Cascadian Cuisine 

Farm and Sea to Galley

Gig Harbor Gig

Jupiter, with two lazy laggards aboard, is not keeping pace with Captain George Vancouver.

During May and June of 1792, Vancouver and his speed surveyors accomplished the coastal reckoning of the entirety of what is now Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Lieutenant Peter Puget completed mapping the inner reaches of the sound in just eight days, and Captain Vancouver rewarded his industry by bestowing Puget’s name upon the waterways.

Jupiter has arrived at Gig Harbor, an attractive salty suburb of Tacoma at Kitsap, the Great Peninsula across the Tacoma Narrows bridge. The moniker derives from a ship’s gig; a light, narrow boat, that could cross the bar into the protected harbor.

Moorage for transient vessels is currently unavailable at Gig Harbor marinas due to Covid concerns, but Jupiter finds an ideal position, swinging lazily on anchor in the center of the harbor at the confluence of marine traffic and aestival activity.

From morning until dark a lively variety of small water-craft plies this concourse: Hobie cats, row boats, skulls, sailing dinghies, canoes, out-rigger canoes, canoe sprints, kayaks, pedal-boards and paddle boards in a chaotic convergence with every manner of powered vessel. At times the panorama of so many people, and their dogs, sitting and standing on the velvety waters suggests a sunny Sunday at the town park.

Seals, unfazed by all, graze throughout the bay. A squadron of geese strafes the harbor repeatedly, and gulls wheel and cry.

Docks and boathouses filled with fleets of inert white yachts, often used as seasonal float-homes, and attractive homes with private floats, ring the protected bay. Yacht clubs from Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere retain harbor outstation moorage for their members’ boats.

Days of intense sunshine, warm temperatures, and light airs have enticed throngs to this aqueous commons. Tides during this lunar cycle range fifteen feet, but the only harbor effect is the appearance of a larger or smaller shore-line.


Harbor Tomatoes on Salted Yogurt

This preparation of blistered tomatoes melting into cold yogurt evokes the disparate sunburnt watercraft atop the cool and briny sea of Gig Harbor; a metaphor for a savoury impossibility tasted alone.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Put flavorful and colorful cherry tomatoes into a skillet just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Peel rind off half a lemon in large strips then slice into thin slivers. Thinly slice two or three garlic cloves. Toss garlic and zest into tomatoes, along with less than a teaspoon of brown sugar. Bathe all in a generous puddle of quality olive oil and season lavishly with hot pepper flakes. Roast until beginning to char.

While tomatoes cook, flavor whole yogurt with smoked salt and finely grated lemon rind. Return to fridge while flavors meld.

Ladle hot tomatoes and olive oil over cold yogurt. Provide a spoon, or fresh bread to mop up sauces.


Most residents of the Puget Sound country will readily agree that Vancouver himself was a prophet as well as a eulogist when he wrote:

To describe the beauties of the region, will on some future occasion, be a very grateful task to the pen of a skillful panegyrist. The serenity of the climate, the innumerable pleasing landscapes, and the abundant fertility that unassisted nature puts forth, require only to be enriched by the industry of man with villages, mansions, cottages, and other buildings, to render it the most lovely country that can be imagined; whilst the labour of the inhabitants would be amply rewarded, in the bounties which nature seems ready to bestow on cultivation.

Bern Anderson – The Life and Voyages of Captain George Vancouver. 1960
Sunset on anchor in Gig Harbor

Boomers & Bivalves

After passing Port Townsend in May, 1792, Captain George Vancouver proceeded to explore the first long inlet he espied, and anointed it “Hood’s Channel” in honor of Admiral Lord Samuel Hood.

The Captain surveyed south with crews in two longboats far enough to confirm the fjord’s terminus. On charts he abbreviated the name to “Hood’s Canal”, which ambiguity has confused mariners ever since.

The long inlet is not, of course, a canal but rather a glacial fjord, and to paradolians it plainly resembles a large intestine on the charts, with tiny Gamble Bay as the appendix.

Leaving alimentary school musings behind, Team Jupiter follows Vancouver’s progress 228 years later and, along the way, surveys objects both dangerous and delicious.

Passing under the high western span of the Hood Canal floating bridge Jupiter makes easy way until confronted with Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, the largest nuclear submarine base on the west coast. Yellow markers for the exclusion zone buffering the service yards warn us to give this place a wide berth.

