Where Is...?

12 November 2010


I mentioned on my last post that I had received some samples of dill and fennel pollens as well as a pollen/spice mixture called "Big Devil". Usually when you hear the word "pollen" images of sneezing fits and Kleenix piles come to mind, at least for me. But not this stuff.... after preparing dinner tonight I have a new respect for dill.
I have always like dill things: relish, pickles..etc, but the actual herb, it has always made me wince. Too grassy feeling in my mouth and I always felt like I was having to spit something out. But using the pollen gave me all the flavor of dill without all that grass.
I chose to do salmon basically because I wanted something simple and it said on the back of the package that it was excellent with salmon. I love wild caught sock-eye salmon, mostly because I like the texture. Wild caught is firmer and less fatty.
I made a compound butter out of lemon zest, kosher salt and the pollen and placed it in the freezer to firm up while the salmon cooked. I heated up a 12inch cast iron skillet in the oven (450) and seasoned the salmon: sea salt, a generous spoonful of pollen, drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest...
Once the skillet was hot, I swirled some butter in the pan and placed the salmon in, meat side down. Placing it back in the oven for 7 minutes. Heating the pan would get me the caramelized crust I wanted immediately and get the salmon cooking quickly. I made my red rice and steamed some broccoli...
What came next was pretty awesome...
I removed the salmon from the oven...the dill pollen, salt and lemon zest had carmelized to the meat, giving off this toasted dilly buttery aroma.. yes, aroma! The house still smells late into the evening...

Okay here is the recipe:

4 each, 6oz salmon, skin on
4 tbsp dill pollen, available HERE
2 tsp kosher or sea salt
zest of one lemon
Coat salmon with ingredients and place meat side down into hot cast iron pan and into a 450 degree oven for 7 minutes...

Compound butter:
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tbsp dill pollen
1/2 tsp kosher salt
make sure the butter is room temperature and mix ingredients together. Place on piece of plastic wrap and roll into a tube, place in freezer while salmon cooks. After salmon is cooked, remove butter  from freezer, slice a piece off and place on top of hot salmon..it will melt slowly as you enjoy the salmon. (see above photo, in front of the lemon)

I have pork shoulder that will be getting the "Big Devil" treatment next week... I think I am going to go kind of Jamaican with that meal... but we shall see... Big ups to the folks over at Pollen Ranch for the samples.  I am looking forward to whatever else I make next....


  1. Sounds wonderful! I like the technique of using the cast iron skillet preheated in the hot oven...will try that. I am waiting to see how you use the fennel pollen. :-)

  2. That looks like a great dish. Michelle uses dill with her Salmon all the time, but never tried pollen. This will be a must. Great technique with the skillet. Like that a lot. Cheers!