Thursday, December 13, 2007
Work After Work - Smoking Salmon !
Around the holidays, I tend to make a few treats that have become almost traditions around here. Smoked salmon is a versatile treat that can be used in a number of appetizers for the upcoming parties! Yesterday, my vaccuum packed salmon filets were thawed enough to go into the brine/marinate for a 24hr. soak. The marinate consisted of water, brown sugar, sea salt, soy sauce, orange juice, garlic, black pepper, and honey. This flavors the salmon as well as aids in its' preservation. Drained and patted dry, I then place it on an oiled grill grid, skin side down. The smoker is a multi-tasking unit that can use charcoal or propane as a heat source. Propane tonight! It's about 25 degrees outside, and the steady, dependable heat of propane won't worry me as much as charcoal would tonight. The wood I'm using is apple wood chips, held in a pan above the burner, below the water bowl. Water bowl? That holds water(duh!) to keep it a little moist in the smoker during smoking the fish. The grill with the fish on it goes over the water bowl, and is covered by the domed top that makes the smoker a closed unit. There is a temp gauge and a vent on the top to help regulate the heat. 180 degrees F is about right for hot smoking... We're locked and loaded so now I just have to check it every 45 minutes or so, to make sure everything is progressing nicely! The smoking should take about 5-6 hours, so I'll be putzing around here tonight while it gets done!
Some of the ways I use the smoked salmon- 1. Chopped into pieces that can be eaten cold. 2. Mixed with cream cheese and flavorings to make a spread for crackers. 3. Chunks of it warm on toothpicks, served with hot dipping sauces. I'll be posting pictures (I hope!) when it's done- and that will be in about 4-1/2 more hours...