Three trident ballistic missile subs are in port. These “boomers”, in onomatopoeic naval jargon, are accompanied at dock by support vessels. Unleashed in the water are small, armed guard-boats shuttling impatiently inside the floating perimeter like vicious dogs.

A billboard, large enough to read at a remarkable distance announces…

WARNING
U.S. NAVY RESTRICTED AREA
KEEP OUT
USE OF FORCE AUTHORIZED

Our binoculars are burning into a military drama more fantastical than fiction.

The fairwater planes are the first visual evidence that a submarine lies nearby. These behemoth Ohio Class nuclear fueled ships are 560′ in length and carry a crew of 150 for tours of up to three months. Each has two rotating crews and is capable of carrying twenty-four ballistic or cruise missiles.

Leaving the Navy in our wake, the southern reaches of the Hood offer us tranquility, and we relish two quiet days ashore at Alderbrook Resort in the Skokomish Valley. We trek miles on trails and bathe in the ancient forests.

Sleep is deep and pacific moored to Alderbrook’s generous dock, free from cold-war threats.

The Hood Canal is an epicenter of bivalve aquaculture, and as we navigate its length we pass manifold floating oyster farms and tidal clam beds.

Having previously relished the lush oysters of Quilcene Bay, we determined to visit the source while heading north. The inlet lies adjunct to Dabob Bay, another dynamic naval operations area just a 30mm gunshot from the Kitsap sub base.

As we round into Dabob, yellow lights flash ashore, and red lights on Naval ships. Exercises are clearly underway. Hailing Naval Range Control on the VHF, we are authorized passage hard on the western shore, and thanked for our communication.

Beyond the Hood Canal Bridge we pass our trinity of previous ports of call. Abreast the west side of intriguing Naval Magazine Indian Island, the logistics backbone of the Pacific Navy fleet, we are again in military domain.

Here, southbound martial vessels are required to check their armaments at the door to Puget Sound before proceeding into the populous environs of Bremerton and Seattle. Here, northbound, is where they are re-armed, fueled and provisioned before dispatch on patrols.

At the wharf where nuclear war-heads and other munitions are transferred, we photograph the nimble attack submarine, USS Seawolf.

Soon we enter enigmatic Kilisut Harbor through its shallow circuitous entrance. This lake-like haven lies slender and protected between Indian and Marrowstone islands.

Indian Island, in spite of its martial role, is also a rich nature conservation area.

Marrowstone is a quiet residential island with Fort Flagler State Park at its northern tip. It lends its particularly fitting name to another local oyster in our sights.

Halfway down Marrowstone indents Mystery Bay, which name derives from prohibition smuggling. We find Marrowstone Island Shellfish and the Norland General Store, where large fresh oysters can be harvested from a cooler for a modest sum.

The bay and its businesses appear much as they did sixty years ago.


Fresh Grilled Marrowstone Oysters

Gather oysters from a local source and keep on ice until the grill is very hot.

Meanwhile, prepare a dipping sauce of mayonnaise mixed with sufficient lemon juice and smoked paprika to make it exciting to the tongue. Warm your favorite bread.

Place oysters on the grate, cupped-shell-side down and cover with a grill lid. Heat until the shells open (you will hear them popping, no need to peek), five or ten minutes depending on size. Remove from grill and snap off the top shell at the hinge, leaving the oyster and its juice in place. Drizzle with sauce and eat warm from the shell.

Note: Oyster shells do not open wide like clams or mussels. When popped they are ready to eat.

Fresh grilled oysters served with sauce, pan de bono and local Marrowstone wine.

Bedfellows

Nearby in the channel

Where the shark boats sleep,

Lie the oysters awake

All breathing the deep.

Water over-washes both secret beasts.

Some are for war,

Others for feasts.

Poems from Puget Sound
Sen Yu, ed. 1988, University of Washington
Jupiter at anchor off Naval Magazine Indian Island

Passing Port to Port


In 1792 Captain George Vancouver embarked on the greatest marine survey of all time; California to Alaska. In May he entered the waters of the Salish Sea and Puget Sound.

Vancouver was a wacko and a loathed disciplinarian, but also a disciplined prospector of coastal geography. His two ships, Discovery and Chatham, were manned by competent officers and sailors, hard driven in the pursuit of accuracy, at a pace that seems impossible.

Jupiter, without prior planning, appears now to be following in George Vancouver’s wake, beginning in Port Townsend at the gateway to Admiralty Inlet.

