We’ve heard it since we were young: eat more fish. The notion that fish is healthy for us isn’t new. But accomplishing this isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t live near the ‘source’. Living only four hours away from the ocean, you would think that we would have amazing access to fresh fish in our local stores. But that isn’t quite the case.
I love fish, but I’m very picky about where it comes from, how sustainable the source is, the quality and freshness. Call me a princess, but more often than not I’m disappointed.
Fish is a great source of protein, and unlike their land-dwelling animal counterparts, the fattier the better. Fatty cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines are rich in essential omega-3 fats (DHA – docosahexaenoic acid and EPA- eicosapentaenoic acid), which are anti-inflammatory compounds that may help protect against heart disease and help our brain health and potentially other inflammatory conditions. And these days I feel that anything that can help my brain health is A-OK in my books!
I’ve recently been introduced to a company called Haida Wild that is based out of Haida Gwaii in beautiful Northern BC and embraces everything that I look for as far as a fish source is concerned. Their mission is to help guide others back to the ways of nature: living more connected lives, eating cleanly and sustainably, and knowing the origin of one’s food. They refer to it as ‘seafood with respect’: I love it.
Haida Wild supports ocean-friendly fishing methods such as hook & line, hand-harvesting and trap fisheries, each recognized for producing the finest quality wild seafood available. They are an Ocean Wise partner and use these sustainable methods so that future generations have the same opportunities that we do.
One of the things that I love the most, from a quality perspective, is that Haida Wild’s proximity to the fishing grounds provides them with the ability to buy directly off of the boat. This allows them to process the fish within hours of delivery and have it blast frozen as soon as possible, locking in nutrients and flavour. They call it ‘fresh frozen’, which makes a lot of sense.
Now, frozen food has received a bad reputation, but (mostly) undeservedly so. Frozen food, either fish or vegetables, is far more nutritious than canned food, and is often superior in quality vs the fresh counterpart (of course we’re talking about frozen foods that aren’t laden with sauces or breading etc). Unless you are able to buy the fish fresh off of the boat yourself, getting fish that has been flash frozen at the point of catch is absolutely the best way to go to ensure that you are getting the freshest product.
I was thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Haida Wild to create a recipe with one of their products. I chose salmon to start with, but can’t wait to experiment with the halibut too! You can buy their fish online and have it delivered straight to your door. This salmon dish is simple and ready in minutes. I served it with my Coconut Cilantro Lime Rice and a side of grilled vegetables. Just the kind of meal a new mom needs (our baby is due in 3 short weeks)!
- 2 lb. (cut into 4 pieces) Salmon filets (Coho, Chinook or Sockeye), room temperature
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed*
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 fresh limes
*to smash your garlic, simply take a peeled clove of garlic and press down firmly with the flat side of a chef’s knife to smash the clove, which releases the flavour
- Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel. Place the salmon skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Preheat the broiler in your oven and place the top rack approximately 6 inches from the element.
- In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat on the stove until melted and it starts to foam. Add the clove of garlic and cook until the butter turns very slightly golden brown. Add the honey and salt and cook on low, stirring, until it is reduced in half. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Heat a grill pan coated with vegetable oil (I used avocado oil) on high. Grill the salmon filets, two filets at a time, for 2-3 minutes skin side up, enough to sear the salmon and get grill marks on the top of the filet (see pictures above). Place the filets on the prepared baking sheet.
- Evenly spoon a tablespoon of honey butter over each salmon filet and broil until cooked, approximately 5 minutes depending on the thickness. It should be slightly caramelized on the top (golden brown) but still moist on the inside.
- Cut one lime in half and squeeze the fresh juice over the filets along with any remaining sauce. Cut the remaining lime in wedges to serve beside the fish for guests to squeeze on the fish.