Smoked Salmon Spread

Smoked Salmon Spread

Smoked Salmon Spread.

Prepare in advance: Make enough salmon to serve for dinner and as an appetizer.
In the deli department of your store, you could discover little squares of pumpernickel or rye bread. If not, cut whole-grain bread into 2-inch squares, diagonally cut each piece, and spread generously with this salmon spread. If desired, toast the bread.

112 lemon juice (about 14 cup)
14 c. mirin
rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons
12 pound smoked salmon, sliced into slices (see page 112)
12 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
Half-cut pumpernickel or rye bread squares

slices of lemon
PREPARE IN ADVANCE: Smoke the salmon and marinate the fish for 1 hour.

Combine the lemon juice, mirin, and vinegar in a small basin.

In a glass baking dish, place the salmon pieces and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate for 1 hour after covering.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olives, olive oil, oregano, scallions, and parsley five or six times until finely chopped.

Remove the marinade and salmon pieces from the glass dish. Pulse them three or four times in the food processor bowl until roughly chopped. Avoid overprocessing and puréeing the mixture.

Spoon the salmon mixture over the bread halves and top with the remaining parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and pumpernickel squares.
SERVES 8–12 Timbales of Curried Trout
This dish may be made with any smoked fish. Use greased muffin pans or nonstick tins to bake the muffins.
Timbales may be prepared in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Warm in a 250°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes to reheat.
6 ounces Skinned and boned smoked Rainbow Trout (see page 65)
112 lemon juice (14 cup)
6 to 8 wild ramps or chives 14 cup fresh thyme, stems
curry powder (1 teaspoon)
14 teaspoon garam masala (available in the spice section of most stores)
1 quart of thick cream
3 eggs
Trout smoked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the fish, lemon juice, thyme, ramps, curry powder, and garam masala five or six times until well combined. Purée for 15 seconds after scraping down the edges.

Pour in the cream and the eggs. Purée until everything is well combined.

Divide the batter among six muffin cups.

Place muffin tins in a roasting pan half-filled with water, approximately two-thirds up the muffin cups, and bake. Bake the timbales for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to enable the mixture to cool. To release the timbales, run the point of a dull knife along the edges of the cups. Over a big platter, gently flip them upside down.

Serve right away or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.


Though one little timbale is plenty as an appetizer or side dish, consider serving Texas muffin–sized timbales with a salad for a luncheon in the afternoon.
Oysters Tickled Pink
While the heat and smoke gently push the oysters open and flavor them, this cognac and cream “bisque” simmers, absorbing a smoky flavor. You may serve a cup of bisque with the oysters if you double the recipe (except for the oysters). For further information, see the Variation. Otherwise, before serving, sprinkle roughly a spoonful of the sauce over each oyster.
To hold the bisque, you’ll need a disposable 8- to 10-inch aluminum baking pan or, better still, a 2-inch-deep, 8-inch cast-iron frying pan. On page 118, you’ll find a technique to get even more use out of the oysters.

12 cup brandy or cognac
12 cup clam juice 112 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp cracked pink peppercorns (available in gourmet shops or online; see Resources, page 244)
paprika, 1 teaspoon
24 oysters, unopened
slices of lemon

Preheat the grill for smoking.

In a disposable or cast-iron skillet, combine the cognac, cream, clam juice, peppercorns, and paprika. Over the heat, place the pan immediately on top of the smoke pan. Because the liquid may develop a film on the surface, whisk or mix it every now and then.

Place the oysters on the grill’s cool side. Replace the cover.

After approximately 15 minutes, thoroughly pry open each oyster to allow the smoky taste to enter deeper, taking care not to spill their natural juices. Cook for another 30 minutes, or until opaque.

Arrange the oysters on plates, drizzle with a teaspoon of sauce, and serve with lemon wedges.


Do not spoon any of the bisque over the oysters if you opt to double the recipe. Rather, strain, put to a medium-high-heat pot, and stir for 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced by one-third. Pour into mugs and serve right away.
In Big Sky Country, everything is huge.