Port Townsend

Geographically convenient at the intersection of land and sea, Port Townsend’s growth was thwarted when expectation for a 19th century rail terminus was side-tracked. The great guns at nearby Fort Worden boomed in defense of Admiralty Inlet during two wars.

Today, well preserved Victorian districts attract tourists and fortify residents, many of whom are migrants escaping urban clatter. This is a peaceful place of human scale homes with evergreen gardens. Wooden boat building ties town to sea in lively and creative ways.

We wandered many miles through the neighborhoods in watery sunshine, and out to Fort Worden, now a state park, its expansive parade grounds encircled with regimental military housing, hidden gun emplacements, and dejected Thomas Point Light.

Port Ludlow

Whatever past haunted Port Ludlow has been entirely eradicated by planned residential development of bayside condominiums and cul-de-sac homes strung together by rustic trails and discreet roadways. A resort inn and marina define the commercial waterfront, and the bay provides abundant anchorage in a pleasing natural harbor.

A quest for eggs was fulfilled at the gas station market, paradoxically the only vendor of provender for those lacking wheeled conveyance. We spent the Fourth of July at anchor here, within earshot of the arrhythmic popping of haphazard pyrotechnics along the shore, their pricks of pointless light eclipsed by the lucent plenilune rising.

Port Gamble

The old lumber mill, which previously ruined this bucolic perspective of Port Gamble, is now gone.

If you wish to view an early 19th century New England coastal village visit Port Gamble. An old company mill town is now a charming company hamlet of attractive cafés and gift shops. Removal of the defunct mill was completed last year and now a magnificent waterfront site lies awake at night in fear of development.

In a warp of circumstance fibre-artisans flock from afar, hooked on the inspirational kneedle-craft and quilting shops that knit this community together. We observed a socially-distant cabal of crones weaving yarns in the loom of the water towers. These were originally installed to blanket the mill with water in case of fire.



Spangled Strawberry Spoon Cake

When fresh strawberries are abundant lightly mash a generous handful together with a little brown sugar and allow to macerate overnight.

At sunrise heat an oven to medium. Melt a stick of butter and whisk in by hand an additional ⅓ cup brown sugar, ½ cup tepid milk, and a teaspoon of salt. Add 1 cup flour combined with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and whisk on until smooth. Transfer batter to a buttered baking dish, filling every corner. Pour the macerated fruit over the batter, and add a few extra quartered berries.

Bake for almost half an hour while making coffee and admiring the calm at first light. Allow to rest before serving with cream, for breakfast.


Ports and Passing Port to Port

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rule 14 states that: “Unless otherwise agreed, when two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision, each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass to the port side of the other.”

Maritime explorers, like George Vancouver, routinely called newly discovered inlets and bays “Ports”, and named them to flatter royalty or Admiralty superiors, or to honor crew members, friends, lovers, and sometimes even dogs.

To The Lighthouse

An advantage of living aboard at sea is the occasional ability to quit the vessel and explore a remote shore on foot.

Stuart Island in the northern San Juans lies disturbingly close to the forbidden Canadian Border, and Jupiter is anchored here in commodious Prevost Harbour where access to the Stuart Island Marine State Park is easily attained by navigating our tender to a trailhead float.

The park occupies a large portion of the island and offers several miles of woodland trails with onward connections to quiet country roads. The hilly, rocky terrain is deeply forested with immense ancient Redcedars and Bigleaf Maples. Multi-formed Madronas thrive on rocky shoreline hills, leaning out like littoral voyeurs.

Everything now appears in bloom, and the shadowy forest floor lights up with inflorescence. Tree trunks rise straight and bare to a high flung canopy that filters the sky, containing serenity within.

There are sundry points of interest along our rustic path, including the community’s tiny historic school house, now a library, adjacent to the one room “Teacherage” where enlisted educators resided, now an evocative micro-museum. There is a grass field airstrip so steep and narrow as to prohibit all but the most adept pilots wearing sure-footed leggy aircraft.

Best of all, and three and a half miles distant from our trailhead, is the Turn Point Light Station. The now automated light and fog signals are sighted to guide mariners, but also to keep a weather eye trained on our country’s turbulent water border using a robust array of video cameras and sensors.

