One of my favorite appetizers out in the world, when I get to go out to eat, is the smoked salmon at Pappadeux. It's expensive so I don't get to go often. I never thought I'd be able to reproduce anything even close at home. I did. I might have done it better.
I own a smoker. I know where to buy salmon. How hard can it be? Let the experiment begin.
This is a quickie, I'll tell you now, the experiment was more successful than I could have imagined. You're going to want to add salmon to your shopping list, now.
TRACY'S HOT SMOKED SALMON
2 lbs salmon (it was on sale!) cut into 1 1/2 pieces
apple wood chips (soaked)
Rub salmon with seasonings, leave to 'dry' on the counter. Put the salmon on tin foil, it'll cook on it. Don't make it too big, just enough to be a nice plate for the fish. Leave it about 30 mins, the time it takes the Masterbuilt smoker to preheat to 250.
When it's hot, fill the wood chip delivery box thing with SOAKED applewood chips.
Pour some water in the bowl of the smoker to keep everything moist. I didn't want to muddy the flavors.
Slide the fish into the smoker, on the foil, and turn the temperature down to 200. The hotter start allows the smoker to be hot enough to actually smoke the chips. Open the damper on the top half way and let the smoke draw up around the fish.
Lock and load, set the timer for 40 minutes. Prepare for nirvana
Here's the 2 lbs sliced thickly. Just salt, pepper and a little tiny bit of sugar on it, I want it to taste like salmon.
OH MY GOD, the fat in the salmon slowly ooooooozed up and through the fish, you have NO IDEA what an amazing this this does to the texture of the fish. I've never experienced anything quite like it. The flavor is slightly smokey but only slightly, I wanted it to taste like fish that'd been kissed with smoke and that's exactly what I got
I took it out of the smoker and let it rest, to come back to room temperature. I didn't want it hot.
It was easy to de-skin (?is that a word?) each piece. Turn it on it's side and the skin peels off in one piece and doesn't take an ounce of flesh with it, oh yeah, that's the way to do it!
Then I served it up on a plate, then added some aioli and some hollandaise, because, well you know, I had some in the fridge
Then I put some on a crusty roll, it's almost spreadable!