Salmon Stew

Time to get your waders on--the salmon is running in Michigan and your anglers will be hauling in some great beauties. There is an aura to this time of year that is unparalleled. You cannot imagine the thrill of landing one of those 20 pounders. If you are lucky enough to catch one, when cleaning it, make sure you remove all the bones and the belly fat. Trim the dark meat from the skin side of the fillet--this is where pollutants are more likely to be found. Recent studies have shown, however, that our Great Lakes fish have less pollutants than ocean fish!

In the Loon River Café, we specialize in a different regional stew everyday. This Salmon Stew will feed a gang of hungry camo-decked outdoorsmen.

2 TB                    butter
2 cups                  celery, chopped fine
1 ea.                   cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
1 cup                   zucchini, diced
2 lbs.                  potatoes, diced
1/4 cup                 dry white wine
1 TB                    garlic, chopped fine
2 oz                    fresh dill, chopped fine
1 quart                 half and half
8 oz.                   clam broth
1 cup                   flour
1/4 cup                 oil
2 lbs.                  salmon, diced 
to taste                salt and pepper

In a soup pan, melt the butter and saute the celery, cucumber, zucchini and potatoes. When celery turns translucent, add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add your clam broth. Add garlic, dill and cream. Simmer about 10 minutes. Thicken with 1/2 cup of roux (mix together 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup oil), then add your salmon pieces. Simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you think it's too thick, you can add a little more water.

Which wine to drink? Since you used a white wine in the cooking, why not continue with it? The Pelee Island Winery makes a great Dry Riesling. Go for it. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook--especially when they can get some time off for hunting and fishing!