My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Lemon Dill Salmon with Sweet Salsa

Talk about Salsa Heaven! Wes shows me how to make his family recipe for Hawaiian Salsa and it’s to die for! Pair that up with his Lemon Dill Salmon…

Prev Episode | Next Episode

Wes Hardisty

Collections Representative

Wes currently works as a collections rep for a check-guarantee company. He is a dad who enjoys cooking for his family and close friends on the weekends. His wife and his three kids are his biggest fans and critics of his food.

Q1 - What’s one tool in the kitchen you wish you had and why?

A deli slicer. Why. Because it would be great to make our own meat sandwiches

Q2 - What’s your biggest meal disaster?

I asked my wife and daughter and they both agree I have not committed any cooking disasters in a long time.

Q3 - What’s one thing you would like to learn how to make?

Beef Wellington. I have not tried it yet, but it is on the list.

Q4 - If there was one dish you would teach your kid to make, what would it be?

Roasted Chicken: It is simple, but if not done right, it can be a nightmare.

Q5 - What does it mean to you as a dad to cook for your family?

Cooking for my family is how I show them I love them.

Come enjoy some laughs with Wes Hartisty and Jason Glover as they prepare another kick a$$ meal for the family

Lemon Dill Salmon with Sweet Salsa

Transcript of Season 1 Episode 11

Jason: Welcome to Dads That Cook. I’m Jason Glover. I’m on a quest right now to go out around the country and find dads that know how to cook. They may be plumbers, electricians, physicians. We’re gonna highlight the incredible meals that they make, show everything that they do, and get you the recipes. So you can make them when you’re sitting at home with your family as well. So there’s no time limits, there’s no secret ingredients and no experts, just good cooking.

Jason: This week on Dads That Cook, we’re stopping by the home of Wes Hartisty. He’ll be fixing up a mouthwatering Hawaiian style salsa that tastes great on just about anything, including his own delicious salmon.

Jason: Hey, it’s Jason Glover with Dads That Cook. Working another meal with an awesome guy, Wes Hartisty, who is gonna cook some awesome stuff. So Wes, thank you so much for coming. You grew up in Hawaii.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: You don’t look Hawaiian, I just wanna let you know that.

Wes: I’m pretty much Poly, but no I …

Jason: Do you speak Polynesian at all?

Wes: I did when I was a kid.

Jason: I bet you did.

Wes: Yes, I could rattle it off like anybody else could.

Jason: How long did you live in Hawaii?

Wes: Just under 20 years.

Jason: Great.

Wes: And that’s where I met my lovely wife and we were going to school there together and we got married and my oldest son was born there. It’s still considered a home to us. My son is there now.

Jason: Your son is living there now and he’s going to school out there right?

Wes: He goes to school. He loves it. Absolutely.

Jason: You’ve been telling me also, he likes to free dive for the most part.

Wes: Yes, he loves to free dive.

Jason: That’s just nuts. He holds his breath for like two and a half minutes or so?

Wes: He can hold his breath for quite a while. Yeah, he gets through some long caves.

Jason: And your two daughters. So you have a 17 year old?

Wes: 17 year old named Tiana and my 12 year old is Leilani.

Jason: So Tiana and she’s going to school, 17, is it her senior year or?

Wes: Yes, it’s her junior year. Yeah.

Jason: Junior year. Okay.

Wes: It’s her junior year in high school and this year she ran track. My youngest, Leilani is 12. She also likes to experiment in the kitchen. She’s the one who says, “Dad, will you buy some shallots? Would you get some shiitake mushrooms?” Okay.

Jason: Pick this up on the way home. I’m making dinner.

Wes: I wanna try this, yeah.

Jason: So what are we making today?

Wes: We’re gonna put together a salmon with dill and lemon and onions. We’re also gonna put a side that we like to do. Our family has made a Hawaiian style papaya, mango, and apple salsa, that we actually sold in the stores.

Jason: You sold this in the stores?

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: You got a really nice looking shirt on and I don’t like to slop on my clothes. So I’ve got you something that you have to have, because I don’t like being slopped on. You can go to work with this,

Wes: Oh nice. Sure.

Jason: You can walk the streets with it. All right?

Wes: Thank you very much.

Jason: Awesome. Absolutely.

Wes: Let’s get started.

