Friday, July 8, 2011

Smoked Salmon

This was a fun way to spend 4th of July, smokin salmon.  I don't have a smoker so I used my hibachi grill and well that did the trick and here is how...

What you will need:
4 pounds of Salmon (I used half of the Sock-eye we go fresh from the market)
3/4 cup salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 cups water
you might need some food grade pliers to take out any bones
4 cups smoking chips (I used Hickory but apple wood would be nice too)
lots of charcoal and lighter fluid

1. In a large container mix salt, sugars, and water until dissolved.  Add the salmon with the skin face up and the flesh in the brine.  You have two options you can leave this room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 6 hours.

2.  After you have brined, rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Let rest for 30 minutes with the towels until the flesh starts to stick to your fingers.

2A.  While your fish is drying light up the grill, make sure to get it really hot so the coals will stay warm once you apply the chips.

2B.  Take and measure out the chips and place in a large bowl cover these with water.

3.  Once the coals have burned off all the lighter fluid and are all covered in white, now you will add a couple of handfuls of your wet chips to the coals.  Make sure your spread them out evenly.  Place the wrack on the grill and coat in oil.

4.  Place salmon on the grill and cover make sure that the vents in the grill cover are open so the coals can breath.  After about a half hour you will want to move around the hot coals and add more wood chips, this is a good time to pat the salmon dry again.  Check on the salmon ever 30-50 minutes.  And after 2 hours the salmon is done.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Apricot Ginger Muffins

*adapted from Good to the Grain
What you will need:
Butter for the tins
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

Apricot Topping:
1 large Apricot ripe but firm
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey

Dry Mix:
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Mix:
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg

1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.  Rub muffin tins with butter until coated.

2. For the topping, halve the apricot, remove pit, and slice into 18 pieces.  Add the butter, honey, and 1 teaspoon grated ginger to a  skillet.  Place skillet over a medium flame to melt the mixture, please stir to combine.  Cook the syrup until it begins to bubble, about 2 minutes.  Add the apricots, toss the pan to coat them with the syrup, and heat up for another 2 minutes till they soften.  Set aside.

3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, tossing out any grain that does not make it through the sifter. In a separate bowl add the wet ingredients and the remainder of the grated ginger and whisk until thoroughly combined.  Then slowly add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and gently combine.

4. Scoop the batter into 9 muffin cups, using an ice cream scoop or small ladle.  The batter should be slightly mounded above the the edge.  Then lay one slice of apricot over each muffin and take a second one and tuck it partway into the batter.  Spoon the pan juices over the the apricots.

5. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty, their bottoms are golden in color, and the edges of the apricots are caramelized.


Thierry Germain & Michel Chevré Bulles de Roche NV

Born in Bordeaux where he was trained at Domaine de Roches Neuves by his father Bernard.  Thierry picked up and left for Saumur-Champigny in central Loire Valley in 1991 and shortly after was followed by his farther to grow Cabernet Franc in the most suitable terrior.  This region is made up of tiffeau limestone which is easy to carve making it easy for roots to grow and to also build medieval castles and cathedrals.

Working on 22 hectars all of which are biodynamic and scattered amonst the Loire.  Thierry has paired up with one of his good friends Michel Chervé to make this beautiful non vintage sparkler.  Made up of mostly Chenin Blanc this wine has a hint of Chardonnay and a small amount of Cabernet Franc.  The juice ferments in 1 and 2 year old barrels before it goes to bottle for  it's second fermentation (méthode traditionelle.) It recieves no dosage and the whole process takes about 12 months.

Lemon Gold in color this wine expressed great minerality that jumped from the glass.  Lemon rind, thyme this wine was bone dry on the palate and screaming with acidity and tart fruits.  Pair it up with some food and it will be great!  Oysters, fried seafood, or even a hamburger from the grill.