Smart Salmon Strips with Thai Basil Guacamole

Who wants to be smart? To have all the knowledge in the world? Who doesn’t! Isn’t that why we go to school and spend years hitting the books? What if there was a way to gain all the knowledge in the world instantaneously? Well, according to an old Irish legend, there is! All you have to do is to eat a piece of salmon, even a tiny piece. Oh, don’t rush to your nearest store! It’s not any salmon; it’s a very special salmon, The Salmon of Wisdom.

Seven years Finneces had been on the Boyne, watching the salmon of Fec’s Pool; for it had been prophesied of him that he would eat the salmon of Fee, after which nothing would remain unknown to him. The salmon was found, and Demne was then ordered to cook it; and the poet told him not to eat anything of the salmon. The youth brought him the salmon after cooking it. “Hast thou eaten any of the salmon, my lad?” said the poet.

“No,” said the youth, “but I burned my thumb, and put it into my mouth afterwards.”

“What is thy name, my lad?” said he.

“Demne,” said the youth. “Finn is thy name, my lad,” said he; “and to thee was the salmon given to be eaten, and indeed thou art the Finn.” Thereupon the youth ate the salmon. It is that which gave the knowledge to Finn, so that, whenever he put his thumb into his mouth and sang through teinm laida, then whatever he had been ignorant of would be revealed to him.

He learnt the three things that constitute a poet: teinm laida, imbas forosna, and dichetul dichennaib (a magic formula, illuminating inspiration,and magic gifts). . It is then Finn made this lay to prove his poetry:

May-day, season surpassing! Splendid is color then. Blackbirds sing a full lay, if there be a slender shaft of day.
The dust-colored cuckoo calls aloud: Welcome, splendid summer! The bitterness of bad weather is past, the boughs of the wood are a thicket.
Summer cuts the river down, the swift herd of horses seeks the pool, the long hair of the heather is outspread, the soft white bog-down grows.
Panic startles the heart of the deer, the smooth sea runs apace-season when ocean sinks asleep-blossom covers the world.
Bees with puny strength carry a goodly burden, the harvest of blossoms; up the mountain-side kine take with them mud, the ant makes a rich meal.
The harp of the forest sounds music, the sail gathers-perfect peace. Color has settled on every height, haze on the lake of full waters.
The corncrake, a strenuous bard, discourses; the lofty virgin waterfall sings a welcome to the warm pool; the talk of the rushes is come.
Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches round the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses.
The peat-bog is as the raven’s coat, the loud cuckoo bids welcome, the speckled fish leaps, strong is the bound of the swift warrior.
Man flourishes, the maiden buds in her fair strong pride; perfect each forest from top to ground, perfect each great stately plain.
Delightful is the season’s splendor, rough winter has gone, white is every fruitful wood, a joyous peace in summer.
A flock of birds settles in the midst of meadows; the green field rustles, wherein is a brawling white stream.
A wild longing is on you to race horses, the ranked host is ranged around:
A bright shaft has been shot into the land, so that the water-flag is gold beneath it.
A timorous tiny persistent little fellow sings at the top of his voice, the lark sings clear tidings: surpassing May-day of delicate colors!

                                                             From The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn.

big fish sculpture Belfast

Detail from the “Big Fish” (or “Salmon of Knowledge”) statue in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Its “scales” are made up of many enameled sections with images ranging from buildings, through to old newspaper cuttings to modern-day pictures by local schoolchildren (photo credit Wikipedia).

Apparently, the trust in Wise Salmon imparting knowledge still runs deep; the second largest Institute of Technology in Ireland, ITSligo, proudly carries The Big Fish as a part of its logo. I am only wondering if there is any connection between King Solomon the Wise to whom all the knowledge in the world was granted per request, on the spot, and the Salmon of Wisdom. Is it a coincidence that in Hebrew Salmon is called Salomon?

