Smackdown: Better Late Than Never


Okay, yes, it’s Friday, not Thursday.


I did cook and photograph and eat this salmon sandwich with bacon and green chile chutney (from The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining) for dinner last night. And I did sit down at the computer. But then Le Tour was on, and it was ON, so I had to watch. I HAD TO.

Look, Le Tour only happens once a year. Do you want to begrudge me? Are you a bunch of begrdugers? Maybe I misjudged you.

chutney fixin's

So: this sandwich. Brian wanted to do a grilling-oriented Smackdown, because he likes to stand over fires when it’s seventeen bajillion degrees outside. He also has a love of sandwiches that borders on the unnatural. I like a good chutney and will eat pretty much anything that has poblanos it in*, so this sandwich fit the bill perfectly.

I put the chutney together as soon as I got home from work, since it has to simmer for a while to break everything down and get all nice and syrupy. Tomatilloes, roasted poblanos, onion, dark brown sugar, cider vinegar, cumin and salt got together in a pan, came to a boil and were reduced to a simmer.

*Plus: BACON.


I started up some bacon in another pan while Brian was outside melting his face off getting the grill started. Some crazy orange Sockeye salmon got a hit of salt and pepper before meeting up with the hot grill grates.


So Brian swears by the Jamisons, authors of this book, for all things barbecue; they have great sauces and rubs. I like them because waste not want not: for this sandwich, they have you saute red onion in the rendered bacon fat. You know, for that extra flavor taste. People who know to hang on to their bacon fat are good people.


The fish was done lickety-split, and the chutney was finished at the same time: time for stacking. Bread-butter lettuce-onions-salmon-chutney-bacon-bread.

This sandwich has everything you want in a high-quality sammie: Good bread. Greens. Delightfully charred protein. Tasty condiment. Crunchy bacon. So you end up with perfect salty, savory, sweet, chewy bites.

The green chile chutney – I’m glad I made a full recipe, because I’m going to slather this on everything that comes off the grill. In fact, since it keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, I may make a double batch next time. Sweet, tart, bright, with a little texture – fantastic. You should make some.

4 thoughts on “Smackdown: Better Late Than Never

  1. thank you, i think i very much would like to make some. but i think i’ll slather it on something cooked in the comfort of my air-conditioned lair.

  2. Regarding the crazy orange salmon – Right?!?! Every piece of Sockeye I’ve seen lately has been extra orangey. Still tastes good but a little creepy. Obviously I’m much to lazy to look up why.

  3. Sockeye’s other name is Red Salmon. Mostly because it turns red in the creek on its merry way to spawn but also because of the flesh. Also, the sockeye are running in Alaska right now and you probably got fresh never frozen fish. It is the middle of a record run of Sockeye on the Kenai this year, so make the most of it.(I’m a commercial fisherman in Alaska, but we go for Kings/Chinooks.)

    I do love a poblano. That chutney looks fantastic.

  4. Also because fish farms can REGULATE the colour of their fish’s flesh, if that isn’t the creepiest thing you’ve ever heard about things you routinely put in your mouth. I can’t remember what it is they add to the fish’s diet or what have you, but they’ve got a whole little paint-chip-looking colour scale and they can pre-plan where on that scale your particular slab of salmon is going to end up.

    That said, I still want to eat the hell out of this. Why have I never put bacon and salmon together? I love both of those things!

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