Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dad's Smoke Salmon

Christmas time is here and one of the traditions my father introduced to our family was smoking salmon. He would spend a couple of weekends prior to Christmas every year smoking salmon and delivering a plate to our friends and family for Christmas morning. Nothing is better than a cup of coffee, bagel and smoked salmon while your kids open presents from Santa. Here is his recipe for you or your family to enjoy. I will be making my inaugural attempt this weekend. I will let you know how it turns out.

Step 1: Buy the Salmon:
Costco has a great selection of Salmon at a reasonable price. If you are one who cares about farmed or wild (may be a norcal only topic), I am not sure if the Salmon is farm raised or fished from the sea.

Step 2: Prepare the Salmon in a Brine solution:
In order to create a moist and tasty piece of smoked salmon you will need to marinate the Salmon in a brine solution for 24-36 hours. I am told, there is not a lot of difference in the taste based on time after 24 hours but there is a noticeable difference if marinated less than 24 hours. Here is the brine solution that my father uses.

Brine solution
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of salt (Kosher salt is better)
Pint Jar with water with warm water not too warm because this will cook the salmon. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar in the solution.
Put Salmon in dish and add solution
Add an additional pint of water to the dish
Cover the dish and put in the refrigerator overnight

Step 3: Prepare the smoker
Either a electric or charcoal smoker will do for smoking. However, use boiling water in the water bow if you want to obtain the right temperature and keeping your Salmon moist . You need to think carefully about which order your put things into the smoker. It is recommended that you get your charcoal or heat source working first, then the water and then place the Salmon on to the rack. You can use your window in the smoker to add wood chips once the fish is smoking. Otherwise you will have smoke in your face as you place the salmon onto the smoker. Make sure you soak the woodchips at least for 60 minutes prior to adding them to the fire. You don't want them burning immediately and you don't want them too wet that they cool your fire.

Step 4: Smoke the Salmon
You should check the salmon after 2 hours to ensure that things are going well. However, you don't want to keep checking very often because it will take the heat out of the smoker. The Salmon should take 4-5 hours to be complete. It should be done when the meat looks orange and flakes. The water should mostly be gone when you are done with the smoking. If it goes faster you may have too hot of a heat source.

Step 5: Serve
My father always served his smoked salmon with mini bagels and a lemon-onion Creamcheese. Here is the skinny on where and how to make it. You can pick-up you mini-bagels at either Costco or Trader Joes. The creamcheese can be picked up at Smart & Final but you will also need onions and lemons to complete the recipe. Zest a lemon and combine creamcheese with onions into a mixer and blend the ingredients to taste.

Cut the Salmon up into 1/3 pieces. Place on a plate with the minibagels cut in half and serve with the creamcheese.

You can store the salmon in the refrigerator after smoking up to 2 weeks. Remember this is how they used to store meat in the old days.

Elf Yourself

This was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. It takes five minutes to get one up and running and it is guaranteed to keep you laughing. What a great way to spread joy and bring a smile to people you know then sending them this instead of Christmas Card.

Elf Yourself Here

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

This was too funny not to share with all that read the blog. Us Dad's can all relate to the funny summary of bed time.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Carmel Mission Fiesta 2007

One of the best kept secrets on the Central Coast and Carmel is the Carmel Mission Fiesta. This year we are celebrating the 43rd Annual Event on Sunday, Sept. 23. This fabulous event combines great food and drink, local artwork and crafts, and local musical talent all on the historical grounds of the Carmel Mission.

Click here to see a great video about the event. Go to Video

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

more mountain man

The kids loved the chance to dress up as the different characters and put on thier own play of the Bear Flag Revolt.

Clancy, The Mountain Man goes over Bear Flag Revolt

Clancy the Mountain Man visited our camp this morning. He taught us about the Bear Flag Revolt. The kids learned all about the role of Vallejo, Fremont, and the first and only President of California Ide.

Singing for dinner

Panning for gold

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

california capital

The Capital of California is very impressive. did you know the lady on the Seal of California is the greek godess Minerva. Minerva is the godess of wisdom. This particular seal is on the cieling on the second floor and was given to the capital by Tiffany's.

sacramento or bust

we are on the road. no need to set alarms when there is this much excitement. if only we could find a way to bottle and sell it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jesuits On...A Teacher's Vocation

If you ever wonder why we choose to send our kids to Catholic school then watch this video. More often then not our experience has been with teachers who live the message of this video.

The Maestro

The bad light doesn't obscure the talent behind the Maestro.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Vineyards Return to Pasadena

Altadena and Pasadena used to have many different kinds of orchards as part of the early settler's estates. Here is one settler who has decided to use the fertile soil for his vineyard. I can't wait to taste the fruits of his labor. I have been promised a sip from the wine that is laid down in approximately 3 years time. I only had to trade 1 hour of hard labor digging through soil that was part rock....all the while being told that the best wine comes from vines that struggle a little.....

Moca and the kids