Now that we’ve been filling the freezers with fresh salmon, we thought we’d share a couple recipes with you. Also, if you don’t have access to a smoker; many places will smoke your salmon for you. If you fished with us or in the NE Illinois area I can think of three places to take your fish. They usually require 10 pounds minimum to smoke for you.
The Boat House in Kenosha
Orchard Prime Meats in Lake Zurich
Hagen’s in Chicago
Simple Dry Cure Hot Smoked Salmon
6-10 Salmon Fillets
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
Mix the brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic, and black pepper in a bowl.
- Place a layer of salmon fillets on a cookie sheet or in a foil pan.
- Rub the dry cure mix on the salmon fillets and cover with foil or wax paper
- Place the next layer of salmon fillets and do the same covering with foil until all fillets are equally covered with the dry rub
- Refrigerate overnight or 12 hours minimum
- Rinse the excess dry cure from the fillets and let sit in the refrigerator or a cool indoor space on open wire racks with good air flow until the pellicle forms (thin sticky film that forms as the surface dries).
- Once the pellicle is formed on the surface place in a smoker at 225 degrees. Time to smoke will vary based on the thickness of the fillet. Typically 1.5 - 4.0 hours or until the core temperature is 140 degrees. We like fruit woods to smoke salmon.
Optional - Before smoking sprinkle a seasoning of choice on them. We’d stay away from salty spice blends and opt for something sweeter. Gateway To The North from The Spice House in Chicago is a good one. Another option is to baste the salmon while smoking with maple syrup or honey.
Smoked Fish Spread
This one works with any fish, but is especially good with salmon or trout. It’s lip smacking good and you’ll be the hit of the party if you show up with this one.
What is needed:
1 LB smoked fish (skin and bones removed obviously)
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Cup Olive Oil Mayo or Regular Mayo
1 - 2 oz. Chopped fresh chive or green onion
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Paprika or smoked paprika
Place all ingredients in a bowl and use a electric mixer to thoroughly mix all ingredients until it is smooth enough to spread. We prefer spending onto water crackers, but any will do.