Smoked salmon is one of the most delicious and healthy types of fish. Salmon is available hot smoked or cold smoked in a variety of product forms. Lox is thinly sliced, cold smoked salmon.
One of the most useful packages is smoked salmon in a special foil packet. These skin-on fillets go thru a smoking process, then vacuum sealed with a small amount of liquid in a special foil pouch. The fillets are then fully cooked, which eliminates the need for refrigeration. The result is a high quality product that can be shipped directly to consumers or displayed in stores without requiring cold storage.
To achieve the highest quality meal, there are a few extra steps that will improve smoked salmon before serving. Once the package is opened, the fillet should be carefully removed and laid out in a shallow dish. The fillet may break into pieces which is normal. Products vary but most smoked salmon are sold with the skin intact.
The next step is to rinse the sections in cold water. After rinsing, carefully lay each piece on a cutting board and peel off the skin. Depending on the species and cut of fish, a thin layer of dark meat may remain on the salmon. Carefully scrape this dark meat off, leaving only the large flakes of lighter colored meat.
At this stage, the remaining portion is usually excellent quality, ready to eat salmon. The product is now ready to be served immediately, cooked in a variety of recipes or can be refrigerated and stored for several days. The liquid should also be stored with the fish as it makes excellent stock for use in chowders and other dishes.
Smoked salmon lends itself to a variety of serving methods. The fillet can be separated into flakes, arranged and served alone or with accompaniments such as cheeses, vegetables, breads and crackers.
Smoked salmon is excellent as a key ingredient in fish dips. A simple fish dip recipe starts by separating flakes of salmon with a fork into small a fine blend. Next, cream cheese and sour cream are added in small amounts, combining until the desired consistency is achieved.
The final step is to blend in onion, herbs and seasonings if desired. Fish dip is best if allowed to chill for a few hours. It keeps for several days and its flavor usually improves over time. Salmon dips can be served with crackers, home made breads or toast.
Smoked salmon makes an excellent main ingredient for chowder. Most salmon chowders include a milk or cream based broth which includes fish stock, potatoes, onions, carrots, herbs, and spices. Like some other seafood dishes, these chowders improve greatly in flavor if chilled and stored overnight before serving re-heated.
Salmon is excellent paired with wine. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling usually go well with salmon and other smoked fish. Some chefs go so far as to pair whiskeys with these fish as countries such as Ireland and Scotland have an international reputation for excellence in both salmon and spirits.