1 salmon fillet 2 to 4 pounds
1 cup dark rum
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup coarse salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
Hint: Trout can do
Rum Smoked Salmon
Preparing the Fish: Skin the salmon fillet and remove any bones as shown in Preparing the Fish, Fig. 1 to Fig. 3. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Place the salmom in a baking dish just large enough to hold it and pour the rum over. Let marinate for 15 - 20 minutes, then drain the salmon and blot dry with paper towels. Clean the baking dish for later use.
Make the cure: Mix brown sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl, make sure to mix it thoroughly. Spread half of the mixture at the bottom of the dish. Add the pieces of fish on the side where the skin was down and spread the rest of the mixture over the fish pieces by folding it onto the fish. Cover the dish with film and put it in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling and place a drip pan in the center, and preheat to medium heat. Rinse the cure off the salmon with cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. When ready to cook, toss 2 cups wood chips on the coals. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Place the salmon in the center of the hot grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Toss the remaining wood chips on the coals, and cover the grill. Smoke the fish until cooked through, about 20 minutes. To test for doneness, press the top of the salmon with your finger. It should feel firm and break into clean flakes.
Transfer the salmon to a rack to cool. When cool, wrap it well in aluminum foil and refrigerate until cold. Serve cold or at room temperature. Smoked salmon will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 5 days.
Salmon Chips: Salmon skin is so tasty that "Sushi Masters" have made their own recipe. I think it's even better when grilled. Brush on both sides with Asian dark sesame oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Grill the skin directly over medium heat until crackling crips, 10 minutes per side. Serve at once.
Service: Rum-Smoked Salmon with bagels, cream cheese and sliced tomato and onion.
Garnish: Chives or dill can do well.
What to drink:. A glass of cold, dry white vine is perfect to the fish.
Hint: 4 cups wood chips - alder or beech - soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover the charcoal, then drained.