Happy New Year All!
I have been smoking a lot of Salmon lately and have a recipe to share that I hope all you pescavores will like! I've tried a number of techniques and am pretty well set on this recipe as the one I'll stick to. I hope you try it and enjoy it:
Smoked Salmon Candy
1 Cup white sugar
1 Cup Brown sugar
3/4 cup sea salt
2/3 cup NM red chile powder
1 oz (appox. 1Tablespoon) cure #1
6-8 pounds fresh salmon filets
Place Dry Ingredients in a bowl
Blend the ingredients by hand in a bowl until completely mixed.
The Star of the show, whole Atlantic Salmon Filets
Portion salmon into 4-6 oz pieces
Put about 1/2 of mixture into a baking dish and dredge the salmon through, completely covering all side of filet., place on a rack inside a carboy container making sure there is a gap between the rack and bottom of tray.
If there are too many filets, simply stack on top of first layer. Making sure there is plenty of cure mixture in between. Spread any extra mixture over the top the filets and place carboy in the fridge.
After 12 hours, or overnight, the cure will have leached out a lot of moisture from the salmon. There should be quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the carboy.
Rinse off filets thoroughly, pat dry with paper towels and a Shamwow, and re-rack in a clean container on clean racks with spacers between to allow air flow on both side of the salmon.
A note on spacers: I went down to the local metal scrap yard and bought a length of 1" food grade stainless steel tubing. We took them into the shop and cut them into 1 3/4" lengths and deburred the ends...Voila! I can now stack drying racks for bacon and salmon 4 high
Let salmon dry, uncovered in fridge overnight, or until a tight pellicil is formed. ( a shiny, thin film that covers the exposed flesh. this will help prevent fat from leaking out of the filets during exposure to heat)
Prior to smoking, paint a coat of maple syrup on the salmon, baste with syrup 1-2 more times during smoking process.
This can be a sticky mess, so I usually do this part on the rack in the carboy, which will make your clean up MUCH easier.
I cold smoked with a mix of Cherry, Apple and Oak for 4 hours, using Todd's A-Maze-N pellet smoker. Because I expect some drip from the syrup, I place disposable foil pans on the bottom of the smoker.
I have built a cold smoking annex onto my hot smoker with about 8 feet of 4" tube for the smoke to travel through. by putting the smoke generator into the hot smoking box I can cold smoke at whatever the ambient temperature is.
After a 4 hour cold smoke, I then hot smoked with apple wood with the smoker at about 150-175 degrees until an internal temperature of 135 is reached on the fattest filet. (about an hour) Also, note location of internal temp probe on top shelf filet.
Interior view of the finished product.
I normally use 1 cup of salt, but I found that even this slight reduction to 3/4 Cup made a profound difference. There was no need to desalinate as I usually do, just a good rinsing was all it took. The flavor is very delicate a good balance of sweet and salt. The chile added a nice flavor, but it is not picante at all. Very moist and good texture.
Probably my best salmon yet.
Thai green coconut curry with tofu and Smoked Salmon Candy.
Edited by SmokeyDokey - 1/8/13 at 9:01pm