Category Archives: Seafood, Fish

Smoked Steelhead Chowder


I’ve said it before and I can’t help but say it again.  I love living in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon.  And, if you have a few minutes, I’ll give you three reasons why.  First of all, it’s a beautiful place. There are mountains, lakes, and rivers just minutes away.  Second, it’s not crowded like large metropolitan cities such as Portland or Seattle.  You can drive 20 minutes in any direction and end up somewhere in the beautiful Southern Oregon countryside.  Third, I think that it has the best of both worlds.  There’s plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping and also there’s the nearby Oregon Shakespeare Festival, dozens of vineyards and microbreweries, and a number of wonderful restaurants that feature spectacular local ingredients.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Rogue River in Southern Oregon

I always love visiting the Rogue River.  Whether it be for hiking along the banks, rafting or my favorite river activity, fishing.  One day on my lunch hour, I briefly stopped by the Rogue River near Touvelle State Park and decided to snap a few photos.  It was a bit overcast that afternoon but the temperature was nearly perfect.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Looking down at the river from the top of the bridge, it’s easy to imagine large fish swimming in the cold deep water below the surface.  And, if you are lucky, you might even see one!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA fly fisherman on the Rogue River

Many types of fish inhabit the Rogue River.  There’s steelhead trout, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, green sturgeon, coho salmon, and so many more species of fish.  My two favorites are steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.  I prepare those varieties of fish quite often for my family.  As a matter of fact, I serve fish for my family at least once a week.  When selecting fish, I prefer to prepare wild caught fish as opposed to farm raised fish.  In my opinion, the flavor is better, there are no chemicals or additives, no color enhancements or antibiotics.  If given a choice between wild and farm raised fish, the decision is easy.  Wild caught fish is your best bet.


My Smoked Steelhead Chowder is a deliciously creamy soup made with smoky bacon, roasted russet potatoes, tender onion, fresh  thyme and a splash of heavy cream.  It’s prepared similarly to a  New England style clam chowder but with smoked tender steelhead instead.  It’s great with a slice of warm crusty bread, a crispy green salad or a hot grilled sandwich.  If you are not able to obtain smoked steelhead where you live, feel free to substitute the smoked steelhead with some good quality smoked salmon instead.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1/4 pound Smoked Steelhead Trout (skin and bones removed, chopped coarsely)
  • 5 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato paste
  • 1 pound Russet Potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 large White Onion – peeled and diced
  • 4 oz. Bacon – chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh Thyme
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Seasoning Salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper (or to taste)
  • fresh minced Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a sheet tray or baking pan toss together diced potatoes, diced onions, 1 to 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoning salt.  Arrange potatoes and onions in a single layer to ensure even cooking.  Bake until the potatoes and onions begin to turn golden brown or about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, grab a large heavy pot and place it on the stove.  Turn burner to medium high heat.  Add chopped bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.  Turn down heat to low, add 2 Tbs. butter and 1/3 cup flour to the remaining bacon fat to make a blonde roux.  Whisk flour mixture constantly, taking care not to burn, and cook until a very light golden brown.  Whisk 5 cups milk and 2 Tbs. tomato paste and cook until almost ready to boil, whisking constantly.  Add smoked steelhead, bacon, potatoes, onions, 1 tsp. fresh thyme, 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning.  Cook, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened and the flour taste has disappeared, for about 1/2  hour.  Add heavy cream, taste and correct your seasonings. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped smoked steelhead trout and fresh minced parsley.  Makes about 2 quarts or 8 servings.

Smoked Salmon Dip


It’s late October and I’m having a tough time giving up my warm weather habits…  I’m resisting the impending cold weather as long as I can.  Even if it is a bone chilling 32 degrees outside, I still prefer to order my latte over ice early in the morning on my way to work.  I know that once I start to order it piping hot, I’m going to be drinking it that way until the warm weather arrives again in the spring.  I look at it this way, we still have at least another week of glorious warm weather here in Southern Oregon and I am going to take advantage of it.  That means getting outdoors and enjoying the bright sunshine while it is still here.


While preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip for an appetizer for a dinner party later this evening, I spied some cedar waxwings in one of the trees outside my kitchen window.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and grabbed my camera.  Cedar waxwings are sleek crested medium sized birds that frequent my neighborhood in the fall of the year.  They arrive in large noisy flocks to eat the fruit off of the flowering crab apple tree in the back of the yard.  Cedar waxwings are distinctive for they look like little bandits with dark black masks streaked across their faces.


Another way of identifying a cedar waxwing is by the glossy dark grey wing feathers and bright yellow tip on its tail.  Cedar waxwings are similar to Bohemian waxwings but are smaller in size.


A pair of cedar waxwings deciding on which juicy berry they are going to pick first.  The one on top of the photo is a juvenile.  You can tell by the lightly mottled brown feathers on its breast and back.  By next spring its plumage will look like the mature adult perched on the branch below.


Cedar waxwings are without a doubt, greedy little birds.  They are in the trees as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, and they stay throughout the day, gobbling up as much fruit as they can fit into their bellies.  It’s amazing to see how many berries one single bird will gulp down.  Within a few short weeks all of the fruit will be stripped from the trees.  Regardless of what the calendar says, that in my mind, officially marks the end of the warm summer months…


After snapping a few photos of the cedar waxwings, I resumed preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip.  My Smoked Salmon Dip is light, flavorful and easy to make. It’s made with good quality smoked Oregon Chinook salmon, fluffy cream cheese, light sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  My Smoked Salmon Dip tastes amazing on crackers, toasts, chips and even fresh vegetables.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • garnish with bits of smoked salmon or fresh snipped herbs

Begin by placing the cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Be sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well incorporated.  Break apart the smoked salmon into smaller pieces removing the skin or any bones.   Add smoked salmon to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Keep chilled.  Place in a dish and serve.  Garnish with bits of smoked salmon and herbs.  Makes approximately two cups.

Grilled Steelhead Trout


Now that the spring in Southern Oregon is in full force and the weather is warm, I prefer to prepare many of our meals outside on the backyard barbecue.  Our barbecue sits out on the back deck only a few short steps from the kitchen.  When barbecuing meals for our family, I simply roll the barbecue in front of the sliding glass door so I can easily keep an eye on the grill temperature and quickly deal with any flare ups as they may occur.

During the work week, I often cook fish for dinner for Bruce and myself.  I love to cook fish because it is quick, easy, healthy and most importantly, we both enjoy it.  What I enjoy about living in Southern Oregon is that we have access to some really great species of fish. For local fish, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, bass and steelhead top the list. If we take a short drive west to the Oregon Coast, we have access to ling cod, tuna, and snapper fresh from the ocean.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABear Creek earlier this spring….

Bear Creek is a tributary of the Rogue River here in Southern Oregon.  Bear Creek runs through the middle of the Rogue Valley and during certain times of the year, you can actually see salmon and steelhead making their journey back from the ocean to their spawning grounds a few miles upstream.  Bear Creek is home to many species of plants and animals including otters, beavers, ducks, and turtles.

Of all the fish that I cook for my family, steelhead is one of my favorite fish to prepare.  Steelhead trout lead a different lifestyle as compared to the other species of trout that inhabit our local creeks, lakes and reservoirs.  It’s an anadromous fish and that means it is born in the fresh water, spends most of its life in the salt water ocean and returns later in life back to the fresh water stream where it was born to spawn.

My Grilled Steelhead Trout is simple to prepare and perfect for a busy weekday meal.  Steelhead trout is similar in texture and taste to salmon.  Just marinate the fresh fillets in a homemade teriyaki sauce, toss on the grill and within minutes dinner is done. Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 12-16 ounce steelhead fillet (use salmon if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (see recipe below)
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Wash and skin the steelhead fillet. Cut the fish into large serving sized pieces.  Marinate the fish in teriyaki sauce for at least 1/2 hour.  Heat up the barbecue and lightly oil the grates.  Place fillets on hot barbecue.  If you don’t have a barbecue, that’s okay…  Feel free to prepare the fish on a grill pan on your stove or broil it in your oven. Cook for only a few minutes, flipping fish only once.  Fish is done when it begins to flake with a fork.  Be sure to not over cook.  Remove from heat, drizzle with teriyaki sauce and serve.  Makes 2 – 3 servings.

