Hot-Smoked Salmon and Chipotle Crema

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: about 24 hors d'oeuvres
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Mesquite chips

1 tablespoon whole coriander seed

2 teaspoons whole cumin seed

1 teaspoon whole allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skin on

Chipotle Crema:

1/4 cup creme fraiche

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

3/4 teaspoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lime juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving: Corn tortillas, black bread, or cucumber slices, as desired.


Special equipment:
Stovetop smoker
  1. Salmon: Soak wood chips in a large bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes. Toast the whole spices in a small skillet over medium heat until aromatic, about 1 minute. Cool and grind in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. Add the salt and set aside. Rub the salmon thoroughly with 3/4 teaspoon of the rub and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Save extra spice rub in a sealed container for up to 3 months.)
  2. Drain the chips and scatter in the bottom of the stovetop smoker. Heat the chips over medium-low heat until smoky, about 10 minutes. Cook the salmon, covered and skin side down, on a rack in the smoker, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set aside on a rack to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if not serving right away.
  3. Crema: Stir all the the ingredients together to make a smooth sauce.
  4. Cut or flake the salmon into even portions. Serve salmon with warmed corn tortillas, or on black bread or sliced cucumbers with a drizzle of the chipotle crema.

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