Okay, I know. Salmon Stroganoff? Has Gregor lost his ever loving mind?? What manner of nonsense is this? Stay with me on this one, I promise you, you will love it.
I came up with this one while trying to figure out some new way to prepare salmon. As I’ve said before, one of the many wonderful aspects of living in the Pacific Northwest is the seafood, and in particular, salmon. We are so spoiled here that we actually have our favorite types of salmon. For me, it’s Copper River salmon. Wonderful flavor, firm texture, just utterly fantastic. Anywho… Bottom line is we eat a lot of salmon, so finding new ways of preparing it is a challenge. This one came about after I had made some Crab Bisque, and had left over seafood stock. Now, when I say I came up with it, I’m not laying claim to be the only one that has made this. For all I know it’s a favorite dish of many. All I’m saying is that this isn’t based on any recipe I read. Okay, on with the show as they say.
When we make a crab boil, I put all the crab shells, left over corn, shrimp, oyster shells, etc., back into the pot of water I cooked them in. I then reduce this down for 3-4 hours, adding water as needed. What comes out of this effort is a very rich, very tasty seafood stock. I then freeze it and use it as a base for bisque, cioppinio, etc. later on. If you want to start this off this way, great! Otherwise, just pick up some fish/seafood stock.
Take a salmon filet, or 4 smaller 8 ounce portions, and salt and pepper both sides. Start a grill going and once the charcoal is ready, or the gas grill is hot enough, place some apple wood chips that have been soaked in water on the coals. Place the salmon on the grill skin side down and away from the direct heat, cover the grill and let ‘em smoke. If you are worried about sticking, place the salmon on some aluminum foil. Add chips as needed to keep the smoke going. This should take about an hour. If the salmon is cooking too quickly, pull it farther away from the heat, and visa versa. It needs about an hour though to get the right smoky flavor.
While the salmon is smoking, take about 6 cups of your stock, and place in a deep sided pan over a medium heat. Dutch oven also works well. Let this start to boil and reduce down. Take a 2 cups of sour cream and a cup of cream cheese and blend until smooth and pudding like, then place in the fridge.
While the stock reduces, boil some flat egg noodles until al dente. Remove and put in a bowl with a towel over it to keep from drying out. Once the stock has reduced to about 4 cups or so, add in the 3 cups of sour cream/cream cheese. Using a whisk, blend this together. Add salt and pepper to taste. What you are going for here is like a thick bisque. Try adding a little more Old Bay seasoning if it seems a bit bland. If you have some extra cash, a pinch or two of saffron would be awesome as well. Add the noodles into the sauce, and reduce the heat to low. This sauce should be a nice light orange/pink in color. If not, and the taste is right, add a little paprika.
Check to see if the salmon is done. It should be firm and just turning opaque in the middle. Remove from the grill and place on a platter. Now at this point you can leave it as is, or if you are serving to folks who think fish is “too fishy tasting,” do the following: Carefully turn the salmon over so it is skin side up. Peel off the skin, and lightly scrape away with a spoon any of the salmon that is gray in color. Then gently put the salmon “skin” side down again.
Plating: Take a nice dark colored plate to show off the colors of the salmon and sauce, and lay down a bed of the noodles and sauce. Gently place the salmon on top, and drizzle with some of the sauce. Sprinkle some capers over the top, and then place a lemon wheel on the side with a spring of dill. I’d serve this with a salad and my roasted strawberry vinaigrette found elsewhere on this blog. For a wine, this dish can stand up to most anything, but to really allow the flavors to be appreciated, serve with a chilled buttery Chardonnay.
And there you have it. Salmon Stroganoff.