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch

In a medium sized saucepan whisk together soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch.  On medium low, cook mixture stirring occasionally for a half an hour or so until mixture has thickened.  Let cool.  Any leftover teriyaki sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.


Grilled Herb Stuffed Wild Trout

Grilled Herb Stuffed Wild Trout

There are few dishes that I can think of that tastes better than fresh Oregon caught Grilled Herb Stuffed Wild Trout. Somehow, trout tastes better when you catch it yourself just like I did over the weekend.  Simply delicious!

Early morning in the Sky Lakes Wilderness.  The air was cold, crisp and clean. We were the only people on the lake that day. Do you see the first snow of the season on the mountain?  There was one snow patch on the gravel road on the way up to the lake.  Once we saw the snow, we all knew that it was the last day of trout fishing for the year.  Within weeks or even days, access to this beautiful high mountain lake will be non existent due to snow covered roads.

Once we got out on the lake, the water looked like glass.  It was so cool to see the reflections of the clouds on the surface of the water.

A view of Mount McLoughlin from the north.  Mount McLoughlin is located in Southern Oregon in the Cascade Mountain Range.  It is a volcanic mountain peak nearly 9,500 feet in elevation.  I’ve never been to the top but, from what I have heard from others is that the view on a clear day is spectacular.  If there was anyone on the top of the mountain that day, they would not have been disappointed.

Fishing poles, check.  Fish finder, check.  Down rigger, check.  Beverages, check…  What a perfect day to go fishing!

It was early afternoon and the wind started to pick up.  Between the three of us, we had not caught a thing.  No bites, no bumps, no nothing.  I was starting to get a bit discouraged because I am used to catching fish.  What was so interesting, is that we observed numerous fish on the fish finder but the problem was that we had difficulty getting them to bite.  We trolled flashers, we bait fished, we tossed out a variety of lures, and we worked the surface of the lake.  We hit all depths and we threw everything that we had in our tackle boxes at them.  The fish simply were not interested.  I’m thinking it is because it was very late in the season and the water was really cold.  When the water is cold, the fish tend to slow down, they are not as hungry as they are in the summer months and in the winter, they descend into depths of the lake.  In the summer, different story.  You can catch the fish from the bank and at times have better luck than those who fish from a boat.

Finally… It happened.  It was a late bite.  By late afternoon, I was the first one to land a fish.  Woo-hoo!  By the end of the day the score was:  John – 2, Tessa – 1 and Matt – 0.  I felt bad for Matt, for he had a brand new fishing pole that he got for his birthday the day before.  Today was a perfect example of why fishing is called “fishing” and fishing is not called “catching”.

My catch of the day!  I am so glad that I did not get “skunked” and have to return home empty handed.  I probably would not have heard the end of it…

My Grilled Herb Stuffed Wild Trout is prepared with fresh caught trout, fresh picked herbs from my garden, and is brightly flavored with orange and lemon zest.  It’s easy to make, fresh tasting, quick to prepare, and most of all delicious!  Most importantly, Bruce loved it too!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound trout (cleaned, scaled, head and fins removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (I used mostly parsley, then, chives and thyme)
  • 1 Tbs each lemon and orange zest
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon wedges
  • fresh chopped herbs for garnish

Prepare trout for grilling.  Wash and pat dry.  Set aside.  Mix together herbs, lemon zest, orange zest and olive oil.  Fill cavity of fish with the herb mixture and on the exterior of the fish.  Add salt and pepper.  Place fish on plastic wrap, tightly cover and refrigerate for an hour.  Remove fish from plastic wrap and place directly on a medium high grill or barbecue.  Cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.  Don’t overcook!  Gently remove from grill, place on serving platter.  Garnish with herbs and serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 2.



