Grilled or Broiled Whiskey-Marinated Salmon (includes marinade recipe)
Salmon Kebabs
Pan Roast of Salmon

Green Goddess Dressing
Fresh Citrus-Caper Sauce
Ginger-Cilantro Mayonnaise
Smoked Salmon Butter

Potato and Red Radish Salad
Irish Brown Bread Toast

Nectarine and Raspberry Crostata a la Mode (homemade vanilla ice cream)

I continue to love salmon even though I know many of you are salmon-ed out. Among its other dividends, the incredibly-good-for-you fish is often — at least for me — the best solution to a quick family dinner or speedy dinner for a crowd. And with warm weather around the corner, it’s good to know that most salmon recipes (certainly the three in this menu) are as good at room temperature as they are piping hot. Another thing to remember is that raw salmon (because of the high — healthy — fat content) freezes well. I’m never without a filet or two in the freezer for unexpected guests.

This is an ambitious class as I want to teach THREE ways to cook salmon along with making a marinade and four different sauces for them. In addition, each of the delicious raw sauces has a myriad of other uses. And the homemade mayonnaise and the flavored butter recipes should serve as templates for you to make many other variations (I can give you the recipes if you want them) yourselves. The versatile sauces are all perfect for summer and the three salmon recipes, all child’s play, require only minimally more work for 12 than for 2.

The first recipe has the salmon marinating in an unlikely concoction of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and Canadian Club whiskey. The resulting dish is drop dead as is, but we’ll gild the lily with homemade Ginger-Cilantro mayonnaise. For those of you who don’t already make your own mayo, this will be an ideal introduction to preparing this sauce, simple, heart-healthy and ready in under 5 minutes (make extra as it keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge). I repeatedly wow my guests by serving it — one flavor or another — drizzled over platters of almost everything.

The second salmon recipe — a basic pan roast — and the third — handy kebabs — also pair brilliantly with mayonnaise. But we’ll make other sauces as well: a tangy citrus-caper chunky vinaigrette — comprised of orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit supremes, capers, garlic, fennel, olive oil and citrus juices — and Green Goddess Dressing, another of my current, go-to-in-a-pinch condiments, one that demands nothing more than blitzing a ripe avocado — along with a couple of other ingredients — in a blender or food processor. And it’s as good on tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, grilled chicken, other fish and seafood, and for crudité dipping as it is on salmon.

The final topping is a smoky-velvet tasting Smoked Salmon Butter. Salmon — as well as trout, halibut, flounder, sole, other white-fleshed fish, and even scallops or shrimp — will benefit from a generous slice of this rich and robust condiment, and need no further embellishment. This is one-of-many flavored butters (beurres composes) that can be prepared in advance and frozen to provide future-date, elegant dinners in no time.

These sauces and salmon preparations are the raison d’etre for this class and will keep us busy, but we’ll also make one of my favorite summer side dishes, a tasty and unusual potato, red radish and cabbage salad that’s particularly good to have in your repertoire as it can double as both a veg and a starch. And of course we’ll have iceberg lettuce on hand to dollop with Green Goddess. Ditto toasted homemade Irish Brown Bread –way better than it sounds and even better topped with the various sauces or used to sandwich salmon and Smoked Salmon Butter. Again, for those of you who don’t already have it, the bread recipe is a winner. Getting its rise from baking soda instead of yeast, it’s an easy quick bread that is great for breakfast toast, sandwiches, croutes, and canapés. It freezes well for months and is one of my permanent freezer staples.

There’s a lot in this menu to love. And that includes dessert, a big, rustic homemade nectarine crostata a la mode. Yum. Hoping to see many of you at this class on May 23.

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© Copyright - Gail Monaghan