I picked up some salmon from Kenny the FishHugger on Sunday. Matt's home from the hospital and so I plan on a very nice meal for him. Today was the first step in making the stuff. Of course this being the preliminary step it is a nice way thing to have the knowledge of how to make because you can make all kinds of cool things once you learn to make your own smoked salmon, and really anything else as well. It's easy, and smoked salmon makes fantastic salad for incredible sandwiches, or put into omelletes, or stuff into jalapenos that you cored and then stand them in a pan and roast them. Or, like what I will do tomorrow when the salmon is cooled and I feel better, Smoked salmon and red onions stuffed into red pepper ravioli in a smoked mushroom and creamy Riesling sauce.
Anyway, check out Kenny and his family at the Roadrunner market on Saturdays and at Ahwatukee on Sundays. Or look
at his website at KENNY Once you have the salmon, thaw it and rinse well. Then the hard part comes, remove the pin bones. If you rub a finger along the flesh from the head end to the tail end, you will feel little bones sticking up. Take your hemostat left over from holding roaches back in the sixties, or well, last week depending on the individual. Or tweezers work as well. Anyway, latch on, and pull it up and toward the head end. Repeat until they are all out. Then place the fish into a pan and if you need to cut into smaller pieces now is the time, after you removed the pin bones. Now is when you can get creative, sprinkle the fish with herbs or spices of your choice. I know, dill is traditional, but I am not a fan of dill, it's kind of nasty. But lots of black pepper for a simple one, or add a bunch of taco seasoning, Italian stuff, or just think about it and do something that exemplifies your personality. Me, some weird crap man, but usually pretty tasty.
After you slather the spices on, pour on some sea salt and give a nice coating of salt. Stick in the fridge for a couple
hours. Or, here's an idea, leave in the fridge for a day and a half. Then rinse and serve as Gravlax, one of my favorite ways to serve salmon. Sort of semi-preserved and the texture is fantastic. Anyway, after sitting for a couple hours, rinse the salt, dry and stick into the smoker. If you have one. I have one, and use it all the time. And I'm a vegetarian so if you're a meat eater, you should get one. I also have a stove top smoker that is pretty cool and works well for small things. And they are reasonable in price. Any way, smoke them. A short time and you will have nice full juicy flesh. A long time and you will have the dry some what leathery hard version. Either way, the stuff is great for making a wide variety of very cool dishes, and stayed tuned for the ravioli recipe coming up.