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Flying With Faber: Healthy, Delicious Cuisine Prepared with Waterfall, Alaska Fish

By Stuart J. Faber

Now that the holidays have passed, it’s time to activate those New Year’s resolutions.  It’s safe to say that most of us have resolved to shed the extra pounds we put on over the holidays.  Not only are weight losses generally considered a contribution to better health and a longer life, the less you weigh, the more stuff you can pack into your airplane without being over-grossed.

Most physicians and dietitians agree that eating fish can extend your life. I make frequent trips to the supermarket in search of fresh fish. I’m often disappointed. Much of the product carries a label, “previously frozen.”  Fresh or frozen, the prices are usually high. I prefer to catch my own. That way, I’m sure of what I’m getting. Plus, I can think of fewer pastimes more fun than fishing.

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes (Stuart J. Faber)If you are cutting down on your intake of red meat, what better alternative than a salmon patty? Cardiologists insist that we should consume salmon at least once a week. This recipe not only makes delicious burgers, you can fool yourself into believing you’re enjoying a hamburger.  Plus, it will impress the doctor when he/she examines you for your pilot’s medical.

4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 scallion, sliced thin
1 small shallot, minced
¼  cup  red onion, diced small
¼ cup celery, diced small
½ cup each red & green bell pepper, diced small
2 tablespoons capers
½ jalapeno pepper, diced small
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 (1 1/4 pound) skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup vegetable oil or olive oil

Combine 3 tablespoons panko, parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, scallion, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne in bowl. Set aside. Working in 3 batches, pulse salmon in food processor until coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces, about 2 pulses, transferring each batch to the bowl with the mixture you have just made. Do not over-pulse. Gently mix the salmon with the mixture until uniformly combined. Before shaping patties, pinch off a small amount and cook it in skillet. If it tastes great, continue to make patties. If not, add more seasonings to taste.

Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in pie plate. Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop level amount of salmon mixture and transfer to baking sheet.  Repeat to make about 9 cakes. Carefully coat each cake in bread crumbs, gently patting into disk measuring 2-3/4 inches in diameter and 1 inch high. Return coated cakes to baking sheet.

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place  ½ of the salmon cakes in skillet and cook without moving until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip cakes and cook until second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining cakes.  Transfer cakes to paper towel–lined plate to drain 1 minute.  Makes about 9 cakes.  Serve over bed of romaine lettuce-or wrap a cake in a lettuce leaf.

Sautéed Halibut or Cod in Tomato Sauce

Sautéed Halibut in Tomato Sauce (Stuart J. Faber)Halibut is a very popular fish-not only with its colleagues in the ocean, but on restaurant menus. If you over-cook halibut, it will be tough. I suggest filets no more than 3/4” thick and cooked in a very hot pan for just 2-3 minutes per side.

4 (6-oz.) halibut or cod fillets1/2-inch thick (2 filets, about 1 lb. for 2 people)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2  large shallots or 1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped olives
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Pat fish dry on both sides. Season fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil over medium-high heat in large, heavy skillet. Sauté fish 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork and is opaque throughout. DO NOT OVER COOK! Transfer fish to a plate and keep warm.

Add shallot or onion to skillet, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until opaque and tender. Add garlic at sauté for 30 seconds. Do not brown. Add capers, olives, basil, thyme and oregano, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, add tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is hot. . Sprinkle with parsley. Check for seasonings.  Place fish on top of sauce. Scoop some sauce over fish.  Serve over steamed rice.

Blackened Salmon & Lentils

Blackened Salmon and Lentils (Stuart J. Faber)Lentils, a member of the legume family, are surprisingly easy to prepare.  They are packed with protein, dietary fiber and Vitamin B1.   Salmon, full of omega fatty acids is one of the world’s leading fish for good health.  Meals like this will not only keep you away from lawyers who practice disability law, they will keep you away from doctors as well.



1 cup dry lentils (preferably Lentils du Puy)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes, juice included
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon each paprika, oregano, granulated garlic, sugar
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley flakes
4  (4 to6 ounce) salmon filets

Rinse lentils and set aside. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook onion and celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft. Do not brown. Add garlic and carrots and stir for 1 minute. Add lentils, chicken stock, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika, granulated, garlic, sugar. red pepper flakes and bay leaf.  Stir ingredients together and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy.  They should be slightly al dente.  Remove bay leaf.  Add parsley flakes


Blackening the salmon produces a crispy surface and a moist, juicy interior

While lentils are cooking, place a heavy 12” skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat for 5 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  A highly heated pan is the secret to beautifully seared salmon that does not stick to the pan.  Rub extra virgin olive oil over both sides of the salmon and season generously with coarse salt, dill weed and freshly ground pepper.  Lightly sprinkle with light brown sugar. Do not remove the bottom skin.  Place filets in the skillet and sear for 3 minutes.  Do not move the filets for this period.  Flip the filets and place the skillet in the oven and cook for 5-8 minutes until the filets are medium rare. 

Spoon a generous mound of lentils on the plate and place a salmon filet over the mound.

Fabe’s Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos (Stuart J. Faber)I know some folks who travel to Mexico just to savor a great fish taco. Save yourself a trip and try my version. The guacamole is also great.


2 white fish filets, about 1 pound total: cod, red snapper or sea bass
pinch kosher salt
pinch black pepper
pinch sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil & 1 tablespoon butter
6 corn tortillas
1/2 head green cabbage or lettuce
1 ripe tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Shred the cabbage or lettuce. Drizzle with lime juice. Let stand in refrigerator.

Combine mayo, lime juice, onion and cilantro. Lightly salt, pepper and sugar. Let rest in refrigerator

Season the fish filets with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.  In a heavy skillet, heat oil until hot.  Then, add butter and just melt. Place filets in skillet. Cook on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Cool filets for about 3 minutes, then cut into large chunks or strips. While fish is cooling, heat tortillas in oven or brown in a dry heavy pan over high heat until slightly browned.

Mix lettuce or cabbage with aioli sauce.

Assemble tacos with fish,  sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. Add shredded cheese, if desired.

These could also be made with wild caught Alaskan shrimp.


3 Hass Avocados 1/4 teaspoon cumin2 limes, juiced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper1/2 red onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped1/4 cup chopped cilantro 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped1 Roma tomato, chopped1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Chop and smash avocado and mix all ingredients well.

I highly recommend a trip to Waterfall resort. The accommodations are warm and comfortable, the fishing is fantastic and the staff is unparalleled in skill, efficiency and friendliness. They will pack your fish, send them on to the airline and you can pick them up in baggage claim when you arrive home.  For more information on Waterfall Resort in Alaska, visit, or call 800/544-5125.



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