Monday, June 23, 2008

Alaskan Salmon Season

June is the season for the best of the fresh wild -caught salmon. And, if you've just returned from your first trip to Alaska, sharing your experiences, photos, and some salmon is a great way to extend the memories. That's just what Dan and Dianna did when they invited us for dinner on Saturday, along with our other neighbors, Kenny and Phyllis. Turns out all of us have been to Alaska, so we all took turns sharing our impressions of the magnificence of the faraway American frontier.

We had the perfect evening for dining outside, something that doesn't happen often in southern Illinois. The setting was so inviting that I insisted we take pictures of Dianna's table that was definitely worthy of a magazine cover. Dan smoked the salmon on his Weber with charcoal, low heat, and wood from his own apple tree -- outstanding job! There was also potato salad from Emeril Lagasse that was also photo worthy and delicious. Phyllis made marinated cucumbers, always a sign of summer, as are the fruits in the gorgeous fruit salad. The virtues of eating fish and fresh fruits and vegetables paid off in big rewards at dessert time -- we had room for Dianna's brownies and Kenny's rhubarb bread pudding.

I just love it when my friends go to Alaska!

14 small boiling potatoes, such as red bliss, about 2 1/2 pounds, scrubbed well
6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, cool, then cut the potatoes into halves.

In a large mixing bowl combine potatoes with all remaining ingredients and gently toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad several hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

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