Salmon flies, too. The many signs boasting the unique distinction of being “The Gateway to the West” (strangely enough, commencing somewhere in Ohio) told me I was on my way. Everything is bigger in the West. B-I-G.
In Ennis, Montana, I went into an outfitting shop to purchase some flies.
Old oaken barrels loaded with rotten pickles; bundles of flour, beans, and other groceries laying on the hardwood floor; bolts of the newest fabric just came in from the East sprawled over the counter: today’s outfitters don’t match the romantic picture of yesteryear. In today’s West, an outfitter is more likely to be an Orvis-endorsed fly shop selling T-shirts than imported calico. There’s no money in five-cent pickles in this town.

In front of me, a lady entered the shop. She looked to be rather tall at first. She was dressed in a bleached chamois shirt with fringes from shoulder to cuff, a tall white cowboy hat, and high-heeled platform western boots. When she came up to me at the desk, I saw she was small and not at all huge. It had to be the hat and shoes that gave her a more regal appearance. Her gown added a sense of grandeur and drama to her appearance.

I approached the counter, wanting to know how much the enormous salmon flies on display cost. I said, “Reasonably priced for such wonderfully crafted flies.”
The cashier said, “I’m glad someone thinks so.” “On your way in, you passed Ted Turner, who was complaining about the costs.”
The towering mountain ranges overwhelm one as one approaches the Rockies. To an easterner used to New England’s densely linked, groomed hills, distance has a different sense.
Bob Black Bull, a Browning Blackfoot Indian, pointed to a bluff across the plains to the east. “See that? Sweet Grass Hills is its name. “Do you know how far that is?”

“No,” I said, “but I’ll estimate 50 to 60 miles.”
“That elevation of land is 136 kilometers distant,” he joked.
What else is significant? Buffalo. I was focused in fishing on a beautiful chilly day while fly-casting over the meandering Gibbon River in Yellowstone Park’s limits, and almost startled when I glanced up.

Three buffalo were lounging in the long, cool grass upstream, not far away, observing me. I wondered whether they were watching to see how far I would go into their personal space. WARNING! is printed on a bright yellow poster distributed to tourists entering the federal park.


I imagined myself arriving home after a day of fishing in Montana and having to go to the hospital to have a buffalo horn pulled from my butt. I stepped out of the brook gently and carefully.
What else is significant? Driving towards Lewis and Clark National Park over the Great Plains, I saw numerous massive farms, one of which my host stated he worked on as a ranch hand some years ago. “This one is 40,000 acres, and the one across the street is as well.”

He showed to the 100,000-plus-acre working ranch about 10 miles up the road. Each head of cattle, on average, needs a bit more than 10 acres of land to graze contentedly. Ted Turner’s 107,520-acre Flying D Ranch, which he utilizes for his own wildlife preserve and vast buffalo ranch just south of Bozeman, is hard to miss. That’s some serious thinking. Certainly larger than my little 1b acres back home.
In Augusta, I asked a buddy what he believed was significant in his state. “Tall stories.”

He said, “Everyone has them.” He was correct. Chester, an old timer who accompanies outfitters on fishing and hunting expeditions into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, was introduced to me. I replied, “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“All lies,” he cracked. “None of them are credible.”
Chester’s wilderness inventiveness was described in one story as having remained in camp, now that he is getting on in years, and created a strange-looking device made of barbed wire hanging above bait, a bear trap (legal or not, I didn’t ask). Hunters who returned to camp and examined the trap stated they had no idea how it worked.

“I guess the bear doesn’t either,” Chester answered, “since I haven’t snared one yet.”
What is the size of the West? Jim Bridger, a mid-nineteenth-century explorer who led the cavalry across the Rockies, said that the region was so large that you could shout into a canyon before retiring to sleep at night and the echo would wake you up the next morning.

Is there anything else of significance? In the West, fishing flies are quite popular.
The gigantic stone or salmon fly, in particular, is highly anticipated each summer. I got numerous imitations from the recommended fly shop and couldn’t fit them all into my fly box. When I saw the hatch later on the Madison River, I was persuaded of their utility. Because the hatch was so enormous, I first assumed it was birds or bats coming out to eat on insects.

A neighboring fisherman offered me a fly he’d fashioned to simulate the Pteronarcys californica, a nicely crafted fly that looked almost identical to the real thing.
The angler was a retired geologist who had started his journey in Maine and was fishing his way up to an isolated lake in British Columbia. On the Madison, those 3-inch flies caught some nice 20-inch rainbows and browns.