Friday, November 11, 2005

Salmon, from smoker to soft shell

DucCat walked in the door with 5 pounds of salmon, a Costco-sized bag of charcoal, and a wicked gleam in his eye.

"I'm smokin' salmon today!" he exclaimed gleefully.

Of course, with a tight schedule, it didn't turn out quite as easy as one would hope. There was no simply tossing the salmon onto the smoker for a couple of carefree hours. A call to a friend soon alerted us to the fact that we may want to consider brining the salmon first- and he usually did that overnight.

We didn't have that long, so I began searching the Internet for a solution. Of course, I'd no idea of the intricacies of the world of smoked salmon, be it hot or cold, simple brine or flavoured, etc., etc. We had to be out the door in 20 minutes, so I just made a basic brine, and let it sit for the two hours we were gone.

We came back, and DucCat started smoking, opting for a moderate temperature, but carefully monitoring the progress. This was perhaps two hours into it.

All total, I think it took about 4 hours. In the excitement of pulling it off the smoker, I forgot to take a photograph, but it was quite dark, had an almost creamy texture, and was nicely infused with a deep, smoky flavour.

I'd had a craving for fish tacos for some time, so I warmed some soft-shelled tortillas, chopped an onion, and pulled out the back-up salsas from the fridge.

For pre-made salsas, all three of these are pretty good.

From left to right: Santa Barbara Mango Peach Salsa (from Costco), a very mild, tasty, fruity concoction; Mrs. Renfro's Green Salsa "Hot", not overtly spicy in my book, but it's tasty; and finally, Arriba! Fire-Roasted Mexican Red Salsa "Hot"- this is one of the few jarred salsas bearing the word hot on its label that actually lives up to its name. The roasted tomatoes add a wonderful complexity.

We wrapped everything up, and headed out to the back porch to enjoy the unseasonably balmy weather.

Unfortunately, the smoky, mild flavour of the salmon was completely lost beneath the salsa and the shell. Every once in awhile, I'd pick up on the smokiness, but combined with the warmth of the salsa, it came through tasting like chipotle.

A few nights later, the salmon did make an outstanding showing in a greek-style pita. More on that a bit later.


Blogger vlb5757 said...

That's a great picture of the Salmon tacos. I am not a huge Salmon eater so we have used Catfish. It worked really well and we have made them more than several times this past summer. I am pretty agreeable with most anything that involves a tortilla, flour or otherwise!

November 11, 2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Great picture of the tacos! I'm not a huge salmon fan, but this does sound good!

November 11, 2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

Those fish tacos look great! I am a huge fan of mango/salmon duo. Nice!! Have a great weekend!

November 12, 2005 3:03 PM  

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