Jason: All right, let’s go cook. All right. Well here we are. We’re in the kitchen with Wes. He’s got this incredible salsa that his family used to make.

Wes: It’s a Hawaiian style salsa that we brought back with us from the Islands when we first moved over here. What we have here is a nice Mexican papaya. The next ingredient that we like to highlight is the mango. You’ve got to look at them, make sure they’ve got good color on them.

Apples, now I like the Granny Smith. Then we have our Roma tomatoes, red onion, and then we use a nice cilantro. This is the lemon that we’re going to be using. The other ingredients that we bring to this dish is just a little bit of ground black pepper. Kosher salt, a little bit of vegetable oil, some white sugar, rice vinegar.

We also use a little bit of our heat source. You can use almost any type of heat that you like. If you like jalapenos, if you like something really hot, yeah.

Jason: You want it to burn your mouth off, go for it right? Wow, I feel like I’m at Benihanis now.

Wes: One of the first things I do ,is I take the papaya, slice it in half.

Jason: Okay.

Wes: Take the insides out. When it’s all nice and cleaned out, just for safety purposes, I take a little end off the top.

Jason: Yeah.

Wes: Okay. Set it down flat and then just go right down the edge.

Jason: So when you made the salsa for the stores, was it all done by hand too?

Wes: All done by hand.

Jason: Wow.

Wes: So what I do, is I just go down the sides of it like that and I try to keep everything the same size the best I can.

Jason: Nice. You guys must have had some like big chopping boards.

Wes: Keep it off to the side.

Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: Put it all together and then make a nice dice.

Jason: And then dice again.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: I’m gonna steal a little piece of it.

Wes: Yeah.

Jason: All right. That is so sweet. That’s good.

Wes: Take it and put it down in there. Do the same thing, pretty much here.

Jason: A sharp knife is always handy. Yeah.

Wes: A sharp knife is very important.

Jason: You know, especially when you’re trying to teach kids how to cook too. And you know you get concerned about having a kid with a sharp knife.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: But if you teach your kid how to work a sharp knife.

Wes: Its much safer for them. Anybody ever rolled a tomato. You stick your knife in a tomato skin and it rolls.

Jason: Exactly, yeah.

Wes: That’s not fun. So that’s our papaya.

Jason: That’s the papaya, that’s all sliced up.

Wes: So it works better if it’s all in one location. Okay.

Jason: Sure. Yeah, makes sense.

Wes: We’re gonna do the mango next.

Jason: Okay.

Wes: Okay? So what we’ll try to do is give ourselves a good surface to work with. Mangoes are a little bit tricky. Get yourself a nice flat surface. There’s a seed that runs through the center of this thing and it looks like a little flattened football. Take your knife, you go down to that seed, find it, come around it. There’s the seed in there.

Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: Comes in there. Once you have these sides, you wanna get the skin off. Take it and …

Jason: Just slice right out of it.

Wes: Just slice right off of it. What I like is whatever will give you the maximum amount of mango fruit without losing it.

Jason: Exactly. Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: Because, you don’t just wanna have it all stick to the darn skin. I don’t wanna lose anything on the outside here. So I just take that out also and then I can use what’s left.

Jason: There’s a little extra in there.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: So you start making this salsa and you started selling it.

Wes: Well I started making it and people just started saying over and over and over again how much they liked it. After a while, we started believing it. And we took it to, like I said, a local grocery store and we talked with one of their in-house managers who was in charge of bringing in new product. Gave him a couple of chips. Said, “Here, taste this.” And he loved it. He just went, “Wow. This is great. I want this on my shelf.”

Jason: What else do you put this on?

Wes: Well we’ve had all kinds of crazy things. I’ve had people come up and tell me to put it on hotdogs.

Jason: Hotdogs?

Wes: Yeah, I’ve had people tell me that they’ve butterflied a chicken and baked their chicken and put this in it. I had a young man tell me one night, he came into the store and he says, “Hey this stuff is great in spaghetti.” And I went, “What?”

Jason: Spaghetti?

Wes: So we get everything married here real nicely. Put that off to the side here a little bit. Apples.

Jason: Apples.

Wes: Pretty simple.

Jason: Leave the peel on too. Right?

Wes: Yeah, we leave the peel on.

Jason: All right.

Wes: The peel on is nice. Pretty much down the center.

Jason: Yeah.

Wes: Paring knife, wanna go in and take the pit out. Take that off. Take that off.

