Guests Love Grilled Salmon

Couple concocted a flavorful marinade that highlights their popular seafood entree.

By Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon

Double K Grilled Salmon Meal

Double K Grilled Salmon Meal

When we have company in the summer, I don't think twice about what to serve. Our favorite "impress-the-guests" meal is Double K Grilled Salmon, Herbed Onion Focaccia, Rice Noodle Salad and Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake.

Each item is easy to prepare, and many parts of this menu can be made in advance, which is great.

My husband, Kevin, is a fly fisherman, and we love to cook his catch of salmon or steelhead. Double K Grilled Salmon is our “signature” dish.

Upon trying it for the first time, one of Kevin’s friends said he could eat this fish for the rest of his life and be perfectly happy. We are very proud of this recipe and playfully titled it “Double K” for our two first names.

It came about when we looked for a spicy teriyaki-style marinade but couldn’t find one we really liked. I checked cookbooks, taking note of ratios of sugar to vinegar and other ingredients used in marinades. We then combed our cupboards and drawers to see what we had in stock at home.

Krista Frank

I started adding small amounts of all the ingredients until we came up with exactly what we wanted. I’m a big believer in not running to the store to buy one fancy ingredient I’ll use only once. I always find a substitute, and if I can’t, I just make something different.

Bread Has Oomph!

Herbed Onion Focaccia is one of my old standbys that goes well with so many meals. I’d tried a bread recipe that called for just the onion. It was good but needed more oomph. Since I love basil and throw it into many dishes, I thought it might also spark up the bread.

Best served warm, its crust is crisp and salty. Inside, it’s tender and pleasantly seasoned. The next day, it makes the best toast you’ve ever had! Over the years, I’ve given out this recipe more often than just about any other.

Although I make my Rice Noodle Salad more frequently in the summer, I serve it year-round. It’s a fun and different side dish to take to a potluck. Sometimes, I add grilled or stir-fried chicken or beef to make it an all-in-one meal. I use its peanut dressing as a sauce in stir-fries, too.

I wanted to make my younger son an ice cream cake one year for his summer birthday, as he prefers ice cream to cake. He picked the ice cream flavors, and I used my brownies as a crust. Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake has become his birthday tradition—we change the ice cream flavors depending on his favorites each particular year.

As an option, you can make individual servings of this refreshing dessert by baking the brownies in muffin tins.

“I’m a big believer in not running to the store to buy one fancy ingredient I’ll use only once. I always find a substitute, and if I can’t, I just make something different.”

Field Editor:
Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon

Family: Krista and Kevin have two sons, Michael, 9, and Jonathan, 7. Kevin works in industrial sales.

Job: Krista is a substitute teacher and an aspiring children’s book and cookbook author.

Activities: Coordinator of a school/community cookbook, senior center volunteer, Red Cross blood drive coordinator and women’s retreat planner at church.

Hobbies: Quilting, knitting, making jewelry, reading Christian mysteries and cooking mysteries. “I liked Catering to Nobody and others in the series by Diane Mott Davidson.”

Stretch-the-Dollar Start

My interest in cooking developed when Kevin and I were newlyweds with little extra money. I began watching a few local cooking shows on public TV with greater interest and checking out cookbooks and cooking magazines at the library. I also promised myself that each time I went to the store, I would buy one new ingredient or spice I hadn’t tried before.

It was challenging to see how little I could spend at the grocery store and how far I could make the food go. I’ve come a long way as a cook as a result of experimenting while feeding my husband and our two growing sons.

My friends now call me for family-friendly meal ideas and help when they cook and bake—that makes me feel really great!

Krista Frank and family

We live in a small community at the base of Mt. Hood, about 1 hour east of Portland. As a family, we like to hike mountain trails near our home. Many are historic wagon train routes. One trail not far from us takes you to a place where you can see rope burns in trees that were used as leverage in lowering wagons down a cliff.

Our area is wonderful for fly-fishing, camping and snowshoeing in the winter. In summer, we like to drive to the coast to go crabbing and spend time at the beach.

But no matter what the season, we love to share good food, like this favorite meal. Hope you’ll like it, too.

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