Salmon and Farro Salad

Aware that I am into the World Cup in a big way, Gourmay readers across the world are asking me what we serve guests during the game. It used to be that we would serve some antipasti and, perhaps, a little pasta to whet the appetites of our guests. Sadly, after the biting incident in the Italy-Uruguay match, we have had to reconsider our menu because Luis Suarez gives new meaning to the term “al dente” when dining Italian.

Suarez_Cone.jpg

Mind you, I am a refined carnivore and prefer my meat cooked rather than still on the hoof, but I can understand why some people might be attracted to someone’s shoulder if they haven’t been weaned properly as a child. In any event, we have now decided that a trio of salads would be better to keep nationalistic passions in check. Found below is a useful salmon and farro salad courtesy of Mamacita:

Poached Salmon and Farro Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 1 1/4 lb salmon
  • 4 tsp of red wine
  • 4 to 5 sprigs of dill
  • 1/2 cup barley or farro
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tbs capers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs dill snipped
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Preparation

  • Poach salmon in water with 4 tsp of red wine and 4 to sprigs of dill.  Cool and flake.
  • Cook barley or farro and then toss with 2 tsp of olive oil and let cool.
  • Combine vegetables with salmon, grain and Dijon.  Season with wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

A penitent Luis Suarez tells me that the salmon salad is best eaten at room temperature.

Bogey Pinson’s Smoked Fresh Salmon

During a recent visit to Texas, Thérèse informs me that she had some delicious smoked fresh salmon prepared by David “Bogey” Pinson on his Weber.   I consulted with David yesterday morning and I too recreated this simple and almost foolproof recipe for making delicious smoked fresh salmon.   If you are as tired of eating salmon as I am, the smoke adds a new taste profile that makes you want to come back for seconds.   Left-over salmon works great with scrambled eggs the next morning.

Side of Salmon for smoking

Bogey Pinson’s Smoked Fresh Salmon

Ingredients

  • A side of salmon (thicker is better) with the skin left on.  (Note:  Farmed salmon is fine!)
  • 2/3 of a cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp of freshly grated ginger (or 1 Tbsp ginger powder and 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp (teaspoon) of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (or the equivalent of a sugar substitute like Truvia)
  • Hickory or Mesquite chips (for smoking).  Immerse in water at least one hour before initiating the smoking process.

Preparation

  • About six to eight hours before cooking:  combine the soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic powder and sugar (or sugar substitute) and pour over the salmon.  Cover and refrigerate.  Turn once.
  • Fire up the Weber with very hot coals placed in the middle  of the grill.  
  • Place the wood chips directly on the hot coals.  Replace the grill rack and on top place improvised aluminum foil in the shape of an edged pan.  Add the salmon skin down and pour half of the marinade sauce over the top.
  • Very Important:  Close the air vents on the top of the grill (leave the bottom open) and cook  for 20 to no more than 25 minutes.  Internal temperature should settle around 300° F.  (Note to Langston:  Do not open the grill to peek because as you will lose the smoke).
  • Remove the smoked salmon from the improvised aluminum pan and allow to settle for about 5 to 10 minutes and serve.  You may want to add a spoonful or so of the warmed marinade, but we didn’t.

Salmon served with quinoa or wild rice is great.   With respect to the cooking time, we recommend somewhere in between 20 and 25 minutes.  It depends on the thickness of the salmon, the heat of the fire and the desired moistness.   Personally, I thought the hickory chips would be a bit heavy-handed and was inclined to apple wood chips, but David’s instincts were right!   (Editor’s Note:  20 minutes is fine if you wish the salmon to be a bit pink.)

Thanks Bogey.  This is a great recipe and a welcome change to the traditional grilled fresh salmon.