THE Dish: Tom Douglas' Salmon with Shiitake Relish

(CBS News) Award-winning chef Tom Douglas didn't start his career in the kitchen.

Douglas tried his hand at a number of jobs, worked as a carpenter, in wine sales and even repaired railroad cars. But, none of those jobs swayed him from his true passion -- cooking and business.

The self-taught cookbook author and entrepreneur has amassed a culinary empire of 13 restaurants in Seattle and published four cookbooks -- his latest is "The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook," which was just released this month.

He stopped by "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to prepare his ultimate dish: Pit Roasted Salmon with a Shiitake Relish.

Blog: "What's Cooking"
Special section: Food and Wine


Etta's Pit Roasted Salmon with Grilled Shiitake Relish and Cornbread Pudding
Tom Douglas
From Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen
Serves 6

For Salmon Spice Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Six 7-ounce salmon filets
  • Olive oil
  • Etta's Cornbread Pudding (see recipe)
  • Grilled Shiitake Relish (see recipe)
  • 1 lemon cut in 6 wedges
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Fire up the grill.

To make the Salmon Spice Rub, combine the sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl. Coat both sides of the salmon portions using all of the rub.

Brush the grill and fish with oil. Grill over direct heat, covered, with the vents open. When the salmon is marked by the grill, flip and finish cooking. I like our salmon medium-rare, which requires a total grilling time of about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. The sugar in the spice rub can easily burn, so watch it closely.

To serve, spoon the warm cornbread pudding onto 6 plates and rest a salmon fillet up against the pudding. Spoon some grilled shiitake relish over each salmon fillet and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh basil leaves.

Grilled Shittake Relish
Tom Douglas
From Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen
Serves 4 to 6 as a condiment

  • 3/4 pound shiitake mushroom caps, wiped clean
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fire up the grill.

In a bowl, toss the mushroom caps with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms on both sides, over direct heat, until cooked through, about 5 minutes total cooking time. (Unless your mushroom caps are large, you may want to set a rack over your grill or use a grill basket so you don't have any mushrooms falling through the grates.)

Remove the mushrooms from the grill and thinly slice. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sweat 2 to 3 minutes until soft and aromatic. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, combine the mushrooms, shallot-garlic mixture, herbs, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Season the relish to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature.

Tom's tasty tomato soup with brown butter croutons
Makes 6 servings

When I was a kid and my mom made tomato soup, she would cut buttered toast into squares and float them on top of each bowl. My twist on Mom's toast is to make brown butter croutons, though when I'm really feeling feisty I go all the way and make grilled cheese croutons (page 346) to float on the soup. to cut the bread for the brown butter croutons, take a 4- inch chunk of rustic bread (5 to 6 ounces) and cut off and discard the crusts using a serrated knife. Cut the bread into 4 slices, then cut the slices into 3/4-to 1-inch cubes.

Special equipment: Blender


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
  • 5 cups canned whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Brown butter croutons
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 slices European-style rustic bread, crusts removed, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (30 to 36 cubes) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, cream, salt, red pepper flakes, celery seed, oregano, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and puree in batches in the container of a blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat to a simmer, seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, to make the brown butter croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the butter is golden brown and aromatic, about 3 minutes after the butter melts. Remove from the heat. Put the bread cubes in a bowl and pour the brown butter over them, tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake until the croutons are toasted and golden, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the oven.

4. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the croutons.

Etta's Cornbread Pudding
Tom Douglas
From Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen
Makes 6 servings

For cornbread:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus a little more for buttering pan

For the pudding:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter plus a little more for buttering pan
  • 1cup thinly sliced onion
  • 3/4 cup grated dry jack cheese (or substitute regular jack or sharp cheddar)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the cornbread, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish. Combine the flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and honey. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and stir into the mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake about 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into one inch cubes. You should have about 8 cups of cornbread cubes, but you only need one third of the cornbread cubes (about 2 2/3 cups) for this recipe. (Note: freeze the extra cornbread for future batches of pudding.)

To make the cornbread pudding, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Put the 2 2/3 cups of cornbread cubes in a buttered 8x8-inch baking dish. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan on low heat and very slowly sauté the onions until soft and golden brown, at least 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Scatter the onions, cheese, and herbs over the cornbread cubes. Whisk together the cream and eggs with the salt and pepper and pour over the pan of cornbread cubes. Let sit 10 minutes so the cornbread cubes absorb some of the custard. Bake about 40 minutes or until set and golden. Serve warm.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.