I imagine we are all making our Labor Day Weekend grocery list right about now. I am sure there are lots of scrap paper lists that have the words – Hamburger Meat, Hot Dogs, Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Sausages and Steaks on them. All good, don’t get me wrong. However as the days of Summer are now severely numbered, I am craving fish. It won’t be long when cold crisp Autumn days have me craving more hearty fare like stews and meat pies. So I am just going to throw it out there to you as you scribble madly on that grocery list before dashing out the door – let’s cook a side of SALMON this weekend!
Besides, we all know Salmon is so much better for us than that perfectly marbled steak.
This recipe has always found rave reviews with my guests. You can make it in a traditional smoker if you have one, but for most of us here in Brooklyn we do not have access to a patch of grass, little less a smoker. There are some wonderful stove top smokers out there and I highly recommend you invest in one. Get one that can go on a grill, a stovetop or a campfire. Good to be prepared!
As for the tea, well that is personal preference. Black teas will give the fish a richer, more intense flavor especially as it smokes into the prosciutto; while green teas or blends will add subtle flavors and a lighter overall taste. I usually go with Earl Grey tea because I always have it in my cupboard and its a happy medium flavor.
Tea Smoked Salmon w/a Horseradish Orange Sauce
3/4 cup tea leaves
1 – 2 lb Side of Salmon (skin removed)(Any salmon works – go with what is fresh!)
5 Thin Slices of Prosciutto
1 Tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Creme Fraiche
1/4 Cup Fresh Horseradish
Bit of salt, pepper and 10 minutes of time.
Dampen the tea leaves only slightly. You don’t want them wet or dry. Just damp. Place leaves in the bottom of the smoker.
Season the salmon with S&P. Wrap the prosciutto slices around the salmon, slightly overlapping each slice.
Place the Salmon on the smoking rack. Close the lid and place it on the stovetop at a medium heat. Salmon will take approximately 12-15 minutes to smoke.
Remove when done and let rest a few minutes before opening the lid.
While the salmon is smoking, whip up the sauce. In a mixing bowl combine the orange juice, creme fraiche, horseradish, a good pinch of fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt. Mix well. The sauce should be the consistency of ketchup more or less. Not runny but not tartar sauce. Add more horseradish to taste. I like ALOT!
To serve – Place the side of salmon on a platter. Slice an orange into 1/4″ slices and place on top of the fish overlapping across the top. Drizzle that guppy with some sauce and put the rest in a gravy boat.
*A fresh green salad and some Roasted Potatoes & Pears are really good friends to have over with the Salmon. Savor it all with a nice bottle of Rose, I suggest Mulderbosch.
Have a great weekend America!