“Walking away the hasty morning dew, mossy stone-stepping gloom with skies crowded with mistakes of our making, we squandered them a second time, tempered with bitterness, insouciance, and the sea-ware of sorcery soured, making charts for no one’s compass rose. Is it now the seasoned few who recover odes of predilection for destinations of archipelagos and oceans dirempt? They have had their visions.”

Virginia Woolf ~ To The Lighthouse

Jupiter’s Jentacular Eggs

Heat the oven to 350°. Blanch a small bunch of fresh spinach until tender, drain and squeeze out water. Chop a cooked sausage or two into small pieces, and the spinach, a handful of chives and any tender veggies. Whisk several eggs together with a little cream and season well with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and sriracha or other warming sauce to taste. Grate sharp cheddar, preferably smoked.

Stir the spinach into the egg mixture along with half the grated cheese. Fill well-greased or non-stick muffin cups half full with chopped sausage, chives and veggies then ladle egg mixture into each cup until nearly full. Top with remaining grated cheese.

Bake until puffed and golden, about twenty-five minutes. Eggs will begin to settle as soon as they leave the oven, but they keep well for several days, easily reheated. Serve with fresh micro-greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar.


Gorge

Gorge Harbour is for sale.

One of our favorite marinas with new and obsessively swept and washed docks, easy access from Desolation Sound, a surprisingly well-provisioned grocery store, swimming pool and hot tub, is available for purchase.

Gorge Harbour is where we always find familiar friends, like minded mariners we know and like, or soon will know and like.

The narrow entrance channel through a rocky gorge leads past ancient petroglyphs into a spacious basin where good anchorages, private cabins with docks, and several oyster and mussel farms are moored.

The spacious harbor guts the south side of Cortes Island, named for Don Hernán Cortés – the Spanish Conquistador with the distinction of destroying Aztec civilization and other stuff in the 16th century.

Although we have visited Gorge Harbor several times during the past two years we know little of Cortes Island except that much of the population migrates like humpbacks to Mexico in the wintertime.

Instructive signage on Cortes Island

The Floathouse Restaurant began life as a float house, towed on logs through the Gorge and tied to the original docks. Through some undisclosed miracle of amphibious engineering the structure was levitated 25 meters up a steep slope to the location it now occupies overlooking the marina.

Gorge Harbour Dock House with the Floathouse Restaurant in its current location on the hillside

This restaurant is the nexus where islanders and mariners gather to adjudicate one another, and to enjoy excellent and creative cuisine.

Islanders in consciously crafted clothing, embrace in earnest ways, and discuss earth guardians at Burning Man, the importance of divining one’s self, and the lessons of loons. They are poets and writers and healers.

Mariners nod, with spare greetings, in attire bleached and baggy from laundromat mishaps, and devour the restaurant menu like shipwrecked seafarers. Most are anchoring experts and know the particulars of tide and weather.

Floathouse Recipes

Cold smoked local albacore tuna is presented over tangy, crunchy fennel slaw. Finely slice fresh fennel using a mandoline, and macerate in a blend of apple-cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a drop of honey. Garnish with slivered green onions and serve with sweet soy for dipping.

Plump Salt Spring oysters in the half shell are topped with a mixture of red miso paste, coconut milk and mayonnaise, and broiled to caramelize. Serve atop fresh pea shoots with a small salad of local greens featuring feta and figs, and a creamy vinaigrette.

What we’re listening to:

Cecil Younger Series by John Straley

Audio Books
Set in Southeast Alaska , this collection is an evocative immersion in small town coastal life with twisting plots set in many of the ports we have visited.

Yacht Rock Radio

Sirius XM
Jupiter subscribes to Sirius XM Satellite Marine Weather displaying text and graphics on Garmin chart plotters no matter how far off-grid the boat roams.

The service also provides music and news with the addition of channel 311 – Yacht Rock Radio. Hits and misses of the seventies and eighties come with frequent interjections by the languid tones of Thurston Howell, the aristocratic yacht owner on Gilligan’s Island.

“We play the music we lo-ove on ya-achts where we al-ways wear collared shirts, even on the week-ends.”

Tidal Range

Rise and fall of floating docks and boats tied to docks determines the opportune time for tending flower baskets hung from piling tops. At Gorge Harbour tides pictured are running about 11 feet.

Hooked

During the past weeks we noted an increase in fishing boats prowling with purpose around rocky points and promontories like underdressed men trying to access an exclusive nightclub.

Why? Salmon are running on the Wild Coast.