My son went back up to the University for fall term and the final day he was home I made a big pot of Cioppino to share with our family for his send off dinner.  Cioppino is a fish stew that is of Italian American origin and is served at many seafood restaurants up and down the west coast of the United States, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area.  It is a spicy tomato based seafood stew generally prepared with fresh caught dungeness crab, live clams, shrimp, mussels, scallops, fish fillets and plenty of white wine.  Every time I make Cioppino it is never exactly the same as I made it last for I use what ever fresh fish and shellfish that I can find at my local store.

I love to make a vat of Cioppino when our family vacations at the Oregon Coast (talk about fresh seafood!) or when I have a large group of friends stop that by our home.   It’s easy to make and tastes delicious with a fresh picked green salad and crusty french bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped fennel bulb
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of seafood stock (I used vegetable stock this time)
  • 1 pound shrimp (cleaned, shelled and deveined)
  • 1 pound fresh clams (scrubbed well)
  • 1 pound fresh scallops
  • 1 pound fish such as halibut or salmon (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 pound cooked dungeness crab legs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by grabbing an extra large dutch oven or pot with a snug lid.  Place on stove, with medium heat add the onions, fennel and olive oil.  Cook until onions become translucent.  Add garlic, bay leaves, oregano, basil, cayenne, wine, tomatoes and stock.  Stir well.  Cover, cook on medium low for about an hour and a half or until flavors marry.   Stir occasionally.  When nearly ready to serve, add fresh seafood and shellfish to the boiling stew, cover and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and the clams open.  Discard bay leaves and any unopened clams.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with sprigs of fresh fennel leaves or fresh chopped parsley.  Makes about 12 – 14 servings.

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

Late last week, my family and I took a much needed vacation to the Southern Oregon Coast.  Bruce booked us a hotel room that overlooked the Pacific Ocean in nearby Brookings, Oregon.  Our room had a fabulous ocean view and was only about a hundred yards from the beach.  You could hear the waves crashing along the shore at all hours.  It was so relaxing…

On the first morning (obviously, I was still on my work schedule), I woke up a few hours before my family, grabbed my camera, and headed out for a brisk morning walk along the beach.  It was fairly early and only a few people were out and about.

I walked past the harbor full of boats and down towards the south jetty.  I wanted to see the Chetco River and to catch a glimpse of boats leaving the harbor and heading out to sea to catch dungeness crab, ling cod and tuna.

The view east up the Chetco River.  The harbor is on the right and the Chetco Bridge is in the background.  Once I made it to the south jetty, I decided to walk back down the beach towards our hotel.  The weather was cool and calm.  Fortunately for me it was just overcast and not raining.

Nobody on the beach but me… Before heading back to my hotel room I decided to stop by some large rocks hoping to find some tidal pools.  I found a few.  It was near low tide and I was able to see all kinds of aquatic life.  Mussels, starfish, anemones, and lots of birds such as gulls and pelicans.

I slipped my macro lens on my camera to take photos of some of the creatures that I happened to see clinging to the rocks.  These gorgeous mollusks are blue mussels.  You can find them all over the rocks at low tide.

Gooseneck Barnacles waiting for the tide to come back in…

Seaweed growing on rocks at low tide.  Do you see the little snails and barnacles?

Note to self…  When photographing aquatic life be sure to watch waves closely.  Dingy me, I did not pay attention and ended up with soaked sneakers and jeans.  Wet shoes makes for a long miserable walk back to the hotel.  Next time, I will be a bit wiser and wear sandals.

My Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail was inspired by a shrimp cocktail appetizer that I ordered at a local seafood restaurant down in the harbor.  It’s made with fresh Oregon bay shrimp nestled in fresh picked lettuce leaves, drizzled with homemade cocktail sauce and garnished with fresh lemon wedges.  It’s an easy and delicious appetizer.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

  • 4 cups bay shrimp (cleaned and chilled)
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup Easy Cocktail Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 4 parsley sprigs

Arrange leaves on a plate, small bowl or in short stemmed dessert glass.  Add shrimp and top with cocktail sauce.  Garnish with lemon wedge and parsley sprig.  Makes 4 appetizers.