Slmn strps 1.jpg

Well, there is no harm in trying, is there? Let’s take a salmon filet, an avocado, and some garlic. And let’s cut the filet into strips, about 1 inch (2/5 cm) wide. Let the avocado and garlic “talk among themselves,” as Joan Rivers used to say.

Slmn strps 1a.jpg

This is a fast and easy recipe. The idea is to get smart, not to spend your time cooking! Just get some corn meal, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and allspice.

Slmn strps 2.jpg

Mix corn meal with salt, pepper, and allspice, and dredge salmon strips through it. Meanwhile, preheat a slightly misted with oil frying pan or griddle. Fry skin side down for 2 – 3 minutes, flip and sprinkle with lemon juice. Fry on the other side for 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to blot out excess oil.

Meanwhile, peel avocado and discard the pit. Smash avocado with a fork, leaving it chunky. Mince a couple of garlic cloves into it, as many as you like. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and Thai basil to taste. If you can’t get Thai, regular basil will do. Save some basil for garnishing.

Plate your salmon strips with guacamole on the side and sprinkle remaining basil over the fish. Now take a bite – do you feel smarter already? Of course you do; you just learned a delicious new recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb salmon filet, skin on
  • 1 Haas avocado
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely ground corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped (may be replaced with regular basil) and more to garnish
  • Salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste

PROCEDURE

  • Cut salmon across into 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide strips.
  • Combine corn meal with allspice, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat lightly misted with oil frying pan or griddle.
  • Dredge salmon strips through corn meal. Make sure they are well coated.
  • Fry skin down for 2 – 3 minutes, turn, sprinkle with lemon, fry on the other side 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Remove to plate lined with paper towels to blot out excess oil. Put aside.
  • Peel avocado, discard pit. Smash with fork to chunky consistency.
  • Add minced garlic, basil, lemon juice salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve salmon strips hot, warm, or cold, with guacamole on the side.

Enjoy!

 

 

50 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you! This was made to break the fast tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds great! I haven’t started cooking yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I tried to reply but it didn’t work. Enjoy! I haven’t started cooking yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It worked. I don’t fast well, although today wasn’t so bad, considering, so I prepare everything in advance. Cooking, baking, etc. for tomorrow!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I discovered that the secret is to drink a lot of water and supersaturate. Then, it is not so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Everybody’s body works differently.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I also wanted to know how you pickle vegetables without vinegar, please. I am not familiar with pickling. Thanks! Enjoy your fish for dinner tonight.💕

        Liked by 1 person

      7. What fish? Ah, the one that was! My husband took care of it pretty fast, so I suppose it was ok. Here is a link to my pickling recipe, and your friend Tzippy has one that is almost identical to mine. Enjoy!
        https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/pickled-grape-tomatoes/

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Pleasure! Enjoy, and by all means, get Raizel involved. Since you can pickle practically anything, you may want to defer to her choices. The more initiative you give her, the more she will feel in control and thus gain more independence. I hope you don’t mind unsolicited professional advice!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Actually, your advice is excellent. I think you really “get” some of the issues that I grapple with. Thank you! I think however, the more independence I give, the more out of control she feels. Often, she only knows what she wants or likes when she sees other people. It is complex.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Thank you. Again, the advice is unsolicited, but I ran a school for children with special needs, so I am very much aware of the issues. I didn’t say “give independence”; I suggested to offer her initiative in making choices. This way she gets a feeling of being independent, while in reality you are the one in control. And anyway, I was talking about interaction with vegetables, not people – that’s a whole different topic! Again, I truly think you are doing a phenomenal parenting job!

        Like

  1. I like the crispy crust. Looks very tasty! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much, I always appreciate your approval.

      Like

  2. Love the story! Great post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the salmon. Basil guacamole sounds interesting and delicious!! Love it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Makaitah says:

    Let the avocado and garlic “talk among themselves” 😂😂😂😂 it looks so succulent and delicious! Who would have thought that salmon could have such a rich history! This is such an amazing piece! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you sweetheart! But everything has a history, and I simply enjoy digging into it.

