract other fish in the dark depths of the ocean without this thick jet-black film.
Most people ask for it by “black cod,” and we have many customers in Hawaii, southern California, and even the east coast who call it butterfish because of its butteriness, but its true scientific name is sablefish and it isn’t even a cod at all. The black cod name goes back to times when anything living in the sea was considered a cod. Lingcod also is technically not a cod, but a lingcod is a lingcod to anybody living by the sea.
Up until the late 1990s, sablefish wasn’t known by western consumers. Almost all of the Alaskan sablefish went to Japan where it is considered a delicacy. Recently, chefs in restaurants and home chefs around the country have discovered that sablefish is rich in flavor and a joy to cook with and not unlike Chilean Sea Bass in texture and richness. Just like people call sablefish black cod, the Chilean Sea Bass’s real name is Patagonian Toothfish.
Whatever you call it and just about however you cook it, sablefish is a delicacy. Its richness makes it very forgiving to cook–it is difficult to overcook. That richness will also warm your belly. Order our sablefish here–we have sablefish fillets and portions.
Our Alaska seafood is caught in the waters off Southeast Alaska by the hard-working fishermen that make up Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC).
Since 1944, SPC has served families of American fishermen who deliver sustainably harvested Alaska seafood to our customers.
Our American heritage gives us our values: hard work, pride in craftsmanship, reliability, integrity, fairness, concern for community and democratic member control. (As a fishermen-owned co-op, all fishermen vote on fishermen board members who make critical decisions.)
Just over 600 fishermen own our cooperative. 397 call Alaska home. 216 have mailing addresses in Sitka. Another 100 winter in Washington state. Other members live in states as diverse as Texas, Vermont and Florida, but fish in Alaska, a state with sustainable seafood written right into the constitution. What unites us is our relentless commitment to quality, dedication to our customers, and an unparalleled pride in workmanship. This is our unique American heritage and what makes our Alaska seafood so special.