Wild Canadian Smoked Salmon Report
Original post here:
Pics on my blog, if anyone's interested.
Oh, that I had read Sarah Galvin's entry on that post, but alas, I had left the office by the time she posted.
Here is my report, taken directly off my blog...
We are lucky enough to have, by virtue of the Internet, made friends around the world. So last week marked our second visit from Canadian friends, Lil and Marc. And knowing Furry and I as they do, they presented us with a HUGE box of Canadian Wild Smoked Salmon. I was verily aquiver with anticipation at eating this delux delight!! (We had previously scoffed their offering of Elk and Whiskey Pate.... le swooooooon!)
I had originally planned to go with some sourdough bread, the salmon and a perfectly poached egg, but after Agnes's wonderful offering of home-made bagels, lox and cream cheese on Saturday, I had a hankering for something different.
So I asked my wise and worldly friends at Chowhound, who came up with the idea of doing it Japanese-style. Thinly sliced at room temp, on hot steamed rice, with dipping sauces of terryaki, fresh ginger and lime juice. I also added a dipping sauce of light soy and wasabi.
There we were. Furry and I, ready to chow down.....
and then we opened the salmon....
Rather than being the light, orange, SLICE-ABLE fillet we expected, we were faced with a deep, dense meaty slab more reminiscent of a smoked mackerel. There was absolutely no way we could slice it. It was flaky and dense, redolent with the alder smoke.
It was absolutely divine, but NOT suited to the purpose of slicing and not really suited to the light Japanese flavours I had to accompany it.
Think double-smoked trout, or those lovely oily/dry meaty fish you can get in Greek deli's.
It probably went better with the ginger and lime dipping sauce than it did with the darker soy and wasabi. Eventually, I poured the dipping sauce over my rice, ate that separately and then tucked into the salmon as a finger lickin' snack of its own.
I had entertained ideas of blinis with creme fraiche and caviar, but I think this meat is even to heavy for that.
This salmon is not fit for dainty morsels and subtle flavours, this is a salmon to chow down on in the middle of the Canadian winter before you jump on your trusty steed, all Dudley Do-Right and wade thru 20ft snow drifts to save Miss Nell from Dastardly Dan!
Luckily, there is about 1/2 left, so next time, I am going to go with a more Scandinavian idea... or maybe back to the original of sourdough and poached eggs.
Scandinavian in the sense of a smorgasbord.........hearty Sat/Sun brunch.....finger foods....brown breads/whole grain, quality butter, smoked meats/quality sliced meats, pickled veg, rollmops/herring, potao salads,.........IPA's, Hoppy Pilsners......meatballs........etc etc....as little or as much as you want , as long as it's quality.....make the 1/2 side a center piece garnished with fresh parsley , hard boiled eggs, lemom wedges/slices......
You got a "hot" smoked salmon rather than a "cold" smoked .....
Usually the hot smoked flavors are more intense, not as subtle or subdued as a brined/cold smoked.....
I am not a big fan of hot smoked but have been present when it was crumbled and used to make mayo based salads (for canapes) as well as used to make a pasta sauce ( as the foundation of an EVOO/fresh garlic...not added to a red sauce where you'll loose the flavor)........used in omelets......
>> It was flaky and dense, redolent with the alder smoke.
It's THAT stuff, eh?
How about including it in a charcuterie style platter - perhaps with other smoked seafood. Serve with wine (beer) and cheeses.
It may work where bacon works. (Scrambles, Quiche, Pizza topping, crumbled over pasta, added to chowder, etc.)
I guess this is where I say, "I told you so!" but you hadn't read my posting, so can't do that :) All I have ever done is serve with nice cream cheese, finely diced red onion, capers and lemon wedges on crackers or rye. Bye the way, in the winter we wouldn't be jumping on our trusty steed - we would be jumping on our trusty sled ;)
ps the poached eggs would probaby be nice