“We smoke a lot of salmon at the Hartstone Inn. Generally when I refer to smoked salmon, I am referring to cold-smoked salmon, which is a cured side of salmon that is gently smoked at low temperatures. With cold smoking, the salmon is “cooked” by the curing process and “flavored” by the smoke. The distinctive texture of cold-smoked salmon comes from the curing, and makes the flesh firm but not crumbly like salmon exposed to heat. Hot-smoked salmon, on the other hand, is seasoned fresh salmon that is smoked at high temperatures and the fish actually cooks through while smoking.”—Michael Salmon, from In the Kitchen With Michael Salmon
Michael Salmon, In the Kitchen With Michael Salmon
Dry Cure Mix:
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried dill
Mix all ingredients together.
Coat both sides of a one-pound salmon fillet (skin on, pin bones removed) with 1/4 cup dry cure mix. Place the salmon in a small container with a lid and refrigerate for 24 hours. This process is known as “curing.” The salt will draw out a great deal of liquid from the salmon and preserve it, actually “cooking” the flesh.
After 24 hours, gently rinse both sides of the salmon under cold water and place skin side down on the smoking rack. Cold smoke the salmon (at a maximum of 90 degrees) for 2 hours with cherry chips. This is a delicate process in the stove top smoker. The best technique is to get the smoker to the point where it is producing smoke, place the salmon on the smoking rack, close the cover and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the smoke to be exposed to the salmon for 10 minutes off the heat then remove the salmon from the pan and continue the process over and over for a full 2 hours. Add new cherry chips as necessary. Cold-smoked salmon is best if allowed to rest for 24 hours before slicing very thinly.
Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over 6-ounce salmon fillets (skin off, pin bones removed) and lightly coat with a seasoning rub of your choice. Place them on the lightly oiled smoking rack and hot smoke at 350˚ for 15 minutes with 2 Tablespoons apple, cherry, or alder chips. Serve with fruit salsa, herbed sour cream, mustard, or Chimi Churri Sauce.
I have made many different pound cakes over the years, but the flavor, color, and texture that the pistachios lend to this cake are incredible. Pound cake is terrific served with afternoon tea also. If you don’t eat nuts, the pistachios may be omitted from the recipe. Experiment with other nuts or other flavors like citrus, blueberries, or chopped dried fruits.
Pistachio Pound Cake
Michael Salmon, Hartsone Inn, Camden
1 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cracked pistachios (plus 1 Tablespoon for the top)
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Cream the sugar and butter together in a mixer until smooth.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix in. Add the flour and ½ cup of pistachios and mix until incorporated.
Butter two small loaf pans (2½ cup size) and lightly coat with flour, tapping out the excess flour. Divide the batter between the two pans and sprinkle the tops with the remaining pistachios. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Transfer the loaves to cooling racks to cool.
Makes 2 small loaves.
Inevitably, we all end up with the task of making hors d’oeuvres. Whether making them for our own dinner parties or taking them to friends or family, the same hors d’oeuvres appear time and time again. We become efficient and confident with certain preparations and when the feedback is positive, it becomes even easier to prepare the same recipe. Here is a chance to mix things up a little bit. My recipe for Funchi Rounds with Maine Lobster and a Dill Aioli combines polenta (called Funchi on the island of Aruba) with our delicate Maine lobster with a spicy aioli accented with fresh dill. I guarantee it will be a standout at your next dinner party.
image by Joan Garvin from jamesbeard.starchefs.com Continue reading “Michael Salmon’s Lobster Funchi” »
“I am always disappointed when I order this drink at a bar and they make it with bottled lime juice. It is so much better with fresh lime juice. There are many variations on this drink; try flavored vodkas with different juice combinations, like Razmapolitan with raspberry vodka and a splash of raspberry puree, Peachmapolitan with peach vodka and peach juice or puree.”—Michael Salmon, Hartstone Inn, Camden
image: infobarrel.com Continue reading “Hartstone Inn Cosmopolitan” »
There are millions of barbecue sauce recipes out there and they all have their own individual characteristics. Some are sweet and some are tangy, while others are tomato-based or vinegar-based. Many of these variations can be categorized by region.
The western side of the U.S. specializes in tomato-based barbecue sauce while the southern states typically make a vinegar-based version. My sauce is similar to those made in Kansas City, which are thick, tomato-based sauces with molasses.
image: gourmet.lovetoknow.com Continue reading “Michael Salmon’s Homemade Barbecue Sauce” »
When I go to purchase fresh mussels, I always look for shells that are closed with a fresh “sea” aroma (not a fishy one). If the shells are open, it means the mussels are not fresh and are beginning to die. Soak the closed mussels in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to allow them to purge any sand or grit that may be inside the shell. Gently scrub the shells to remove any debris from the outside and pull on the beard (stringy part protruding from the inside) to remove it and discard. The mussels are now ready to cook.
image:ctbites.com Continue reading “Coconut-Steamed Mussels” »
Roti is a flat bread that is very simple and quick to make and resembles a flour tortilla. Roti came to the Caribbean from India and has become a local staple in many islands, especially Trinidad and Tobago. India’s influence in Caribbean cuisine is very apparent and curry dishes are a prime example. In Aruba, curried goat stew was very popular and roti is the perfect “utensil” for mopping up the sauce on your plate. Roti can also be filled with ingredients and rolled up to form a sandwich wrap.
