Smoked Salmon (enough for about 5 lb):
- 4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 cup non-iodized salt (pickling or kosher salt)
- 10-15 cloves garlic
Cover the fillets liberally with the dry brine mixture and stack them in the bottom of a non-metallic pan. Once all the fish is brined, cover the container and put it in the fridge for about six hours.
After six hours, take the pieces out and rinse them gently in cold water. Lay pieces on a rack to dry at room temperature. Use the rack from your smoker because it's convenient. You need to let the fish dry at least a couple of hours. or up to four to six hours, depending upon the thickness of the fillets. What you're trying to do is dry the fish out and form the pellicle on the surface of the flesh.
Preheat your smoker, I like to do mine between 200-225. I used a combination of hickory and cherry wood for this smoke and was very pleased with the result, but your choice. Arrange racks in smoker with the thicker pieces lower down and the thinner tail pieces on top.
Smoke the salmon until internal temp is between 145-165 depending on taste. Personally I like sushi but my family prefers the fish to be well done, so I smoked mine for about 4 hours. The best way to preserve this fish is to vacuum pack it and freeze it.
Mashed Potatoes (if you need them):
- 6 medium all-purpose potatoes
- 1/2-3/4 cup hot milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Freshly ground pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Put them in a pan and just cover them with cold water. Bring them to a boil and boil gently for 15-20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain very well and return to very low heat. Add 1/2 cup hot milk and the butter and start mashing with a potato masher or a fork (or put them through a potato ricer), smoothing out all the lumps. When you have worked the potatoes free of the lumps, transfer to a warm bowl and whip with a fork or whisk until light and fluffy, adding the remaining milk, if necessary, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or keep hot, uncovered, in a double boiler.
Using leftover mashed potatoes, shape into small flat cakes. Dip lightly in flour, eggwash, and panko and brown each side in oil.
Serve with 3 slices of smoked salmon, microgreens and top with crème fraiche and truffle oil.