Lox, Brine and Two Smoking Wood Barrels

Its’ Salmon season!  Let’s start there.  The opportunity to search for new flavor possibilities that pair and express the beauty of salmon is endless.

I really enjoy the texture and flavors of lox, home brined salmon and also long slow smoking.  But which one to choose?  Well it depends on what you want to do with them.  In France I learned to brine salmon then keep it submerged in olive oil.  With this it takes on a slight confit feel and texture..this also allows the salmon to stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, another great benefit.

Playing with spice and herb mixtures, one can also play with the sugar/salt ratios that give distinct textural differences and flavors.  The size of the salt granules also is key because the finer sea salt will extract moisture and speed up the process so therefore less brine time is needed.  One of the kings of brine is Marcus Samuelsson, who recommends leaving the fish at room temperature for several hours before refrigerating.  This is a great tip that brings helps the brine jump start it’s process.

So play with your spice mixtures, herb purees and don’t forget your fine teas

“Springers” King Salmon, flown in from Foods In Season of Washington.  Doesn’t get any fresher than this!

After 22 hours of brining.  A special mixture of various spices, herbs, Hawaiian sea salt, organic sugar, & citrus peels.

Caramelized chanterelles ready for the escabeche flavor bath.

Meticulously cut salmon layered with chanterelle escabeche and hit with a touch of cedar smoke just before serving.

Talking to Aimee from Foods in Season, she recommended their “Black River Ossetra Caviar” from Uruguay.  The caviar had a buttery and smooth flavor and texture.  On top of this, the flavor was big enough to be layered with other flavors and still keep it’s integrity.

Spice brined  “Springers” salmon, white asparagus, lemon bergamot, Uruguay Ossetra caviar, lemon tapioca, shallots