Hope January is treating you well so far! In keeping with a lot of those New Year’s resolutions about eating healthier and making good choices with food, I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic local family run business and one of my favorite easy to make salmon recipes!
I had the honor of meeting with Allison of Kenai Red Fish Company last fall to talk about sustainable salmon fishing and her family’s company. We met up at Water Avenue Coffee Company, a really cool coffee roaster in SE Portland. It was easy to get to for both of us and provided the perfect opportunity to chat and learn more about each other’s business. She really loves working for her family’s business and it shows. I learned more about sustainable fishing during our conversation and was impressed by the dedication Allison and the team at Kenai Red Fish Company have in both providing top quality product and sharing what they have learned with the community.
This is Kenai Red Fish Company’s story, straight from Allison:
We offer the finest, premium wild Alaskan sockeye salmon direct from our boat to your table. We believe we are the only family in Oregon or Washington offering sockeye salmon from the Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet salmon – Kenai Reds – are sought after world wide, and considered one of the highest quality sockeye salmons in the world. The Cook Inlet is the body of water below Anchorage, Alaska.
We are proud to say that our Community Supported Fisher (CSF) now has over 200 customers after our 2013 season – Not bad for our first year!
Our vision is to bring the highest quality, sustainably harvested sockeye salmon to the tables of those who care about:
* a direct relationship with the fisherman
* healthy eating
* sustainable fishery practices
* active support of family small scale business
* the origins and handling of what they eat
Our Community Supported Fishery – Our Community Supported Fisher (CSF), Kenai Red Fish Company, was formed to provide house holds with shares of our salmon, very much like the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model for farm produce. We offer 10 lb and 20 lb shares of flash frozen, vacuum sealed, wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, that we deliver to your home in Portland and surrounding areas within 3 hours drive time.
Buying Clubs - In addition to our 10 lb and 20 lb shares, we are creating the “Buying Club” concept, an order of 100 lbs or more. A buying club is a group of people that meet one or more times a year, at a pre determined date, place, and time, to pick up their pre ordered salmon. By combining your order with like minded sea food lovers, it allows you to get our salmon at a whole sale price.
Our story - Clint Benson and family live in North East Portland. Clint and Bob Wolfe first met in Kasilof, AK (on the Kenai Peninsula) in 1980 as 19 year olds who hitchhiked from the lower 48, seeking a dream to become a commercial fisherman. Clint from Corvallis, Bob from Sacramento. For the next 10 years they worked together during the summers starting as dock crew at the cannery, eventually becoming deck hands on commercial salmon fishing boats in the Cook Inlet.
At that time Clint left commercial fishing, taking more traditional jobs in Portland, where he and Barbara raised three wonderful daughters.
Captain Bob never left Alaska, and has been commercial fishing in the waters of Cook Inlet for over 30 years.
In 2010, Clint rejoined Bob with an eye towards creating Kenai Red Fish Company. In 2012 it became official, and we are now completing our second year.
The process from catch to dock – Our wild Alaskan sockeye salmon are caught in the ocean waters of the Cook Inlet, having spent 2-4 years in the open sea. Once caught, our fish are bled and put into ice cold sea water and ice where they are stored until we reach the dock.
At the dock, our fish are put in large totes which again contain a sea water and ice combination, otherwise known as slush ice. We out 100-125 fish into each tote. The canneries will get 200-250 fish in each tote. At this point, they are immediately transported to a small, family owned processing facility where they are filleted, vacuum packed, and flash frozen at minus 30 to minus 40 degrees. This all happens, catch to final product, in 12-24 hours.
Transportation from Alaska to Portland – Our fish is transported to Portland within a freezer container on a barge and then stored in our local warehouse until delivered to our customers.
I had the chance to try a frozen filet myself and WOW, it was delicious! The quality of the salmon was unlike any frozen salmon filet I’d had. The color was bright pink and the texture was the similar (or the same!) to fresh fish when thawed.
With my sockeye salmon filet, I decided to make one of my favorite healthy, fast, and easy recipes – Salmon in Foil. Anyone can make this simple and tasty recipe, whether you’re a novice cook or have more experience in the kitchen. As long as you have the salmon thawed, you can prepare this in the oven and have it on the table in 30 minutes or less.
- 1 salmon filet (fresh or thawed), 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Lemon - sliced, 1/2 Tbsp Dried Dill, Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a large rectangle of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. The foil should be large enough to fully seal in the filet. Put the salmon filet in the foil, skin side down. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon. Sprinkle the dried dill evenly on the filet. Follow with sal and pepper to taste. Slice the lemon into thick slices and place on top of the salmon. Wrap the foil around, folding tightly on all edges to seal. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and remove a lemon slice from the middle of the filet to check for doneness. If done, the salmon will flake easily with a fork. If it is still dark pink in color, cook for another minute or two and check again. When salmon is done (flakes when tested with a fork) slice filet in half and serve. Serve with the baked lemon slices as a garnish. Delicious with brown rice and steamed vegetables.
- Can easily be doubled - two prepared salmon filets will fit side by side on a baking sheet.
If you’re in the Portland, Oregon Metro area – we have a giveaway just for you! Kenai Red Fish Company is generously giving 3 pounds of this delicious salmon to one of you!
They will deliver within the Portland metro area to the lucky winner so if you’re in Portland/SW Washington – enter below and good luck!
Follow Kenai Red Fish Company on Twitter @KenaiRedFishCo
Disclosure: I received the pictured salmon filet from Allison to try and I loved it so much I asked if they would sponsor a giveaway for my local readers. The opinions shared are 100% my own – this was truly delicious salmon, better than any I’ve bought before.