Salmon a la Conche

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Tues. May 10, 2011

Today I'm feeling like having salmon for supper. Not just because I love salmon, but also because I'm reminded of a place where the best salmon I've ever had can be found. The place is Conche, a very historic and charming fishing community located on the eastern side of Newfoundland's great Northern Peninsula (and part of what was a section of Newfoundland known as "The French Shore"). My career as an archaeologist has given me many opportunities to travel to great places and meet and become friends with excellent people. One of those places is Conche, where I spent the better part of two summers digging for ancient Paleo-Eskimo artifacts, but also enjoying songs, stories, laughs, hikes and the rich history of the French Shore.

Long-liner in Conche, Newfoundland

Yesterday and today, Conche has been in my mind more than usual as I have been listening to Conche Radio, a collaboration between the French Shore Historical Society and Memorial University's Grenfell campus. If you're interested in the history and culture of Conche, the Northern Peninsula or Newfoundland I suggest you check it out as today is the last day. So as a tribute to this great place and its people, here's a recipe for simply grilled or broiled salmon seasoned with salt, lemon and dill. I ate many a feed of salmon during my time on the northern peninsula and I certainly hope to make it back there this summer for a few more! It's a wicked place to be.

Simple Broiled Salmon

I really can't eat enough seafood, especially when it's super fresh! One of my favourite things to eat is Atlantic salmon. Here is a quick, super simple way to prepare whole salmon fillets, a recipe that works just as well with smaller fillet portions or steaks, or pretty much any seafood for that matter.

SimpleImage seasoning of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs from the garden such as dill or chives, and a good squeeze of fresh lemon once cooked, is all you need to be a master salmon chef. The key is not to overcook it. While salmon is pretty forgiving when it is overcooked, because of its fat content (healthy Omega-3 fats), it is exceptionally good when cooked just to the point of doneness. Many people actually prefer a touch of rawness in the centre. When I cook my salmon, either by grill, broiler or frying, my goal is to cook it just to the point where the rawness in the centre is down to a sliver or has just disappeared. Whatever method, I make sure the heat source is pretty hot. Depending on the thickness, I typically cook it about 4 minutes on side A and 3 minutes or less on side B, starting skin side down. I also love to get the skin crispy as it is quite tasty. Then I let it rest for a couple of minutes and when it hits the plate it is super juicy!

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About Me...The Wicked Newfoundlander
I'm originally from Newfoundland, Canada, and very proud of it! I moved to upstate New York in 2007, and I spend much of my time working and playing throughout New England. Besides my wife, our dog and hockey, I'm passionate about food. I love to cook and create great tasting food. I also love tasting and critiquing food, and comparing regional cuisine (notably Newfoundland and New England dishes).