Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Smoked Salmon

In my house, we always have a delicious tray of smoked salmon set aside for a little bite before dinner. We break out the lemons, capers, crème fraiche and dill and simply indulge ourselves in this culinary delight. My dad is a huge fan of this tradition, and when we are together, we anxiously await the treasured 5PM arrival of one of the most delectable appetizers in the world.

For many years, before I had actually tasted smoked salmon, I was afraid to prepare it, or even try what looked like an extremely slimy fish. The chewy consistency scared me at first, however, after learning more about how it is prepared, I realized there was nothing to it. Plus, after one bite, I was hooked for life.

Smoking salmon is a four-step process that starts with filleting the salmon. Next, the salmon is salted to draw out any moisture. The third step is curing the salmon, and this is done with a combination of salts, sugars and nitrates, along with the smoking process (some people consider the smoking step to be a fifth step in the preparation, but for our purposes, we’re including it in the curing section).

The final, and most important step in preparing smoked salmon is slicing it properly. Smoked salmon should sliced on a bias (angle) and sliced extremely thin. Then break out your bagels and serve!

It’s really fun to make this wonderful treat, but if you’re not up for it, never fear. It’s also very easy to buy at almost any store.

Happy Cooking!
Mary

1 comment:

Ezra said...

Mary,

Grate post!

The bluefish are running on long island and I hope to catch some and smoke them.

I'll let you know how they turn out!