You won’t normally find me bragging about the quality of anything that I buy at “the Chinese Emporium.” In fact, they have the poorest quality in town on most of their “fresh” meats, fruits and vegetables. Still, they have the lowest prices around here, so we usually just sort very carefully to try to get the best of what they have. If we decide to go for quality, we go to the local Kroger’s or Foodland. Ironically, if we want to drive 15 miles and cross the river into enemy territory, THEIR Wally World has QUALITY meat, fruit and vegetables at the same prices that our local one charges for crappy stuff.
We have to really watch our money these days, but the missus was getting a little tired of our budget meals the other day and asked me to help her find some good salmon. We were in WW at the time, so I was dubious. First I told her to be sure not to get anything out of the Pacific, as it might make us glow in the dark (think leaking Jap nuclear power plant). Actually, I didn’t figure they’d have anything else. I hate not to support our west coast fisheries, but I don’t trust what our government has to say about their safety, since they RAISED the allowable radiation in seafood AFTER the leak.
I was surprised to find two types of Atlantic salmon for sale, seasoned and unseasoned. At first, my wife was going to get the seasoned variety, since it was a smaller package for $11, compared to $18 for a larger package of the fresh unseasoned type. Both were vacuum-sealed. The smaller pack would have made us two meals, the larger, three or four. The seasoned was selling for $11 a pound and the unseasoned for $5 (cents dropped). $6 to toss on a few spices seemed ridiculous, so I convinced her that the larger piece would be cheaper in the long run.
When we got home, she divided the salmon into four one-meal packs and froze it. We’ve eaten two of the packs so far, and the stuff is DELICIOUS! She fries it in butter and uses absolutely NO seasoning, not even salt or pepper. The skin ends up hard and crispy, but it doesn’t matter; I never eat it anyway. Nor do I eat the gray, fatty layer of stuff UNDER the skin, which is thickest at the mid-seam of the meat. I consider that mix of fat and cooked fish blood to be the equivalent of the mud vein on a rough fish and I don’t eat it on ANY fish. I’m sure if I was starving, I wouldn’t be so particular.
The flesh is tender and moist and has the most DELICATE flavor that you could ever imagine. I prefer my red meat and poultry the same way, fresh and unseasoned and cooked, but not OVER cooked. I’m sure that those who’ve ruined their taste-buds with heavy seasonings and fiery sauces would consider our way of cooking bland. That’s okay, though, because they forget that sauces and such were originally designed to cover up the flavor of bad meat, in the days before refrigeration. GOOD meat needs no such camouflage. Fresh vacuum-packed Atlantic salmon from Walmart—AMAZINGLY good! © 2016