Jason: This salsa looks like you know, one of those, once you get it down and you start working this thing, it’s not too complicated to make.

Wes: No.

Jason: I’m mean, this is pretty simple to make. It’s just taking the time to cut everything up. For you dads or people out there watching this show, this is like one of those deals that you’re gonna make and you’re gonna impress everybody that you know. Who made this salsa?

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative) it’s always best if you give it a little bit of prep time.

Jason: Yeah.

Wes: So that all the flavors can come together.

Jason: How many hours? Five hours?

Wes: Four or five hours.

Jason: Maybe make it the night before or something?

Wes: Make it the night before. This does not have to be perfectly diced. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t.

Jason: Have you tried this in a food processor?

Wes: Yes I have. It comes out kind of mushy. The flavors are still the same, but it’s the look. We’ll break down this next apple.

Jason: Make it happen.

Wes: Yeah. Right after I do the apples, it’d be good … Apples can oxidize real quickly and get brown, is mix them in with the other fruit so that the acids from the mango, so they won’t turn all brown. So they now maintain their color. Its got nice colors, it’s deep, it’s rich.

Jason: And we haven’t even put the red in there yet.

Wes: And we haven’t even put the red in there yet. The next is the tomatoes that we’ll put in here. Tomatoes, same way.

Jason: Take the end off? Throw it away.

Wes: Take the end off. Okay. The long way. One of the easiest ways to do a tomato is not to cut it on the skin side up. Cut it on the flesh side.

Jason: Right. Right, and we only have like 15 more of these tomatoes to go through. Yeah, we should’ve had your Sous Chef, Leilani doing this for you a long time ago.

Wes: We can.

Jason: Yeah, maybe you should get her in here and helping out.

Wes: Hey Lonnie, you wanna come in here sweetie?

Jason: Hey.

Leilani: Hi.

Wes: She’s very good at this, and she’s the Sous Chef. She’s my Sous Chef.

Jason: So you like to Sous? Well show us what you got. Working that tomato. She’s got her own style down right?

Wes: She has her own style.

Jason: Yeah. She doesn’t do the dad method.

Wes: She does things her way.

Jason: Chop, chop, chop. So what else do you like to cook?

Leilani: My hamburger.

Jason: Your hamburger?

Leilani: I threw some crunchy onions in it, some ranch dressing, cilantro. And I just throw it, mix it all together and then melt some cheese on it, tomato, lettuce, bacon, all about that bacon.

Jason: Yummy. Bacon. Awesome. Boy, that came out prefect.

Wes: You did a good job sweetie.

Leilani: Thank you.

Wes: Thank you for helping honey.

Jason: All right. See you later, bye.

Leilani: Bye.

Wes: What we’ll do now, is we’ll get these tomatoes in here and get those married up a little bit. We’ll get these mixed in and then we’ll put in our final ingredients and this thing will be ready to go.

Jason: Yeah.

Wes: So we got this red onion. Peeled it up a little bit. We’re gonna do half of it, diced on this.

Jason: That’s the easiest way to go. That’s what we’re talking about right there.

Wes: And then when we go into it, it just slices it really nicely.

Jason: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Wes: Gives us our dice.

Jason: If you’re first time getting into the kitchen or maybe you’ve been in a kitchen a few times. You just gotta get in there and chop and chop and chop. If it doesn’t come out perfect, don’t worry about it. It’s still gonna have that yummy flavor.

Wes: And then cilantro, all I want is pretty much the nice meaty parts. Take that off, a good way to play with this a little bit or to get it all together, is to roll it kind of compactly. Get your fingers in there and chop it up.

Jason: I have not tried that before. Doing a little rolling action.

Wes: Yeah. And then that goes in. The cilantro adds some flavor to it. It also has some other properties that make the salsa just come alive and pop a little bit.

Jason: Sure. Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: When it comes to the pepper. It’s just a pinch.

Jason: Pinch. That’s it. Okay.

Wes: Kosher salt.

Jason: Maybe a tablespoon almost. Something like that.

Wes: This does look like quite a bit of sugar.

Jason: Five pounds. Five pounds of sugar.

Wes: Yeah, about a quarter cup of sugar. Next thing we wanna do is we’re gonna put in some oil, some vegetable oil.

Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: This just helps keep everything together. Rice wine vinegar.

