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Vote with Your Taste Buds

April 30, 2009

“People Protect what they love.” Jacques Cousteau

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Smoked Salmon Blini

Our salmon are in real big trouble folks. I hate this.  I hate this for many many reasons. It deeply affects our whole eco system, it is the loss of an ancient culture, and I am faced with a moral dilemma, to eat or not to eat the almighty salmon. Oh, and I do love salmon so. Not only that, my hubby is a crazed fisherman that loves to bring home his requisitions to his ever so willing bride.  He just brought one home recently that wasn’t just a king salmon but a SPRINGER! They are the tenderest, omega 3 filled wonder you will ever eat! Paul smoked half of it and the other half we celebrated by barbequing with friends. Every morsel was savored.

There has to be a compromise. After a bit of research and understanding there are some real things that we can do to help the salmon. First off, never, NEVER eat farmed salmon.  Not only is it loaded with mercury, PCBs* and other cancer causing elements, it devastates the environment, AND is destroying our salmon runs. (*Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are mixtures of up to 209 individual chlorinated compounds such as pesticides, lubricants and coolants).

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Smolt being sucked dry by sea lice

The farmed salmon are raised in net cages that the ocean flows through. So the currents are taking all the little sea lice that are unnaturally congregating in ginormous numbers in the farmed fish pens, and wafting them out to attack the smolt (baby salmon). Now the smolt does not have any scales yet so they are not able to defend themselves against the sea lice, whom they would normally encounter later in life. This is decimating our runs. I mean, wipe out, gone, demolished, destroyed, soon to be extinct. So please vote with your taste buds and only buy wild salmon.

The other thing we can do is to write our powers-that-be and ask them to outlaw all farmed salmon. Making donations to ocean protecting agencies like “Ocean Futures” (http://www.oceanfutures.org/) and “The Riverkeepers” of your area., can help offset our salmon eating needs. I also highly recommend cutting way back on eating salmon. Eat it only as a delicacy that it is.

One great way to eat salmon in a conscious way is to eat small amounts of smoked salmon. It is so tasty and you don’t need much for it to go around. I was thinking about all these politics of eating while Paul, (hubby) was creating his famous smoked salmon. I got busy and found a marvelous recipe for enjoying this delicacy, “Smoked Salmon Blinis.”  Blinis are a small, light pancakes originally haling from mother Russia. They symbolize the sun, and are eaten in honor of spring and fertility of the ground. Perfect way to honor a mighty spring salmon, huh? Oh, and they are so much fun to make!

I used a recipe from cooking light with a few tweaks here and there.

Blinis with Paul's smoked salmon and sprouts

Blinis with Paul's smoked salmon and sprouts

Smoked Salmon Blinis with Chive Cream Cheese

½  teaspoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of yeast or

1 package of yeast

2 tablespoon of tepid water

2 ½ cups of low fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 farm fresh egg

1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

(I used King Arthur’s white whole wheat)

½ cup of buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of good salt

2 large egg whites

8 to 10 ounces of smoked wild salmon

Chive Cream Cheese

6oz of lower fat cream cheese

2 to 3 tablespoons of minced fresh chives

Few cranks of pepper

Sprouts, if you have them.

Get out your mixer then dissolve the sugar and yeast in the 2 tablespoons of tepid water in the bowl of the mixer. Now it is important that you don’t use too hot of water or it will kill your yeast. Just skin temperature will do. While the yeast is getting busy, combine your flours, sugar and the baking twins (soda and powder) in a separate bowl and whisk till well blended. Combine your buttermilk, oil and egg and to the bowl with the yeast busily populating, we hope. Mix in the flour blend till your batter forms, then mix a little more. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, you don’t want it to be air tight, and chill in the fridge overnight. Mix the cream cheese and chives up, as well, and stick in the fridge for the night. (So much better the next day!)

The next day, beat the egg whites at the craziest speed possible with your mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold these into the batter till just mixed. Pull out your griddle, oil it lightly, and heat it to about 350 degrees or whatever temperature you like to cook pancakes at. Drop about one large tablespoon of batter at a time on your griddle. Turn the blinis when they are getting covered with bubbles and edges look done. Cook for a few more minutes till the aroma makes your tummy gurgle.

Place the blinis on a gorgeous platter and spread with a bit of the chive cream cheese, a juicy piece of smoked salmon, and sprouts or chives on top. Serve with the honor this great fish deserves.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. feastonthecheap permalink
    May 16, 2009 2:05 pm

    This is EXACTLY what i feel like eating right now for breakfast…yum

  2. May 18, 2009 1:53 am

    Thanks for sharing this important concern, Dana! As a Northwest native, I can’t imagine salmon being gone. It has always been a part of our lives in this part of the country. I’m with you on the “eat it smoked as a delicacy once in a while” idea. (I’m actually eating a small bit of smoked coho right now as an appertizer.) A fisherman friend of ours has been speaking out against farmed salmon for many years. I can’t believe it isn’t being outlawed!

    Your blini look wonderful!

  3. May 20, 2009 3:27 pm

    Thanks for this informative post. Im pretty sure that many people searching information at this topic . Btw nice blog.

  4. February 1, 2010 5:28 pm

    I think I first came across your blog via a link on Twitter.. I totally loved your blog posts and want to read more! Are you on Twitter? We should connect.

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