Continue reading “Roti Bread” »
A myriad of waffle irons are available on the market, each producing a waffle of a different shape or size. There are thin waffles, thick Belgian-style waffles, round waffles, square waffles, even heart-shaped waffles. They all work well so choose the type and shape you like. When serving waffles, dust the top with powdered sugar, add a dollop of sweetened, whipped cream, and top with a garnish that will complement the flavoring of the waffles.
Continue reading “Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles” »
A rather unusual combination for veal, perhaps, but this is one of my personal favorites. The figs and almonds lend so much texture to this dish and really complement the mild flavors in the veal. If you are one of those people who steers clear of veal, pork tenderloin is a terrific substitute and works equally as well, as do chicken breasts.
Continue reading “Sautéed Veal Medallions with an Almond-Fig Cream” »
If you intend to throw a party and would like to spend more time mingling with your guests than with your food, I suggest that you throw an hors d’oeuvre party and offer a variety of them. Here is a great finger food featuring pear and gorgonzola.
Continue reading “Pear and Gorgonzola Toasts” »
Michael Salmon of Camden’s Hartstone Inn shares a wonderful and delicious Maine crab recipe in the current issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine. He also shares a bit about himself and his beloved Midcoast inn.
Peekytoe Crab Gazpacho, by Chef Michael Salmon. Image © 2010 Jim Bazin.
Michael shares his passion for cooking, teaching, and utilizing local ingredients to their fullest potential. Want to learn how to cook from a master? Michael offers several classes this winter, such favorites as: Mediterranean Cuisine, Maine Seafood, Holiday Artisan Chocolates, and more.
Chef Michael Salmon of Camden’s Hartstone Inn. Image © 2010 Jim Bazin.
Hands down, I have received more requests for this recipe than any other.
Sherry, long relegated to an ingredient, is first and foremost a wine. Good sherry shows a range of flavors from apricots and stone fruit to roasted nuts and caramel. In this case, a Vox Oloroso sherry, which is slightly off-dry, will blend beautifully with the earthy quality of the mushrooms and creaminess of the soup. Ivison and Emilio Lustau produce high quality, reasonably priced sherry.
Continue reading “Portabella Mushroom Soup with a Sherry Cream” »
I learned this dish from a Thai cook named “Mr. Mike,” many years ago. We often ate it as a “family meal” before a long night on the cooking line. Thai beef salad is served family-style on a platter and is a hands-on dish to eat. The correct way to eat this salad is for everyone to take a bibb lettuce leaf and fill it with some of the beef mixture. Then add a tomato wedge, a slice of cucumber, more mint or another squeeze of lime, roll it up and eat it like you would a taco. image: onceuponafeast.blogspot.com Continue reading “Grilled Thai Beef Salad” »
Chowders, of course, are quintessential New England. Maine is especially known for its clam, fish, and seafood chowders. Lobster and corn combine to create an exceptional chowder that is creamy, rich and hearty, with tender chunks of potatoes and finished off with crisp-smoky bacon. It’s hard to beat.
image: seductionmeals.com Continue reading “Corn and Lobster Chowder with Crisp Bacon” »
The mojito is a traditional Cuban drink that is sweet and refreshing, with a rum kick. All summer long my herb garden is taken over with a huge patch of spearmint and I couldn’t be happier about it. As one of our most popular drink specials, the mojito is delicious on its own or with the addition of berries or other fruit. The blackberries make for a dramatic presentation.
image courtesy of Hartstone Inn, Camden
Continue reading “Blackberry Mojito” »
These recipes from Michael Salmon of Camden’s Hartstone Inn are sure to cool you off deliciously this summer! Of sorbet making, Michael has this to say:
“We serve a fruit sorbet at the Inn as a cleansing course before the entrée. Any fruit can be used for sorbet, you just need to consider the type of flesh or juice a fruit produces, and match it to one of these recipes. I use a simple electric ice cream machine that spins an insulated freezer bowl. You plug it in, pull the frozen freezer bowl out of your freezer and place it on the machine, place the lid on top turn it on and pour in the ingredients. In about 20 minutes you have sorbet. Transfer the sorbet to a plastic container with a lid and let it freeze for at least 2 hours to set up firm. ”
4 cups water
4 cups granulated sugar
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan, giving it a gentle stir every 30 seconds. Once the boil is reached, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Use the simple syrup in the recipes below to prepare many different flavors of sorbet.
lemon sorbet image courtesy of foodnetwork.com
Continue reading “Summer Sorbets” »
Diver scallops in Maine are some of the best you will find anywhere in the world. The term “diver scallops” refers to a scallop that was harvested by an actual person doing the diving to the bottom of the ocean and hand harvesting usually only the larger specimens. This yields a much cleaner and more uniform product than the large and destructive draggers can conjure up. Diver scallops are also sold “dry,” which means they have not been soaked in water or a preservative to extend their shelf life.
seared scallops image: about.com
Continue reading “Seared Sea Scallops with Spring Pea Cream and Smoked Salmon” »