Archive for September 9th, 2008

adapted from Epicurious.com

This is one of the tastiest salmon recipes I have done so far, and each time is a HUGE success! I generally buy a large salmon fillet and serve it family style, because it is so beautiful, but you can do individual portions or steaks. You will want to marinate the salmon in the brine overnight or at least 4 hours to get the full effect.

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup (packed) brown sugar – I use dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar – I omit this
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 2lb salmon fillet
  • 3 cups (or more) alder-wood smoke chips, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained (I used mesquite)


  1. Stir first 4 ingredients in large bowl until sugars dissolve. Add salmon (skin side up), to brine, pressing to submerge. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove salmon from brine; discard brine. Rinse salmon under cold water. Place salmon, skin side down, on rack. Let stand until top is dry to touch (do not pat dry), about 1 hour. Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Using 2 layers of foil, make 12 x 10-inch foil rectangle with 1-inch-high sides. Place 3 cups smoke chips on foil rectangle. Set atop coals 5 minutes before grilling salmon allow to begin smoking. Make sure the heat is turned OFF below the salmon, you want indirect heat from the smoke to cook it. Position barbecue rack at least 6 inches above briquettes. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and briquettes burn but do not flame.
  2. Smoke until salmon is firm to touch and glaze forms over salmon, adding more smoke chips to barbecue if necessary, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on heat of grill.
  3. Transfer salmon to platter; serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  4. Serve with a Chipotle Aoili or Pear Chutney (recipe below)

Pear Chutney (my recipe)

Our neighbours across the street, Tom & (still to meet the wife) brought over some lovely home grown pears. They were ripe and ready to be enjoyed, way too much for us, so I made a chutney to go with the smoked salmon…d e l i c i o u s!

  • 1 medium sized bosc pear
  • 1 cup white or red wine, 1 cup water
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/4 vidalia onion chopped into small uniform pieces (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the pear lengthwise and core (no need to peel).
  2. In a small sauce pan immerse the pear cut side down in the wine and water combo, poach until semi soft (about 10 minutes but it really depends on how ripe your pear is).
  3. Remove pears from liquid and reserve both.
  4. In a small enamel pan (this is important so the vinegar doesn’t react with the pan), add oil and sauté the onions 2 minutes. Add the balsamic and cook until the balsamic is reduced to half.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Chop the poached pear into small uniform cubes. Add to the balsamic mixture. If the balsamic reduced too much and is too thick and syrupy, in small amounts add the reserved poaching mixture and stir gently not to mash the pear.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Serve hot or cold.

Smoked Paprika Aioli (adapted from Epicurious.com)

  • 2 garlic cloves (minced finely on a microplane)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend together yolk, lemon juice, and smoked paprika in the immersion blenders’ cup.
  3. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, blending constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue blending until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
  4. Blend in garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. If aïoli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

Cooks’ notes:
• The egg yolk in this recipe is not cooked, which may be of concern if there is a problem with salmonella in your area.
Aïoli can be chilled up to 2 days.

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