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Just a simple gal living on the outskirts of Portland making ends meet. I have lived in Portland for over 20 years and I am happy to call it home. On this blog you will find everything from cooking to my crazy life. I hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Smoking Salmon

The bf was given the lovely opportunity (thanx T.S.) to spend a day salmon fishing in our lovely Pacific Ocean. He was hesitant to go because he has never, ever gone fishing before...He caught 5 kept two for himself and shared with others less fortunate (less fortunate means green and seasick)and others that were having no luck at all. The bf came home with two lovely tasty salmon one he had left cleaned and whole the other had been turned into two very healthy fillets that were screaming to me...SMOKE MEEEEE!
The first thing I ever smoked was salmon. I know there are people out there who fuss and worry about it and I am sure there are some tall tales told around campfires that start something like...I remember the first time I ever had me some smoked salmon. I didn't really put much thought into it except one thing...I remember my Unk saying "keep it simple and don't ruin the flavor with too much smoke"...clear as mud to a 13 year old.
But those very words came back to me when it came time to smoke my first fish, and that is exactly what I did. I used a simple solution for the overnight brine of the fish. Ingredients6 to 8 cups of cold water, 1 cup of non-iodized salt, 1 cup dark brown sugar (you could use light, I prefer the flavor of dark better), 5 big cloves of garlic peeled and crushed and 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce. Mix all of those together in a glass, plastic or stainless steel container making sure that the salt and sugar has mostly dissolved. Place the salmon into the brine at least 12 hours. I brine my fish over night. I also cut the salmon into long strips before I put them in the brine.
Salmon floating in nice brine going into the fridge for the night. I love this brine recipe the fish comes out with a nice clean flavor.
The next morning you take the salmon out of the tubs and pat the pieces dry with paper towels. I don't rinse my fish even though a lot of recipes call for it. Then after you have gotten them all dry the fish gets to sit at room temperature on a cookie sheet for about 4 hours and it develops this sheen to it called pedicle...You want that to happen.
Spray your racks with non stick cooking spray and leave enough room between the pieces of fish for good circulation. Load your smoker with the racks of fish.
I used Alder chips for the salmon, it has a nice mild flavor and works well with fish.
Then for the next several hours (depending on the size of the pieces of fish and the thickness)you rotate the wracks of fish and change out the pans of chips once they get burned up. I went through 4 pans of chips.
The end result is totally worth spending a day doing this. The fish is a wonderful treat for us, and we are enjoying it. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge after it cools and you remove it from the racks.
Well that is all for today...It has been hot out and I am getting tomatoes every single day off my two plants. I need to start taking care of those. I think I am going to start by giving some away...lol. Have a great week everyone.

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