Grill Smoked True North Salmon with Boulanger Potatoes and Horseradish
Yield: 4 Main Course portions.
Ingredients for curing and smoking the salmon:
• 3 cups Water
• Grated zest from 2 Lemons
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
• 2 Large shallots, peeled and sliced
• ¼ cup Kosher Salt
• 2 Tbs Honey
• ¼ cup fresh Dill, chopped
• ¼ cup Parsley Stems
• 4 6oz boneless filets of skin on TN Salmon
• 1 Cup Mache or Watercress for garnish
• 1 Bundle Fresh pencil Asparagus
Place salmon in a non-reactive dish large enough to hold the filets in one layer.
Mix the brine ingredients in a bowl to dissolve all of the solids and pour over the fish.
Cover tightly and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
Remove the filets from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the salmon on a cooling rack, skin side up and dry in the refrigerator, uncovered for 2 hours.
Hardwood charcoal, often called lump charcoal or charwood, is the way to go. Briquettes start out as sawdust, and they don’t generate the heat that hardwood does. I buy mine at the grocery store.
Lighting The Grill
Use a chimney starter, and please don’t’ use lighter fluid, unless you want your fish to taste like gasoline. Stuff the bottom of the chimney with a couple of pieces of crumpled newspaper. Fill the starter with hardwood charcoal and set it in the grill (have the top grate to the side). Light the newspaper. Now you can just leave it alone until the coals at the top of the starter are covered with light gray ash. Carefully dump the hot coals onto one half of the grill. Feed the fire by putting on a few more chunks of charcoal on the hot coals and set the grate on the grill. Once the grate is really hot you’ll be ready for grilling.
Open the vent(s) in the bottom of the grill. Put a few smoking chips on the glowing coals and set the fish on the cool side of the grate (not over the coals). Put the cover on the grill, vents half closed to trap the smoke, and smoke the salmon for 7-8 minutes. The internal temperature will reach 450 degrees pretty quickly and there should be a fair amount of smoking going on. It won’t hurt if you bend down and blow into the lower vent, or fan it some, to increase the smoke from time to time. The fish should be just pink in the middle. Remove the fish and keep warm.
Ingredients for Horseradish Cream:
• 1 cup creme fraiche
• ⅓ cup prepared horseradish, drained
• 1 tsp dijon mustard
• 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• salt & pepper to taste
Whip the crème fraiche until it begins to thicken. Fold in rest of ingredients. Keep the consistency of loose whipped cream.
Ingredients for Boulanger Potatoes:
• 6 Fingerling Potatoes…washed and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
• 2 Tbs Butter
• 1 Medium Onion…sliced thin
• 2 Cloves Garlic…chopped
• 1 Cup Chicken Broth
• 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
• Salt and Pepper
• 2 Tbs Whole Grain Mustard
• 1 Tbs Sherry Vinegar
• ¼ Cup Chopped Italian Parsley
To Pick Up:
In a shallow stainless pot over medium heat add the butter, onions, fresh thyme and garlic to sweat.
Cook for two minutes to soften the vegetables.
Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the cooked onions.
Pour in the chicken stock and season with S&P.
Bring to a light simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender and the stock is reduced dry.
Fold in the mustard and the sherry vinegar and cool off to room temperature.
Warm up when ready to assemble the final plate.
Toss with the chopped parsley.
Carefully remove the skin from the filet and grate fresh horseradish on top, garnish with a large dollop of salmon roe. Put a large dollop of the cream in the center of the plate and drag it to the side. Place the warm potato salad on the side of the plate. Garnish the cream with grilled asparagus or some hearty greens such as watercress or masche. Place garnished salmon fillet on top and enjoy.
Learn more about Chef Rick at his website, www.rickmoonen.com.
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