Recipe of the Week: Hot Smoked Salmon
There are two ways to smoke salmon: cold-smoking and hot-smoking. Each technique imparts a very different flavor. Cold-smoked salmon is cured in seasoned salt in the refrigerator for 24 hours and smoked at 75F. Hot-smoked salmon is cured for 6-12 hours and smoked at 180-200F giving it a flaky texture. Both are delicious, very easy and affordable to make it at home. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Use a stove top or standing smoker or create your own smoker on the grill. I like to use fresh herbs and orange zest, but any ingredients and a little imagination will do.)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups cold water
2 pounds fresh skinless salmon fillets
1/4 cup fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, chives)
1 cup smoking chips
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
In a small saucepan combine vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary, and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes to thicken and reduce sauce by half. Strain sauce and reserve.
To make curing mixture, combine kosher salt, sugar, orange zest and Old Bay. Mix to evenly distribute ingredients. Rinse salmon fillets under cold water and place in a large baking dish so it can hold them flat. Rub curing mixture all over the salmon fillets. Pour wine over them and the two cups of cold water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes or up to two hours in the refrigerator. Remove fillets from the curing liquid and rinse well under cold running water. Gently dry the fillets with paper towels. Let salmon fillets air dry for 30 minutes.
To hot smoke salmon, place smoking chips in a commercially manufactured smoking box or a homemade smoking apparatus. Heat smoking box over medium-high heat until chips begin to emit smoke. Place salmon on an oiled wire rack, top with fresh herbs and place in smoking box above chips. Cover box and smoke salmon at 180-200F until it reaches an internal temperature of 140F, about 20 minutes or so depending upon thickness of fillets.