About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010
Smoked Salmon, Cheatin' Style

We are currently entertaining some Polish visitors over the holidays, who are also entertaining us with a remarkable range of Polish vodkas.

On Christmas eve, we served up the traditional seafood feast, which included some home cured gravlax. They explained in Polish - vodka helps translation wonderfully well - that back home they cure salmon with just salt.

By complete coincidence, one of my daughters, bless her heart, had given me a bottle of Laphroaig, scotch whisky from the Islay (pronounced eye-la) region of Scotland, where several distilleries produce scotch with pronounced smoky notes from the use of peat in the malting process.

Hmm, salt only method of curing salmon and smokey scotch, I think you know what happened next.

A side of salmon was purchased and put to bed with a layer of salt, grind of pepper and a single shot of Laphroaig. Two days of Scottish dreaming later we were eating smoked salmon. Okay, not exactly smoked salmon, but a fish that did have a definite smokiness with a hint of scotch sweetness, but no alcoholic burn.

In short, everyone loved it; 1.3kg of cured salmon disappeared in the blink of an eye.

The only danger of this recipe is that you'll be left with an almost completely full bottle of one of Scotland's finest. I'm sure you'll find another use for it...drinking it isn't out of the question!

Smoked Salmon, Cheatin' Style

1 side salmon, boned and skin on, about 1.3kg*
freshly ground black pepper
salt, about 50g
1 shot glass (30ml) smokey scotch whisky**

Cut the salmon in half across ways. Grind fresh pepper onto the flesh side and place one fillet of salmon, skin side down, in a container that will catch the subsequent juices, a snug fit is good. Layer on the salt to completely cover, then pour over the shot of scotch whisky. Place the second fillet on top, flesh side down. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the top and weigh down with as many cans as you can fit on top. Place the container in the fridge for two days, turning the fillets every 12 hours and basting with the collected juices. When done, rinse the fillet if desired, pat dry and slice as thinly as possible and serve.

* Only buy as much of the fillet as you need, the tapered tail section isn't worth curing, though you can.

** Suitably smokey scotch whiskys include Lafroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin. These are all single malts and more expensive than blends.
  posted at 9:46 am

At 7:25 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This is my kind-a-cheating! Lovely.

At 1:58 pm, Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Just don't put Coke in it. My father-in-law would just about shoot people who did that.

At 11:32 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, cheating in a good way!

Hi kh, rightly so!

At 10:57 am, Blogger Thermomixer said...

Good work Neil. Definitley think that drinking the remaining bottle with the salmon is likely to be a marriage made in heaven.

You can always use the daggy bits off the end to make dips.


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