There is not a more gracious hostess than that of Rachel Whyte of the Glenmachrie B&B on the Island of Islay. She and husband Alaisdair catch and smoke their own salmon. This delicious concoction not only uses smoked salmon but Scotlands' finest ... whisky. Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler
- 4 cups cool water
- Small potato, for testing salinity
- 6 (4-ounce) fresh salmon fillets
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 1/4 cup Islay Whisky
- Salad of Fresh Mixed Greens, recipe follows
To make brine, pour 4 cups of water into a non-reactive bowl. Add a small potato about the size of a golf ball to the water. It will sink to the bottom. Now begin pouring salt into the water, mixing gently, until the potato bobs to the surface of the water. Discard potato. Place salmon fillets in brine and allow to soak in a cool place for 1 hour.
Remove salmon fillets from brine solution and pat dry. Set aside. In a measuring cup, blend together honey and whisky. Gently brush fillets with blended honey and whisky mixture. Smoke fillets for 9 hours in smoke house or water smoker. Alternatively, soak wood shavings or chips (apple, beech, or untreated cedar) in water for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare a small charcoal fire in a dome-shaped barbecue. You are trying to maintain a covered temperature somewhere between 200 and 300 degrees F. When the coals are glowing, place salmon fillets on the grill on the side opposite to the coals. Sprinkle damp wood chips over coals and cover grill. Because this method is somewhat hotter than smokehouse or smoker methods, smoke fish for about 45 minutes. Check progress halfway through cooking. You are looking for a bronzed, shiny exterior and a firm buttery interior. Serve fillets with a side of mixed greens and dressing. Top fillets with a small drizzle of Islay whisky.
Salad of Fresh Mixed Greens:
- 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon oak-aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pinch freshly ground pepper
- Small handful fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- About 3 handfuls mixed greens
Make dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the first 6 ingredients in the order in which they appear. Toss mixed greens with dressing until evenly coated. Arrange greens to one side of plate.