Monday, 2 April 2012

Fresh Smoked Salmon





I hope you enjoy this step by step guide to smoked salmon which is an easy treat to add some variety to your summer BBQ's. The Farmer and I try to catch the fish ourselves, however I am not above stopping at the salmon farms in the Mackenzie to pick up a few fillets either!!
The farmer has requested that I tell you that he usually smokes the salmon and he would like some credit please.

YOU WILL NEED:
  • Salmon (I like using boned out fillets, but a whole fish is just as good)
  • 3 Tblsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tblsp lemon juice
  • seasoning (I usually use smoked salt and cracked pepper)
  • Smoker 
  • Smoking wood chips (easy to buy at your local hardware/outdoors store)
  • Tin foil
METHOD:
First take your salmon fillet and pull out the bones with kitchen tweezers (clean pliers also work really well). Then mix the sugar, lemon and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush on with a basting brush to cover the entire fillet. Rub all over, just like you would do to a pork roast skin. If you are patient it is great if you do this bit the night before and let it marinade overnight, but we have had good results doing this right before smoking it.
Place the fillet onto some tin foil, I usually make the tin foil a couple of layers thick so that it doesn't break.

Place the wood-chips in the bottom of the smoker and put it (with the lid on), over the heat. We just put ours on the BBQ  with a couple of burners on the lowest setting, but you can do it over a fire (it is much harder to get consistent low heat over a fire tho). When the wood-chips start to smoke place the fish into the smoker. The trick is to try and keep the heat as low as possible while still making the chips smoke, you are trying to smoke it, not cook it.
Check the fish occasionally for the next hour or so, the time it takes will depend on the size of the fish. It will go a light pink colour and fall apart easily.
Take the salmon off the smoker and allow to cool. After 10 minutes or so you can use the salmon for whatever recipe you are making or just enjoy straight off the foil!! 

TIPS:
    • Serve with crackers and cream cheese on a platter- this makes a great starter for a dinner party
    • Smoked salmon is very versatile, I use it in quiche, salad, pasta, eggs Benedict, omelettes, canap├ęs or straight off the tin foil.
    • Salmon is a great way of getting omega 3 into your family, it is really really good for you and the best thing is, you don't need to eat a huge amount because it is very filling, so it makes a really affordable meal option
    • Smoked salmon keeps for about a week in the fridge but it freezes well, so I usually cut up a large fillet into meal size portions and freeze them. Just make sure you defrost them slowly in the fridge otherwise it can dry out

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