Happy Valentines! A day that celebrates love comes, in my mind, second only to the one that celebrates giving thanks. I didn’t do roses or chocolate, but I made dinner for a couple of people I love; one of the dishes was improvised and came out well, so this recipe is my valentine to the world.
The main ingredients are salmon and leeks; thus “Sally Leekie”.
Salmon: We use wild frozen-at-sea Pacific Sockeye, usually obtainable in Vancouver. 750g fed three generously.
Leeks: A couple of big ones.
Garlic: Confession: For this dish, I used minced garlic out of a jar that I bought in a supermarket; a couple of heaping teaspoons-full.
Seasoning: Oregano, Fennel, and black pepper, all served liberally.
Oil: Now this is interesting. I started with olive oil because it was at the front of the cupboard, then thought “Leeks? Everyone knows you cook them in butter!” so I added some of that too. It came out nicely.
I covered the bottom of a sautee pan with oil, tossed in the garlic and seasoning, and heated it to not-quite-bubbling-or-smoking for ten or fifteen minutes.
While this was happening, I chopped the leeks and salmon. If you haven’t done leeks before, you have to cut them lengthwise then take them over to the sink and wash out the mud and gunk that tends to occur; leeks are just not hygenic vegetables. Salmon into bite-size chunks.
I turned up the heat to the point that a few bubbles were occurring, and put the chopped leeks through in three batches. Watch out; they cook down tremendously, so you want to start with more than you need. Maybe five minutes a batch; until they’ve lost their curl but not their color. I used a bowl in the warming drawer under the oven to accumulate the leeks and keep them warm.
Once the leeks were done I dropped the salmon into the garlicky spiced leek-flavored oil and sauteed that for maybe ten minutes, till all the sides were sealed and it was getting ready to eat.
Finally, I took the leeks out of the warming drawer, tossed them in with the salmon, turned the heat up so there was a bit of smoke, and tossed the mixture together.
It looked neat, the salmon pink contrasting with the leek green. There were no leftovers and sincere compliments.