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RBR Tailgating: Glazed Salmon

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You have to pick between breakfast or lunch. The “brunch” time looks to be taken up by Allen, Williams... Dammit! I think I just missed out on a “sack lunch” gag.

I’m not exactly sure who we are playing tomorrow.

I watched, in the sense that I flipped around during commercials, this Mississippi State team lose to the University of South Alabama back in week one, let UMass hang thirty-five on them, lose by two to Kentucky, let Samford - not Stanford - score forty-one points, and then turn around and knock off the number four ranked Texas A&M thirty-five to twenty-eight.

Who are these guys?

The national media isn’t giving this game much of a thought. We’re back in the old Jefferson-Pilot slot. I’ve never been happy with the eleven am kickoff. A football day should be just that, a day. It’s hard to competently evaluate the ten thirty pm PAC-12 or whatever game when you cracked beer one twelve hours earlier. The nap falls in the wrong time slot.

Do you even bother setting up a grill before the game or just wait until the general exodus before firing up the charcoal. Breakfast or lunch? What is the tailgating minded fan to do?

I can answer that, but first, a few thoughts.

We are wearing out the “n” and “w” keys on our qwertyies trying to let our fellow Tide folk know how “nice” and “wonderful” the Bulldog fans are. I can’t make it to the game myself, but I wish I could. To hear some tell it I’m missing out on a possible host gift.

I’m not making fun… maybe a little. But since when did a visiting team’s camp followers promise such goodwill and merry making?

Aside from this site, I’m getting the hagiographic profile from one of my best friends. He’s absolute in his assertion that Starkville is one of the finest game day experiences outside of the beloved shadow of Bryant-Denny. He’s talked me into a road trip next year. I can’t wait to meet these exemplars of sportsmanship and intra-conference conviviality on their home turf, especially since a blind eye is turned to apparently clearly worded rules prohibiting outside noisemakers within the confines of NCAA and SEC Stadia, of which Davis Wade is counted. Look for me there next November. I’ll be the one wearing air horn bandoliers.

There is a disturbing trend whereby otherwise normal and agreeable people stop pronouncing the correct final syllable of any city name ending in “ville” and replace it with “vegas.” You’ve heard it. “Starkvegas.” “Nashvegas.” “Vladovegastok.”

If you are someone who uses this… what? Colloquialism? Cant? I’m not sure what to call it, but you can stop. There’s no study that ties usage of blahblahvegas to any officially recognized pathology, but in layman’s terms it does track with early onset jackassery. The good news is that it’s a reversible condition. Stop. These last two paragraphs have no thematic relationship to this post, but they are important. Stop.

So with an eleven am kick-off what do you do? Breakfast or lunch? No fair saying brunch because traditional brunch time will be filled with Jonathan Allen style destruction.

What follows is not exactly bagels and lox, but people have been eating salmon and chewy dough for a not insignificant stretch of time now and the combo slips seamlessly from am to noon menus across the diaspora. This should work pre or post game.

I’m not sure that I need to beg indulgence for an aside anymore in a regular column that has become increasingly a collection of asides, but if I could, I’d like to beg an indulgence. I read about the food I write about every week. It’s not even native curiosity at this point so much as habitual continuance down a Google hole. I follow a link to a link to a link. This week I was struck by something.

“Lox,” comes from the Yiddish word for salmon, derived from the Indo-European word for the same, “laks.” It’s cognate with the Scandinavian and Scottish “gravlax.” The majority of you reading this are likely smarter than me and so not as likely to wonder why the hell the Indo-Europeans were dreaming up names for fish swimming around the Pacific and North Atlantic from their Caucasan mountain yurts, but I learned there is a species of trout, and all trout are close relatives to salmon, native to the Black Sea. That’s where the name comes from. #thingsIlearnedtoday

Glazed Salmon

salmon filets

½ cup honey

juice of 2 oranges

½ tsp. cloves

red onion

bagels

cream cheese

chives, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil

There are few portions of importance in this recipe. It doesn’t matter how much cream cheese you spread on the bagels or how big a pinch of chives you top that cheese with. The only measurements that matter are the proportions of honey to juice to cloves.

Those three measurements matter. Disregard the amounts you see in the pictures. I made this up as I went and version one, the sexy photographed version, was just wrong. You try and fail and learn.

I don’t know how many people you intend to cook for. The proportions I gave can be doubled, tripled, etc. as needed. Though I only cooked three filets I would assume from the amount used vs. the amount left over that there is enough glaze for eight filets as written.

I should also caution against spilling any of the glaze. It’s honey with orange juice. The sugar content is absurd. Even after mopping up there is a spot or two on the bottom of your shoes and it makes a maddening slurping sound as you walk and the dog will not stop licking the floor no matter how many times you shoo him. Not that that happened to me.

Anyway, make the glaze the night before.

We came back from Baton Rouge with a ton of satsumas from my wife’s aunt’s garden so I used those, but oranges would be just fine.

Combine the citrus juice with the honey in a small sauce pan.

Smash a half tsp. of cloves and add them to the pan with a small pinch of salt. Reduce, whisking all the time, until the liquid sticks to the back of a metal spoon. About ten minutes. Pour into a bowl, refrigerate and keep chilled until needed.

Split bagels in half, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Do the same with rounds of red onion. Set them on the grill and cook to taste.

Salt and pepper each salmon filet and then brush generously with the honey mixture. Grill, covered, on indirect heat until medium rare. The time will vary depending on the cut of fish, the amount of charcoal, etc. Salmon flakes nicely, so peeking to see how deeply and properly cooked it is is fairly easy.

I’m not sure if this is better before eleven am or sometime around three pm, but we thought it was pretty tasty when we had it last night.

Roll Tide, no injuries, and enjoy.