Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cured and Smoked Salmon

Our family loves to smoke meats, and it's really hard to beat a delicious piece of smoked salmon. Most recipes are full of sugar, which is out for those of us following the SCD. Kendall Conrad (Eat Well, Feel Well) has done it again with a delicious, sugar-free recipe for cured salmon that tastes amazing. If cured salmon isn't your thing, you can completely rinse the fillet after brining and then slow-smoke it. 

Once you've made it through the two-day curing process, the possibilities are awesome: cured salmon and farmer's cheese on grain-free crackers, smoked salmon salad, cured salmon on grain-free toast.

Cured Salmon
Original recipe by Kendall Conrad

One 2-pound wild salmon fillet, skin and bones removed
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vodka
2 TBS orange zest
2 TBS lemon zest
2 TBS crushed peppercorns
1/4 cup fresh dill (optional)

To prepare the salmon:
Lay the fillet on a large piece of plastic wrap.

Mix remaining ingredients (salt through dill) in a medium bowl. Spread the mixture all over the fish, pressing it into the flesh.

Cover the salmon with another piece of plastic wrap and set in a shallow baking sheet. Place another shallow cookie sheet on top and add a couple of heavy items to weigh it down (I use whatever I have in my fridge: peanut butter, leftovers, etc.) Leave in the refrigerator for two days.

To serve:
Slice the salmon very thinly and serve with your favorite garnish (red onions, homemade creme fraiche, capers, lemon wedges, chopped parsley, homemade crackers, etc.)


To smoke the salmon (if desired, not necessary after curing process):
Remove salmon from plastic wrap and rinse thoroughly. Dry with paper towels

Heat smoker to 150. Slow smoke salmon over low heat for at least 2 hours.

Smoked Salmon Salad
Serves Two

Two palm-sized pieces of smoked salmon, flaked
5 cups herb mixed greens (Trader Joe's makes a great one, or just add your own chopped dill and parsley to your favorite lettuces)
1 small cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into thin half-moons
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pistachios

Balsamic salad dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBS dill (optional)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
squeeze of lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper

To prepare the salad:
Combine all salad ingredients besides salmon in a large bowl.

Mix salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jarred container. Mix well.

Toss salad greens with as little or much dressing as desired. Divide salad among two plates. Top with flaked smoked salmon.

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