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Salmon Fillet with Dijon and Bourbon

GretlGretl Posts: 670
edited 8:57AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
I'll try to respond to the request for a recipe for the salmon I smoked on Christmas eve. I'm a real "seat of the pants" cook, and I don't write down what I do, so I can't give exact measurements. Generally I grab whatever ingredients I have on hand while I'm preparing. [p]The size of the salmon rather amazed me; it was a 5 lb side, cut twice into three pieces that I arranged skin-side down on a rack. I slathered it with a mixture of Dijon mustard (I'm guessing, perhaps 1/3 cup) and some brown sugar (3 or 4 tablespoons) and enough Wild Turkey bourbon to smooth it out. I have used this sort of mix before; sometimes instead of brown sugar I'll use honey, and maple syrup is a lovely departure also. The bottom line is the flavor. When it tastes right, go for it.[p]After I coated the top of the salmon with the mustard mixture, I gave it a grinding of fresh black pepper and a bit of kosher salt; not much salt, though. Then I arranged sprigs of fresh dill, fresh chives (uncut) and about three pieces of lemon grass which I had smashed (not chopped) and separated into thinner pieces. [p]I put the rack over a drip pan with about 1/2 inch white wine, kept the Egg temp around 275 to 300 and added some (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup) soaked alder chips, and basically forgot it for about three-plus hours. The top didn't brown, but the herbs had wilted and the mustard glaze was sticky. The meat was beautifully moist; my impression was that I could have left it in longer without any ill effects. I sort of reassembled the fillet on a platter, discarded the wilted herbs and dressed up the edges with some sprigs of fresh dill. It looked beautiful.[p]This was a part of a multi-course dinner for fourteen, so there was some left over for the next day. Ah, it was almost better, if that's possible! You can't beat fresh salmon, in my opinion, and why on earth would you pay for it in a restaurant when the BGE does such a bang-up job at home??? We VERY rarely go out to eat, and when we do venture forth, we usually agree that whatever we were served could be better prepared at home. No boasting; it's the Egg! Tools and fresh ingredients are everything.[p]Cheers to you all and Happy Egging,


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Gretl, you write beautifully..thanks! Question tho, would you measure the bourbon by tablespoons till you get the smoothing affect in the premixed mustard base? I am a mustard fan, and it looks great! Thanks..C~W

  • Gretl,
    You don't mention whether or not you actually brined the salmon or just smoked the raw filets. Can you furnish us a rundown on your brining method, if you used one.[p]Thanks,

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    No, I did not brine it first. However, since you mention it, I do have a brining recipe for fish. I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to. Here it is, as posted by Bob Pastorio.[p]FISH FILLETS IN A MAPLE AND DILL BRINE
    This brine works well on fillets of tuna, salmon, orange roughy and trout. Brining fish is faster than meats. You need real maple syrup for best results.[p] 1 quart water
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 bunch fresh dill, coarsely chopped (about 1/ 2 cup)
    3 garlic cloves, smashed
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    fish fillets, about 2 pounds total, center cuts if possible[p]Combine the water, salt, maple syrup and brown sugar in a large nonreactive container. Stir to dissolve the salt. Add dill, garlic, and pepper. Submerge the fish skin side up in the brine. Cover the container and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.
    To cook, remove the fish from the brine and pat dry. Brush or spray with oil. To broil, put the fish on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down and broil for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness at the thickest point, or until just cooked through. To grill, put on a sheet of foil directly on the grill rack over medium heat for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Now I'm smiling. Measure bourbon by tablespoons? Well, okay. How about starting with two tablespoons? The fun is obviously in the tasting. You'll know when it's right. Trust me.

  • Gretl, that sounds like a perfect time to make some of JJ's Mint Julips also...! Thanks...C~W[p]
  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    Gretl,[p]Is this the same "rack" you used on the oysters? Where did you find a rack fine enough that the oysters don't fall through?[p]Fritz
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Yep. You got it. Start the fire, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    I just used a rectangular rack used for cooling cookies. It happens to fit well over a 10 x 13 inch pan I use as a drip pan. I made the bed of rosemary upon which the oysters sat (if oysters can, in fact, sit) by arranging the branches perpendicular to the metal and it allowed very good circulation. The second time I tried the recipe with double the number of oysters, I used one of those perforated square things; I don't know what it's called, but it has round holes all over and also fits over a drip pan. I lined it with smashed lemongrass and though it worked well, I think the rosemary rack allowed more overall smoking and a more even browning. Those raw oysters are ugly little devils, that's for sure.

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Yes indeed. That sounds like a tasty variation. You sound like you cook like I do - just can't follow a recipe, ahve to get creative. I think the alder wood really makes salmon special (not news in the PAC. NW), and your treatment sounds very good.[p]Mary

  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    Gretl,[p]We have those things with the small round holes. We call them "seafood racks" to distinguish them from v-racks, etc.[p]Fritz
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