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September 6, 2007 / Tony

Carns Family Salmon

I had a very good salmon dish while visiting Bridget and Paul this past weekend.  Paul was kind enough to invite me to see the Gopher game on Saturday night and both were kind enough to let me stay with them all through Sunday.  They are quite a combination in the kitchen together and decided to serve me their favorite salmon dish which I will call Carns Family Salmon.  Here’s the recipe:

Carns Family Salmon 

2 lb whole filet of salmon 

1 cup dark rum

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coarse salt

1 T black pepper

Mix all ingredients, except the salmon.  Then marinate the salmon for 12-24 hours in a plastic bag.  Rinse the salmon thoroughly and then rinse again.  Grill on a soaked cedar plank or over indirect heat.  While grilling brush the salmon often with this glaze:

juice of 1 lemon

melted butter, same amount as lemon juice

enough brown sugar to make a slurry

I’ve got pictures, of course.  Here’s the marinated salmon:


Here’s the salmon on the grill:


Notice how careful Paul is.  He is taking the temperature of the salmon so he knows when to add the Patty-pans to the grill.  Here’s the finished salmon with the grilled Patty-pans:


It was delicious salmon.  It was sweet, of course, but that sweetness was cut by the rum and the acidity from the lemons.  The flesh was fully seasoned all the way through.  It was just good eating.  Apparently, it is quite popular with their dinner guests.  Bridget makes one change to the recipe.  She only marinates for 4 hours instead of 12-24.  Otherwise, she thinks, the salmon gets too salty.  I guess I can’t argue since I’ve only had it the one time.  For myself, I can only think of one modification to the recipe that would possibly work:  I would substitute soy sauce for the rum.  But hey, I’m Asian.  Give this recipe a try, you’ll like it. 


Leave a Comment
  1. Paul / Sep 7 2007 9:02 pm

    Don’t go for the soy or you will be SOrrY. The rum makes all the difference.

  2. Tony / Sep 11 2007 4:59 pm

    Thanks for the warning, Paul, but that makes me think of a question I have with cooking with clear alcohols like rum or vodka. How much flavor are they really supposed to add? This is more true of vodka which is supposed to have a neutral taste-that’s what you are looking for in a great vodka. (Funny isn’t it? The more you pay for vodka, the less you can taste it.) That’s why I don’t understand vodka tomato sauce at all. What does the vodka add that red or white wine couldn’t do better-that’s assuming that alcohol itself does something to the dish (an issue that is not resolved). Rum does have more flavor than vodka but it is not strongly flavored. I’m not convinced of its culinary usefulness, more evidence needs to be gathered.

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