Easy Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 Tbs grated horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • dash hot pepper sauce (I like Frank’s)
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Put in covered container and refrigerate up to 3 days.  Makes a little more than a cup.  Use on shrimp or crab cocktails, fish, fried oysters, shrimp or clams.  It’s delicious!

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

There’s never a shortage of salmon when you live in Oregon.  Bruce and I eat salmon quite often because it’s delicious, quick to prepare and most importantly, one of our favorite local ingredients.  Salmon is so versatile too.  We barbecue it, make salmon chowder, poach it, bake it, put it in tacos, make sandwiches out of it, and even put it in dips.  The number of ways to prepare fresh caught salmon is virtually endless…

Yesterday I fired up our smoker for the first time this year.  We had guests coming over for dinner later in the evening and I thought that fresh smoked salmon would be a fabulous appetizer with cream cheese and crackers.

If you are going to smoke salmon, you need to prepare the fish the day before and be ready to smoke it the next day.  Smoking salmon is really a simple process but does take a little bit of time once the salmon is in the smoker.  I like to grab a good book and have an ice cold beverage on hand during the smoking process.  Using the smoker forces me to sit down and relax for an hour or so while the fish is being smoked.

For the recipe, I adapted Alton Brown’s smoked salmon recipe.  In my opinion, any recipe by created by Alton Brown is a winner.  I’m a complete fan :).

The salmon is almost done and ready to be pulled off the smoker!  Now, all I have to do is brush it with a bit of Indonesian Soy Sauce, cover it again, and let smoke for about 15 more minutes until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  When it’s done, gently pull it off the smoker, let it cool slightly and it will be ready to serve.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 large Salmon filet (skin on, scaled, rib and pin bones removed)
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs Indonesian Soy Sauce

Begin the night before by preparing mixing the salt, white sugar, brown sugar and cracked black pepper.  Grab a large pan and line with plastic wrap.  Put 1/3 of salt/sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Place the salmon skin side down in pan.  I cut my filet in half so it could fit in the pan and in my smoker.  Take remaining mixture and cover the top of the salmon.  Place plastic wrap directly on salmon and weigh down the fish with bricks or cast iron bacon presses.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

The next day…  Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and rinse well under cold water.  Pat dry.  It’s important to not skip this step.  Start up your smoker.  The internal temperature must be 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used hickory chips for a wonderful smokey flavor.

Place salmon on rack in smoker and smoke covered until the temperature of the fish reaches 130 degrees.  Brush top of salmon with Indonesian Soy Sauce.  Put lid back on and continue to smoke until the fish reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  Gently remove from smoker, let cool slightly and serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers for up to three days.

Teriyaki Blue Marlin Skewers

Grilled Teriyaki Blue Marlin Skewers

Our family eats a lot of fresh fish for dinner at our home.  So, it’s not unusual for me to prepare fish for my family at least once a week.  Here in Southern Oregon we are fortunate to have fresh local salmon, steelhead, and trout.  We live close to the Oregon Coast so we also have access to fresh red snapper, dungeness crab, ling cod and tuna.  So let me tell you… It’s not too often when my favorite fish counter carries exotic fish such as fresh caught blue marlin!

Fresh Blue Marlin Steak

Whenever I purchase fish, I make sure that the clerk behind the seafood counter lets me smell the fish before I purchase it.  I used to be shy and embarrassed when I asked to do that but not anymore…  Nothing makes me madder than spending ten dollars a pound on fish, taking it home and opening the package only to find that it is not fresh.  Trust me… I’m confident that the seafood counter clerk would rather see me quietly and politely refuse to purchase the fish on the spot than to see me back in the store a couple of hours later with a bad attitude and stinky fish in hand.  A lot of people I know will not eat fish because they say it tastes “fishy” and strong…  Well, I say duh!  Fresh fish is not supposed to be that way!  Preparing a meal with fresh fish is quick, easy and tastes great!

