Hot Smoked Salmon with an Amazing Chile Salsa
I'm really excited about this one. There are 2 processes when it comes to smoking food: "cold smoking," where things like raw fish, meats[ and cheeses are put into a smoky environment with no heat source, and "hot smoking," which has the added heat source. It gives great results. All you need is an old cookie tin with a lid, a wire rack that fits inside it or a bit of chicken wire and some uncoated sawdust (the type you get for putting in pets' cages). When you put the tin on your heat source, it will act like a kind of oven - don't get nervous if it seems a bit radical to you, because it's so easy. And imagine how impressed your mates will be when you tell them you've hot smoked the food yourself! PS - A word of warning: this will make your house a bit smoky, so either open the windows to get some fresh air through, put the fan on or have a go at doing it outside on your doll.]
- Sprig fresh rosemary
- Few sprigs fresh sage
- 2 (7-ounce) wild or organic salmon fillets, skin on
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- For the Chile Salsa
- 1 to 2 fresh red chiles, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 to 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- Small handful fresh cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Few whole cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, halved
Special equipment: wood shavings or chips
Get your cookie tin and place a handful or 2 of wood shavings into the tin, followed by your rosemary and sage sprigs. Place your wire rack in the tin, so it sits about halfway down, or bend some chicken wire to fit. Carefully pierce the lid of the tin 5 or 6 times with a screwdriver.
Most salmon fillets come around the same size and thickness, so their cooking times are similar. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and rub with a drizzle of olive oil. Then lay them skin side down on top of the wire (this acts like a grill rack) and put the lid on the tin. Place it on the burner, over a medium heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. After a couple of minutes it will start to smoke a bit.
While the fish is cooking, mix all the salsa ingredients together - you can go as light or as heavy on the chiles as you like.
When the fish is ready, turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 3 minutes before opening the tin. This will allow any residual smoke and heat to penetrate the fish. Lift the salmon fillets out and place onto individual serving plates. Spoon over some chille salsa and sprinkle with your whole cilantro leaves. Drizzle over some extra-virgin olive oil and serve with the lime halves and the rest of the salsa in a little bowl. Lovely with some new potatoes and a green salad for lunch.
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