Jason: Kind of spread that out a little bit.

Wes: Yep.

Jason: And then you spread your little happy hot sauce over there.

Wes: And then we’ve got a little happy hot sauce. Hot sauces are to your taste. You could put jalapeno’s in this. This is more of an Asian sauce. It’s something that we’re used to over there and so that’s what we’re gonna put in it.

Jason: Sure. Okay.

Wes: It does have a little bit of a kick. You don’t need a lot of this. So then what we wanna do is we wanna get these things together. We wanna marry it all. We wanna make sure we fold it in here real good, because we don’t wanna bruise or break anything else up. We’ll get the lemon on here.

Jason: All right. You just gonna do a little squeeze by hand?

Wes: Yeah.

Jason: Yeah, you got good strainer hands?

Wes: Okay. Just let it go through the fingers. You can also use lime.

Jason: Lime?

Wes: Lime adds a really nice flavor to this, also. And that actually looked like it-

Jason: There was a lot of juice in the half of lemon.

Wes: Put a lot of juice in this and I’m not gonna use the other half. And we’ll get this mixed in.

Jason: Back to mixing again. You know what would’ve been great, if we had some chips to try it with here. Do you know what I mean?

Wes: I think I know somebody who might have some chips.

Jason: Do you know somebody or has chips?

Wes: Yeah, I’ll get my little chip girl. Hey Leilani, you got some chips sweetie?

Jason: Chip girl.

Leilani: I sure do.

Jason: Hey it’s chip girl.

Wes: All right. Let’s put these chips off over here. What do you think?

Jason: Thanks chip girl. Do you wanna try some chip girl?

Wes: Do you wanna try one?

Jason: I’m gonna let you try it first and see if I should actually eat it. Is it good with the chip? Yeah?

Wes: Is that good?

Leilani: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: Let me …

Jason: So you can get that sweetness right off the bat. I can feel the heat in the back of my throat.

Wes: Back of your throat.

Jason: I don’t know. It’s like this fruit juice that just like went straight down my throat.

Wes: Your pallet grabs each one and you go, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” You eat this, you think you’re at the beach.

Jason: All right so we got our salmon and we’re ready to work on that.

Wes: This is a farm raised salmon, but it’s nice and pink and that’s what you like. If you can get wild, that’s the best.

Jason: Yeah, Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: So this is just a simple, easy, kind of fast recipe. I preheat my oven.

Jason: Okay.

Wes: I get that up to about 425 or more. This is a rather thin piece of salmon, so it won’t take that long.

Jason: Not as long to cook right?

Wes: And you don’t want it to overcook. You don’t want it to be dried out.

Jason: Right. No, you don’t want it to be dried out.

Wes: We’ll put this together. We’ll get this thing rolling, ready to go. Take our onion and we just want nice slices.

Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: So we’re gonna just break these up. I want nice pieces.

Jason: Okay. Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Wes: That way, you need to put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of this thing.

Jason: Yeah, so it doesn’t stick.

Wes: Make a bed of the onions. Put a little salt and pepper.

Jason: A little pinch on that. A little kosher salt again.

Wes: A little Kosher salt. The next thing we wanna do, is we just wanna make some wagon wheels, very thing.

Jason: Yeah.

Wes: So we’ll put that down. This gives the fish something to lay on. We’re gonna take just a little bit of dill.

Jason: And just lay it in there.

Wes: Just lay it on there.

Jason: Slap old fishy-boy …

Wes: Right down on top of there. Okay.

Jason: Poor little fishy.

Wes: Take a little bit of a zester. If you’ve got a zester, there’s a lot of flavor and oils in the rind of a lemon. So I just take that and I scrape some.

Jason: Just pull.

Wes: So you get these nice long strings.

Jason: Pull and scrape.

Wes: Olive oil on here to have everything adhere to it.

Jason: On top. Rub that in there.

Wes: Not too much. Remember you want the flavor of your fish. Take the lemon.

Jason: This looks absolutely beautiful. I love that zest.

Wes: And then on the top here, I don’t want all of the stocks.

Jason: Sure.

Wes: And I’m gonna shave. So not real hard.

Jason: Sure.

Wes: Get some of the bigger stocks out of there. Give it a real rough chop. I want it to look nice.

Jason: Sure.

Wes: And then we’re gonna just put it on top of the fish. The lemon that we zested, cut that in half. Take a little bit and put it over the top of the fish.