Spiny scales on the skin of the Blue Marlin

My Teriyaki Blue Marlin Skewers are wonderfully exotic and easy to make.  If you have never had Blue Marlin before, you will find that it is a dense meaty fish that can be grilled, skewered or fried.  You can use fresh tuna, shark or any other firm fleshed fish when making this dish.  Serve with a scoop of jasmine rice and cucumber salad.  Serves about 6 – 8 people.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 3/4 pounds Blue Marlin Steaks
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup Mirin
  • 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • juice of one lime

Begin by trimming the Blue Marlin Steaks.  Remove any skin.  Be careful because I found that the skin has sharp spines!  Cut the fish into one inch cubes.  Set aside.   Soak 16 – 20 bamboo skewers in water.  Soaking the skewers prevents the bamboo from burning on the barbeque grill.

Whisk together in a saucepan the light soy sauce, Mirin, sugar, cornstarch and lime juice.  Heat on stove to a boil and remove immediately.  Let cool completely.  Add half of teriyaki sauce to the bowl of fish.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about a half an hour.  When ready to grill, place fish cubes on 10″ bamboo skewers, 4 – 5 cubes at a time.  Grill on your barbeque or indoor grill about 3-4 minutes per side or to your liking.  I prefer the fish to be cooked medium rare.  Brush with remaining teriyaki sauce and serve with lime wedges.  Makes 16 skewers.

Grilled Salmon Tacos

Grilled Salmon Tacos

Here in Southern Oregon, there is never a shortage of fresh salmon.  Even if local salmon is not in season, our stores carry it year round…  My grilled salmon tacos are quick and easy for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.  They are healthy, flavorful and you could easily have dinner knocked out in less than an hour.  Makes about 4 to 6 salmon tacos.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound salmon filet cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dark chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 warmed corn tortillas
  • garnish with about 1 cup shredded purple cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, lime wedges and pico de gallo (see recipe below).

Toss salmon pieces in olive oil, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  On a hot grill pan, cook salmon about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until opaque.  Whatever you do, try not to overcook it.  Salmon cooks fast!  Fill the warmed corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and the grilled salmon.  Squeeze on some lime juice and spoon on some pico de gallo.  I told you it was easy!  Makes about 4 to 6 tacos.

Pico De Gallo

Mix together 1 cup chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.  Toss with juice of 1/2 lime, salt and pepper.

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

I love living in Southern Oregon.  We may not have the fanciest of restaurants like faraway places such as New York, Los Angeles or even Paris but we do have some amazing local ingredients at our fingertips.  And fresh salmon is definitely one of them.

I remember the very first time I caught a salmon on the Rogue River not far from my home.  The Chinook salmon that I caught was almost three feet long and it pulled so hard that it felt like I was reeling in a Volkswagen bus. It took me about twenty minutes (it seemed like an eternity) and all of my strength to successfully land that fish.  I will never forget that day.  I had such a great time!

Well, it has been many years since I caught a fish that big but I know that if I want to prepare fresh salmon, all I have to do is stop by my local grocery store or butcher.  Even if salmon is not in season, I know that I can always find a good quality frozen salmon filet in the freezer section of my local grocery store.  My Salmon Cakes are a wonderful representation of Southern Oregon cuisine.  They are light, flavorful and have a wonderful salmon flavor.  They are made with delicate panko bread crumbs, onion, celery, shredded carrots, fresh herbs and spices.  You can make about 10 large (3 ounce) cakes or two dozen smaller cakes for tasty little appetizers.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3/4 pound cooked flaked salmon (no bones)
  • 1 cup celery and leaves (diced fine)
  • 3/4 cup white onion (minced)
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • canola oil for frying

In a nonstick fry pan, on a medium flame, cook the celery, onion, parsley, carrots, butter and Old Bay seasoning until the onions are cooked or about 5 minutes.  Let cool. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and eggs.  Gently fold in the salmon, the vegetable mixture and the panko bread crumbs.   Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Using a 3 ounce scoop, form mixture into 10 patties.  Fry patties in a small bit of canola oil in a non stick pan.  Use only a tablespoon or more of the oil because you want the nonstick pan to do all the work.  Cook about 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Serve with lemon wedges or your favorite dipping sauce such as tartar or cocktail sauce.