It is never too early for smoked or cured salmon! We’re patiently waiting for our fisherman Ray to bring in the first beauties when local salmon season begins around May 1st!
Yield depends on usage
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup Pernod
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 fennel fronds
1 pound wild salmon, skin on
Place the apricots in a bowl with ½ cup hot water and the Pernod and rehydrate for 20 minutes. Purée the apricots in a food processor. Mix the purée with the salt, sugar, pepper, and fennel fronds.
Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the salmon. Place the cheesecloth in a large baking dish and lay the salmon skin-side down on the cheesecloth. Cover the salmon evenly with the apricot-salt mixture and wrap it with the cheesecloth. Place another baking pan over the cheesecloth and weigh it down with at least 3 pounds of pressure (you can use water jugs, tomato cans, or even books). Refrigerate for 48 to 72 hours. Remove the weights and unwrap the salmon. Remove the excess salt mixture from the salmon and pat dry. Slice very thin to serve.
Some salmon dishes for you to drool over:
Apricot-Cured Salmon, Crème Fraîche, Brioche Toasts
Makes about 24 nibbles
6 slices brioche, ½-inch thick (about ¼ loaf)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ pound thinly sliced Apricot-Cured Salmon (above)
¼ cup crème fraîche
1 ounce American caviar
1 bunch chives, diced
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut each slice of bread in 4 triangles. Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the brioche toasts to the pan to coat. Place the toasts on a sheet pan and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the toasts are golden around the edges.Top each brioche toast with a piece of salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche, a touch of caviar and a pinch of chives.
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy smoked or cured salmon?
Mine is on top of a bagel!