Hot Smoked Salmon with Salad of Apples, Dried Cherries, Hazelnuts and Greens and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns
- 1 (3 to 3 1/2-pound) piece center-cut salmon, skin on, pin bones removed, halved
- Alderwood chips, soaked in cold water for 4 hours
- Salad of Apple, Dried Cherries, Hazelnuts and Greens with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Salad of Apple, Dried Cherries, Hazelnuts and Greens:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4 ounces organic baby greens, roughly chopped
- 1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup peeled, toasted hazelnuts, chopped
In a medium bowl, mix together the salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar and peppercorns. Spread extra-wide aluminum foil a little longer than the length of the fish on the work surface and top with an equally long layer of plastic wrap. Lay 1 half of the salmon, skin-side down, on the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the rub onto the flesh of the salmon. Place the second half of the salmon, flesh-side down, on top the first half. Fold the plastic over to cover, and then close the foil edges together and crimp tightly around the fish.
Place the wrapped fish onto a sheet pan and top with another sheet pan. Weigh down with a brick or 2 and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the fish over and refrigerate another 12 hours. Some juice will leak out during the process so make sure there's a place for the runoff to gather.
Unwrap the fish and rinse off the cure mixture with cold water. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and place in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until the surface of the fish is dry and matte-like, 1 to 3 hours depending on humidity. A fan may be used to speed the process.
Prepare a smoker with alderwood chips. Smoke the salmon over the smoldering chips, keeping the temperature inside the smoker at about 200 degrees F, until the thickest part of the fish registers 150 degrees F, about 1 hour. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Place the salmon on a platter. Drizzle with some of the reserved Apple Cider Vinaigrette, and top with the Salad of Apple, Dried Cherries, Hazelnuts and Greens. Serve.
Whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Reserve some to drizzle over the fish. Add the greens, apples, cherries and hazelnuts to the remaining vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.