Thursday, April 19, 2007

Brine, Rinse, Repeat

This is red salmon from last year in a brine. I smoked it yesterday and it is yummy. The ritualistic part comes with the emptying of the freezer. We want our freezers empty of last year's fish so we can stock it with NEW fish!

After the fish brines overnight in brown sugar, kosher salt, cayenne and black peppers it is time to rinse. Some folks leave this sugary brine on, but I find that makes it too salty sweet and not enough of the salmon flavor comes through.

Next comes the smoker. Ours does a great job on little amounts of fish. If we were ever to become amazing fish slayers we would need a more serious smoker.

Once the fish are in the smoker the babysitting commences. Wood chips need to be soaked and changed every hour to an hour and a half. We literally babysit the smoker to keep interested Black Furry Friends out of it. One year my sister and her kids were visiting from Dayton, Ohio. They had seen moose, eagles, porcupines, and even some whales, but they had not seen a bear. Tom had been trout fishing, so we decided to smoke his trout. While the trout was smoking we were in the house, visiting, eating and maybe drinking beer. I guess our smoker was tempting, because out of the hemlock sauntered a two-year-old Furry Friend. He sniffed, tried to get closer, but was shy. We let the kids get a good look and then scared him away. He got a very mild re-education on humans. I sure hope it took.

Now the enjoyment begins. Hmmmm....fresh smoked salmon, with cream cheese, on crackers, in salads, any way we can think of!


Julie Zickefoose said...

Well, so much for the fruit cobbler theory! EEEEYYYEWW! Gear shift! I bet it's wonderful, though.
Even more wonderful: being able to conjure a black bear for guests!! I've seen all of one in my whole life.


Trixie said...

I know, the sugar threw you off. When we smoke it this way it gets this nice interplay with sweet and salty and savory. Yummm!

And we did not intend to conjure a bear. We live right near a bazillion acres of state park.

Mary said...

What a disguise! I thought it was something edible but would have never guessed SALMON! I treat myself to salmon when we "eat out" or I broil filets at home once in a while. Your dishes must be marvelous!