Fish, in abundance, following the herring hatch, swim into bays and inlets, feed and leave. Fishermen follow in small, sturdy craft finely kitted out to catch them.

Jupiter arrived at Eagle Nook Lodge in Barkley Sound, tied up, and signed up to fish the following morning, early. Onboard guests and seasoned anglers, Terry and Deedee, joined us in the hunt.

Other anglers

We were equipped by our savvy, seasoned fishing guide, Timmy, with boat, gear, assistance and advice, all essential to the novices of Jupiter’s crew.

At 0600 with a belly full of breakfast, we blasted out to the secret fishing grounds known only to several dozen outfitters as The Spot. By 0900 we had caught our limit of Coho (Silver), and two fine Chinook (Spring or King) salmon, having landed fish in pairs during the first hour. Salmon run deep, and well engineered down-riggers can place the lure at any precise depth which is determined by experience, numerology, or dumb luck.

Wicked fun!

Timmy and Team Jupiter with the catch: 10 Coho and 2 Chinook

Back to the lodge in time for lunch, the fish were displayed, weighed, flayed and filleted for immediate consumption or sent off to the cannery for smoking or processing any way that can be imagined.

The Eagle Nook guides expertly prepare our fish for canning and consumption.

Kampot Koho Keesh

Prick and pre-bake a deep dish pie crust in a medium-hot oven. In one skillet sauté diced onion, corn and carrots, or any vegetables at hand. After the crust has cooled, crumble soft goat cheese into the shell, then flake in a generous layer of cold poached salmon and spread vegetables over the top.

In a bowl whisk together two eggs, cream, remaining goat cheese and season liberally with fresh ground Kampot pepper. Pour over the pie to fill the shell. Bake 40 minutes or until a knife pulls out clean. Cool ten minutes before serving with fruit and salad.

Salmon Quiche with sliced mango and salad

Wave Top Crops

Jupiter is nearing the apogean northwestern tip of Vancouver Island.

Regardless of solstitial days and fine weather, we have passed far beyond the verdant valleys of the Saanich Peninsula where most of the island’s produce is grown.

Tiring of winged-kelp and finding little solace in sea-asparagus, we implemented an experimental project – farming micro-greens aboard Jupiter. Replenishment of greens in the wilderness is at best problematic, at worst impossible.

Having found a transportable growing system excellently engineered by a company called Hamama, we stocked the boat with grow trays and seed quilts which are stowed in a parky dark cavity near the hull on the starboard side below the water line to prevent premature germination.

Every three days a new quilt is brought to light, soaked in its tray and tended through a ten day growing cycle. Amongst the manifold varieties to hand are many different flavors and colors to complement a variety of dishes and preparations. Thus far the crew has successfully averted scurvy.

Hamama How To:

Inconspicuous Consumption:

Crab Cakes with Zesty Mix Salad

While the cakes cook whisk cold-pressed olive oil, white balsamic, seasonings and a smidge of mustard into a dressing. Render several radish and a half cucumber into fine dice. Toss in the dressing with copious fresh-cut micro-greens until well coated. Serve over warm crab cakes.

Finding the Farm

Want to know where to find micro-greens at sea?
  • Go to main menu on jupitersway.com
  • Click on Find Jupiter
  • Zoom in or out to view the geography
  • Click on any blue dot to see Jupiter’s latitude, longitude, speed and course at that date and time

Archipelagic Aspirations

Vancouver Island predominates the geography of southern British Columbia. This landmass, 300 miles long and 50 miles wide, is thick with highlands and thin with rivers, inlets and sounds. Jupiter’s summer float plan is a widdershins circumnavigation of this immense isle.

Zooming out over the cartography, the island appears like the amphibious offspring of the continent, attempting escape from a cloying parental embrace, but held close by sinuous tendons of archipelagos and tidal slurries of the Inside Passage. Restive Vancouver Island is simultaneously ruthlessly hammered back into place by pounding western seas and storms thrown up from the abyssal Pacific.

Our last day in Bellingham, jumping off point for Jupiter’s grand ambition, began with breakfast at our favorite Woods Coffee shop.

Bellingham’s Saturday Farmers Market, where we provisioned, had the flavor of a bohemian medieval fair. Sunshine and warm temperatures elevated the normally happy locals and their many dogs to a state of spirited bliss.

A mid-afternoon departure from Bellingham brought Jupiter across the water to a lovely anchorage at Inati Bay on nearby Lummi Island. The Bellingham Yacht Club provides a rustic outstation for members.