      Like

  5. Makaitah says:

    Reblogged this on Makaitah Rogue and commented:
    When a fellow blogger dedicates an entire blog to you! I feel like a million dollars right now :). Enjoy this wonderful, informative and educational blog on the Salmon of wisdom. Its looks yummy but I just want to stare at it in my plate because the history is so rich! Richer than some of you lol. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again, and all the millions in the world are nothing compare to your beauty and the personality that shines through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makaitah says:

        No, thank YOU for your awesomeness and everything between. You a star!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sumith Babu says:

    That Guacamole sounds very interesting and delicious. And loved that story as well:) Thank you Dolly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – your opinion means a lot to me. My husband ate all the guacamole before we got to the end of the salmon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sumith Babu says:

        Haha me to love guacamole of any kind!!

        Like

  7. Jane says:

    Attractive sction of content. I just stumbled upo your web site and
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    Like

  8. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Happy St Patrick Day, Beautiful People! Here is an easy recipe spiced with some Irish lore and Irish poetry – enjoy!

    Like

  9. CarolCooks2 says:

    Recipe and a story is what I love about your posts, Dolly they make them uniquely you..That salmon sounds delicious I haven’t used cornmeal like that will have to try it and of course, it is lovely to see Thai basil being used in the guacamole 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Carol! I love using corn meal for breading instead of bread crumbs (picked up the trick in Moldavia many years ago), because it keeps both fish and meat moist and juicy, at the same time providing a crunch and an interesting flavor. As to Thai basil, I used to get it at an Indian store, but now – am I lucky or what? – friends of ours have an urban garden where they grow it and don’t know what to do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Wow..how lucky is that? I love Thai Basil I use far more than any recipe says I love fresh herbs…Yes it sounds a great alternative and a change from breadcrumbs for breading fish or chicken 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I use only fresh herbs as we didn’t have dried herbs in Russia, and I’ve never learned to use them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. CarolCooks2 says:

        Fresh is best…I suppose dried have a place somewhere 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL Somewhere is right 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  10. lghiggins says:

    Would never have thought of salmon with a side of guacamole or guacamole combined with basil, but it all sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was one of my funky ideas, and it turned out very tasty. Thank you for stopping by, dear Linda!

      Like

  11. A beautifully constructed post. I like the Hebrew Salomon thought

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Joëlle says:

    I love this recipe ! I can just see myself biting on the fish crust, mmmm… 😋
    I think this would go perfectly well with lightly fried tomato halves on the side, maybe because right now I am getting a little tired of winter vegetables… Saw the first asparagus of the year in the store today, ok, not local yet, those were from Spain (our version of your California 😄) but still, it’s a sure sign that spring is on its way!
    Thank you, Dolly, have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, seared tomatoes, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar – thank you for a great idea, Joelle!
      Fortunately, we don’t have “winter vegetables,” since we live in perpetual summer, but we do have our seasons for certain vegetables and fruit (2 – 4 seasons a year, to be sure). That’s when we turn to California. I try to buy locally sourced produce, though, whatever is in season, and think what to make of it.
      Have a wonderful week as well, dear Joelle!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. randyjw says:

    Lovely post, Dolly, from the recipe to the Irish poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel. There is an old Russian debate: do most drunks wax poetic, or, on the other hand, does every poet eventually become a drunk? Female poetesses like yourself are not included.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. randyjw says:

        My vote is on the first: drunks waxing poetic; at least, the happy, nostalgic ones…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Russian drunks are not happy drunks, mostly, contrary to the Irish ones. It is reflected in their poetic output as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. randyjw says:

    So, maybe the second choice – – cold, like Siberia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s more like it, although I personally have never been east of the Ural mountains. I have a cousin who spent almost 20 years in Norilsk which is considered the coldest city in Siberia. I don’t know how she not only survived, but built a brilliant career. If it were me, I’d never stick my nose out on the street!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. randyjw says:

    Brrr….. I couldn’t do it, either.

    Liked by 1 person

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