adventures in smoking salmon

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When we came home with 10 nice Sockeye salmons a few weeks back, I started dreaming of smoking them. Most ended up cut into nice steaks and frozen down with fresh dill in food saver packs, but 3 large whole fish were destine for a smoker… somewhere somehow those lovely fish were going to get smokey!

Luckily our friend and avid fisherman had just returned from the Queen Charlottes with a load of Coho and Spring salmons and he and I had a similar vision for smoked canned fish. He had the experience, and borrowed some extra equipment, so that we were able to have 2 electric smokers going all day, along with a camp chef and two huge capacity pressure cookers. After 10 hours of processing we ended up with 9 dozen pint cans full, a few buckets of fish skins for the dogs and a unreal craving to crack into a can to sample our days efforts! OMG divine, sweet smokey salmon-y goodness in a jar, what could be better?

Briefly the process involved, steak-ing the frozen salmons (using a chop saw outdoors, while chasing away bears), brining the steaks in a salt, sugar, water and garlic bath overnight, then smoking the fish for 90-120 minutes with heated hickory smoke, we then removed the bones (the big ones at least) and skin, placing chunks of salmon into clean wide mouth pint jars which were then processed for 90 minutes at 12 lbs of pressure.

Once home with my little stash of jars I wanted to find a cozy plate to dish our sweet salmon on, as I still had a mountain of chanterelles in the fridge I settled on making a creamy brandy dill salmon pasta, with fresh chard and forest foraged chanterelle’s. My partner called it gourmet tuna helper, and he was requesting a potato chip crumble on top for next time I make this!

creamy brandy dill salmon pasta with fresh chard and chanterelles

Cook 1 package of organic corn noodles (or any pasta of your choice) according to package directions

meanwhile in a cast iron using olive oil pan fry:

1 small yellow onion sliced razor thin

2 garlic coves minced

two handfuls of chanterelle mushroom sliced thin and halved

once the moisture in the mushroom has released and evaporated (5 min) add a pad of butter along with S+P, and fry a little longer.

de-glaze the pan with a little glug of brandy

add contents of 1 pint jar of smoked canned salmon (juice and all) and gently fold in

1.5- 2 cups of heavy cream

3 tbsp fresh minced dill, and Italian parsley

4 leaves of thin slices chard (stock removed)

toss sauce with cooked pasta,  garnish with a little more fresh dill and serve (with or without a potato chip crumble:)

bon appetite!

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