Splendid weather, forecast to remain so, induced cruisers to cruise, sailors to sail, and campers to decamp to the out-islands.

An alarmed geofence around the point of anchoring is set to loudly notify the crew, asleep or awake, should the anchor drag. Deeper anchorages require more anchor chain, more swinging room and larger perimeters.

150′ radius anchor perimeter in Inati Bay

Soon Jupiter will make her first landfall on Vancouver Island at the lovely Port of Sidney, then begin in earnest the objective rounding of Vancouver Island, the archipelagic dominion.


Pacific Purple Spargel with Sriracha Aioli

Shave lower stems of young sweet purple asparagus and coat lightly with olive oil. Cook on hot grill until just tender.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together one egg yolk, a tablespoon of sherry vinegar, a smidgen of smooth mustard and a pinch of salt until well combined. Very slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup of buttery olive oil, whisking continuously until thick and emulsified. Stir in spicy sriracha to taste and spoon generously over the warm asparagus.


Eating Vancouver

Captain George Vancouver, epic explorer of Pacific America, although oft reviled was not eaten by his men.  When Jupiter arrived in the explorer’s eponymous city, the ship’s crew resolved to metaphorically devour the great cartographers legacy, and mapped out a plan to discover a vast swath of Pacific Rim cuisine.

Having survived on quantities of seafood, ships stores, and scantily stocked markets across wild British Columbia and Alaska for the past five months, a dining-out intensive seemed fitting.  Fully five restaurant meals were gavaged into 30 hours ashore.

The city of Vancouver, fairly founded between mountains and sea, is a well-planned and executed modern metropolis that attracts bright young Canadians and immigrants from the Pacific Rim and beyond.  Countless eateries reflect the imported cuisines and locavore imperatives.

Few restaurants are as serious about sustainable, seasonal, and locally sourced materials as Forage.

Vancouverites take their provisioning seriously at Granville Public Market where an abundance of the best locally produced foods are on offer.  Jupiter’s crew will do likewise on a future visit.  In this instance we admired the quantity and quality of fresh farmed foods and artisanal products, and prowled the Asian food stalls for lunch.  Such generous abundance is not easily found in the hinterlands.

We were fortunate to occupy a late table at Vij’s Restaurant, famous for lamb lollipops in a fenugreek cream sauce and ambrosial curries.  This Punjabi fare employs local ingredients and painstakingly hand-ground spices.  We sampled it all.

On the line at Vij’s Restaurant

 

 

 

Recommended Culinary Reading

The Custom of the Sea

A Shocking True Tale of Shipwreck, Murder and the Last Taboo

by Neil Hanson

A toothsome treatise on the circumstantial necessity of cannibalism at sea.

If Jupiter doesn’t slim down she will no longer fit into urban slips

Pie in the Sky

We have been living under low ceilings – so low that it seems counter-intuitive to stand up straight.  Sandwiched between the deep grey sea and low slung cloud, our view ranged from a splinter of horizon to a wall of white when even this narrow stratum was obscured by fog.

Into a wall of white

Temperatures remained constant within a few degrees of fifty, day and night.  Sharing this compressed space were innumerable sea birds, dolphin, and sea otters as we rounded Cape Caution returning to familiar territory in the Broughton Archipelago.

Salmon Under A Cloud Pie

Slice straight downwards through the meat of fresh salmon fillets just to the skin to create a grid of small squares.  Salt lightly.  Poach fillets in butter and wine until just cooked through.  Remove from the pan, pour over the poaching liquid and cool completely.

Prepare a white sauce by sautéing equal parts butter and flour, then adding fish stock and light cream, stirring constantly over medium heat until thickened.  Add lemon juice, salmon poaching liquid, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste and a generous amount of whole grain mustard.  Turn off the heat.  Add diced carrots and zucchini, and corn cut from the cob.

Combine mashed potatoes with grated parmesan cheese.  Peel cooled cubes of salmon from skin (discard skin) and spread evenly in a casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over the fish.  Cover fish and sauce with a generous layer of potatoes.  Bake at moderately high heat until potatoes are brown and beginning to crisp.  Allow pie to rest and dust with freshly chopped parsley.


Everything is lovely,

In a misty morning glaze.

I like misty water,

I like fog and haze.

– The Kinks, Misty Water. 1968

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