If you must smoke, smoke salmon! That's my motto, and I have this T-shirt, designed by artist Ray Troll, that I wear a lot this time of year, because it's fish-smoking time!!!
Silvers are in --at the grocery store -- and the price is tolerable ($3.99/# for whole fish), and they fillet it for you right at the counter for no extra cost. Many Alaskans fill their freezers with their own harvests (see Mountainpulse's posts about fishing on the Russian River, and dip-netting on the Kenai), but those of us not inclined to combat-fishing have to buy fish at the store...
Anyway, with the prices finally coming down, I'm stocking up!
Here's how I smoke my own:
Smoked Salmon fillets
First I brine the fillets in the frig for about 4 hrs in a brine solution (1/2 c each sugar and salt per quart H2O). Then I rinse them, pat dry and let sit for a while (to form a "pellicle").
Place on racks in smoker for 4-6 hrs (I use 2-3 panfuls of Alder chips).
Voila, they're done. Easy as fish-pie!
To store for winter, I vacuum-pack & freeze them. But you can keep them in the frig for weeks.
If you want salmon "jerky" to keep without refrigeration, just smoke them harder (=longer).
Here are some favorite uses for smoked salmon at our house:
in soups or chowders
in wraps or sandwiches
heck, it tastes great on anything, even cardboard!
BTW, that pyro lady with the crazed look is me, in the backyard -- I love a good bonfire, and the smell of smoke in my clothes & hair. Any excuse...
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