Jason: That’s gonna taste great.

Wes: And then we’re done. We’re gonna bring the sides in and we’ll kind of leave it a little bit open up on the top here.

Jason: Yeah. You’ve got some water.

Wes: A little bit of water. I’m not gonna pour it over the top of my fish. I don’t want anything …

Jason: Underneath it.

Wes: Yeah.

Jason: Yeah. You could use some really nice white wine. That would be tasty if you could throw a nice wine in there and I highly suggest using a wine that you actually like to drink.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: If you’re not gonna drink it, don’t cook with it.

Wes: You can also cook this with the salsa.

Jason: Hey that’s a great idea.

Wes: You could actually put a nice little line right down the center of the fish if you’d like.

Jason: You could.

Wes: So what we wanna make sure, is that we preheat our oven. I like it up to about 425 degrees at about 15 minutes or so.

Jason: Sure.

Wes: You wanna check it before you bring it out, but you don’t want your salmon to be dry. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna try to get this tented up here. So we wanna crimp on the ends

Jason: Yeah, yeah.

Wes: Bring this together. You wanna bring as much of this up as we possibly can. We don’t wanna cover it all the way. Want it have some breath …

Jason: Venting. Some venting.

Wes: This is ready for the oven.

Jason: Awesome. Let’s do this. All right. There you go.

Wes: Make sure it gets down here to the center rack. It goes into the center of the oven. Don’t burn yourself and you’re done.

Jason: Wah-lah. All right. So you got your fish, it’s in the oven.

Wes: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jason: So you’ve got to have your special Dads That Cook oven mitt.

Wes: Ah nice.

Jason: You better whip that on so you don’t burn your hands.

Wes: Thank you very much.

Jason: As soon as our fish is ready, we’re gonna pull it out right now and oh that looks good.

Wes: Oh, very nice. Here we go.

Jason: Oh that looks good.

Wes: All right. Jason, I’d love for you to meet my family.

Jason: Great. I’d love to.

Wes: My wife, Mary. My oldest daughter, Tiana.

Jason: Hey.

Tiana: Hi.

Jason: How are you?

Tiana: Good.

Wes: And then the youngest one, Leilani who you guys met earlier.

Jason: Very nice to meet you. Come on in. Come on in. Come on in.

Wes: Come on up in here. Get in here.

Jason: That looks pretty good. What do you think?

Leilani: Delicious.

Tiana: Well it’s always good.

Jason: It’s always good? Do you like your dad’s cooking?

Tiana: Yeah.

Jason: Are you sure? You’re positive? You’re not lying? Not for television?

Tiana: I won’t eat anybody else’s food.

Jason: You don’t eat anybody else’s food? Just his.

Tiana: Uh-huh.

Jason: That’s excellent, Wes. You’ve trained these girls well. It just smells so good. All right, go in. Dig. Mm-hmm (affirmative)- How’s that?

Tiana: Always.

Jason: Oh yeah, get that big bite.

Tiana: Very good.

Jason: Don’t waste any time on that. Why don’t I get in there and have a little bite of this action here too.

Wes: Okay. Go for it.

Jason: Before these girls … they look a little hungry. Yeah, I’m just gonna go in. Oh my god. It’s hard to describe, because it’s like eating a bowl of candy almost and you’ve got all this yummy protein with the salmon. But that salsa is just, like it explodes in your mouth. It just goes boom and you just wanna keep eating it.

I really want to thank you, Wes and Mary and lovely girls. This has been very nice coming to your home and opening it up and sharing your recipe with us and everybody else here too that’s watching this show. I think they’re really gonna be fired up about what we made today.

Wes: Thank you very much for coming. Thank you.

Jason: Thanks Wes. Appreciate it so much. Thanks.

Leilani: Thank you.

Tiana: Thank you.

Jason: Thanks Sous and her Chef-ness too. So that’s it. That’s our show. So go to dadsthatcook.com We got the recipe up there. Until next time, keep on cooking. That’s awesome.

Wes: Thank you guys.

Jason: Good stuff. So are you a dad? Do you like to cook? Do you cook meals for your family? Are you a regular dad like I am and not professionally trained? But you think you’ve got what it takes to be on my show? Go to dadsthatcook.com fill out the form and who knows, you might be the next person on our show.