As some of you may know, my mother-in-law gifted us the most amazing smoker. We have thoroughly enjoyed it as these summer days are winding down. I am definitely the cook in the family but the Husband has been anointed the official smoker of the household. I provide the ingredients and the accompaniments and he provides the most delicious smoked meats and fish.
This week the Husband wanted to smoke some salmon and here is how he did it, and what I served with it.
What you will need: (for the salmon)
1 to 1 1/2 lb piece of wild salmon, bones removed
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white granulated sugar
1/2 sea salt
1 T fresh cracked pepper
(for the sides)
1 baguette, sliced on the bias and grilled with olive oil
4 T creme fraiche
2 T fresh chopped dill
2 T capers, chopped
2 T fresh chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
Store bought cream cheese
Mixed green salad
What you will do:
1. The night before you plan to smoke, prepare the salmon. To make the cure, mix the sugars, salt, pepper and slather all over the salmon. Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap and then cover in foil. Place the wrapped salmon in a dish and weight it down with something heavy (like canned food, or a foil-wrapped brick). Let the salmon cure for 24 hours. During this time, the cure will pull all the water out of the salmon, discard as you notice liquid throughout the 24 hours.
2. 24 hours later, rinse the salmon of the cure (be sure to rinse well). Set on a baking rack and let air dry for 1 hour. Prepare smoker to 180-200 degrees F. Smoke the salmon for about 5 hours or until the internal temperature of the salmon is 150 degrees F.
3. As the salmon is finishing up, prep the crostinis. Mix the creme fraiche with the dill, capers, salt and pepper and set aside. Prepare a small mixed green salad with your favorite dressing. Serve on a platter and enjoy!
Assemble the crostini by slathering some cream cheese, top with smoked salmon and the creme fraiche mixture. Squeeze a bit of lemon and enjoy! Smoked salmon is not a quick meal but it is well worth the wait. Sometimes in life, the best things are worth the wait!
TIP: If you are new to smoking meats and fish, it is helpful to have a dual thermometer; one that will insert into the meat and one that will monitor the internal temp of the smoker.
TIP: To remove the pin bones from the salmon, place the salmon skin side down and using a clean pair of pliers or tweezers, grab a hold of them and pull them out along their axis. The pin bones do not stick straight up but rather at an angle. If you run your (clean) fingers along the fish you will be able to feel them.
It made me smile watching the Husband in the kitchen, doing his thing, and making us the most delicious dinner! Do try this and if you do send me a pic of you and the dish as I would love to feature it in a future blog (this or any of my recipes)!
Cheers and happy eating!