We are big fans of smoked salmon in our house…and love it on its own, added to deviled eggs, served with bagels, thick sliced of tomatoes, capers and cream cheese, on top of salads…it is one of our favorite proteins. We tend to like the thick chunks of smoked salmon instead of cured lox, so we decided to try to make our own the other night with some Coho from Gary’s trip to Alaska. We did it in the grill after simply seasoning a few filets, using these funny little smoke cups I have found for Gary at Sur La Table. You need patience, as it is a tendency to want to open the grill to check on it…and it does take a little bit of time, but if you can exercise your patience the results are delicious. If you can’t find these little cups, I have also bough a smoker box for Gary in the past with different flavors of wood chips – you can find them at Sur La Table, World Market or Williams-Sonoma.
Hot Smoked Salmon
4 salmon filets, we used Coho salmon, but your favorite kind if fine, cleaned of any pin bones and patted dry
1 tablespoon each salt and coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat grill to 250 degrees….you want to keep it low and slow. Season each filet with the salt, zest, pepper and herbs, evenly distributed. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the top of each filet. Light the smoker box and place under the grate in the bottom of the grill, or follow directions for your smoker.
Carefully place each filet on top of a piece of foil, creating a little pocket for the fish, then place each packet on the grill. Top each filet with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice. Close the lid and let it smoke for about 45 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Take off the heat and serve with chive and dill whipped cream cheese, slices of beefsteak tomatoes and toasted bagels.