Salmon Charcuterie

Salmon Charcuterie

(May 15, 2020) Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the late 6th century BCE, was committed to the theory that unity is an amalgamation of opposites and harmony.

He also believed that “change” was not only necessary, but unavoidable.

That being said, it will be very interesting to see how the coronavirus affects Ocean City’s tourism this summer.

Typically, the season is booming with vacationers as they flock to the Eastern Shore for fun in the sun.

Yes, time will tell – but sometimes change can be a good thing.

It is a chance to explore new ideas and possibilities. Adjustments are inevitable and our willingness to accept and adapt is crucial.

Restrictions are gradually being lifted, so I am planning to go home in the near future. A special menu is a must and charcuterie comes to my mind.

For those not familiar with this term, allow me to explain.

Charcuterie refers to the acts of preparing, assembling and artfully arranging cured meats with cheeses, fruits, vegetables, condiments, crackers or bread.

The choices are endless so pairing is based on the type of meats and their preparations.

Accoutrements must be carefully thought out. This is where a chef not only shows off his creativity and artistic skills, but also demonstrates their ability to build a cohesive, well-balanced dish.

Remember, a charcuterie board is not just what you eat, it is also a feast for your eyes. Height, color and texture must be carefully thought out.

Wooden boards such as a large cutting board are not only rustic but allow the food to “pop.” Elegant platters are another possibility for a more sophisticated “look.”

Some hosts like to place small tags with descriptions of what each item is. Personally, I feel it takes away from the overall presentation. A verbal description gets the job done and allows the proteins to be the “star.”

Traditionally, charcuterie incorporates meats, but seafood charcuterie is reaching new heights in popularity and is fitting for the Eastern Shore.

Seafood charcuteries follow the same guidelines as meat charcuteries.

Adapting dishes to coincide with personal preference is always acceptable.

My mother loves salmon so I have decided to prepare a salmon charcuterie. I will present several variations of salmon and pair them with ingredients that will highlight the salmon.

The beauty of charcuterie is that it can be presented as a simple offering or a work of art. The basic layout of the dish makes it perfect for buffets.

If you want to upscale your festivities, consider charcuteries as an option.

The individual components of the salmon charcuterie platter, starting from the left-hand side are fried salmon balls topped with chipotle tartar sauce, baby cucumber slices garnished with salmon caviar, seared salmon with fresh string beans, and a smoked salmon spread served with petite crackers.

* Recipes for the fried salmon balls, chipotle tartar sauce, seared salmon, and smoked salmon dip follow.

Salmon Charcuterie

Chipotle Tartar Sauce

favorite tartar sauce

favorite bottled chipotle sauce

1. Mix tartar sauce with chipotle sauce and refrigerate until ready to serve. The amount of chipotle sauce is based on personal preference.

Fried Salmon Balls Eastern Shore Style

1(14.75 oz) canned salmon, drained

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ small red onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 cup combined yellow, orange and red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/3 cup minced fresh curly parsley

3 tablespoons capers, drained

3 teaspoons favorite hot sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3 teaspoons Old Bay, plus extra for a light dusting

1 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder

1 ½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

4 cups unseasoned panko breadcrumbs

canola oil for frying

1. Place butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and sauté onions, celery, peppers, parsley and capers until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and place cooked vegetables in a sieve to remove any excess liquid.

2. In a small bowl, combine hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, Old Bay, garlic and onion powder.

3. In a large bowl, combine salmon, cooked vegetables and hot sauce mixture. Add raw eggs and combine with salmon mixture. Add bread crumbs and again thoroughly incorporate into salmon mixture.

4. Coat salmon balls with panko bread crumbs.

5. In a large sauté pan, heat canola oil over medium high heat. Make sure there is enough canola oil to cover half of the salmon balls. Cook salmon balls until a golden-brown crust develops. Turn one time and cook the other side.

6. Place salmon balls on a cooling rack and lightly dust with Old Bay seasoning.

7. Top with chipotle tartar sauce.

Seared Salmon

1 large salmon filet, scales removed and skin left on

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons canola oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and canola oil: the butter enhances the natural richness of the salmon while the canola oil helps keep the butter from burning.

2. Place salmon, skin side down, and sauté until the skin develops a nice sear. Flip one time and cook the other side. Cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the fish.

Whatever you do, do not overcook the salmon. Salt and pepper the fish while it is hot and waiting to be plated.

Smoked Salmon Spread

8 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature

½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained

¼ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 ounces good quality smoked salmon, minced

1. Place the smoked salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, fresh dill, horseradish, onion powder and salt into a blender and puree until a smooth consistency is achieved. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve with favorite crackers, toasted slices of baguettes, or toasted sections of pita bread.

Secret Ingredient – Change. “No man ever steps in the same river twice.”

– Heraclitus

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