Friday, July 15, 2011

#LetsLunch July edition: champagne companion bites

Hooray! Another LetsLunch month and this month I did a little work ahead of time (made this on Monday) so I wasn't scrambling at the last minute.

This month, to toast the two-year anniversary of Cheryl Tan and the others' great idea to have a "virtual" lunch date, we chose small bites to go with champagne.

I have been wanting to try cold smoking salmon for a while now and finally took the plunge. I mostly followed this recipe from Serious Eats to "quick cure" but also took some notes from Andrew Zimmern's recipe and technique here

Start with Juniper berries. The great thing about these is that I purchased them from the bulk section at my co-op and I only bought about what I would need, rather than buying a whole bottle or bag at a spice store. I think my total cost for a heaping tablespoon of the dried berries was $0.20 or so. I used my mortar and pestle to crush them up a bit

Very thinly sliced fresh salmon

Spice mixture: brown sugar, sea salt, pepper, crushed juniper and dill. I started with about 3:1 ratio of sugar to salt (following David Chang's quick pickles ratio... figured it would probably translate here) and added the pepper, berries and dill. When I tasted later, I found there was too much juniper, so rinsed the salmon and repacked with more sugar, salt and dill. 

Mix, mix, mix

Completely coat your salmon slices. Then, flatten the bag to a single layer and press it between two plates. Chill for two or more hours, then drain and rinse the salmon.

Serve on dark bread with herbed cream cheese. Cheers! 

LetsLunch is a monthly meeting for food bloggers and is the brain child of Cheryl Tan. Our group chooses a date and a theme, then we all post our recipes on the same day.

If you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you! send a Tweet to us using #letslunch (I'm @emmacarew).

I'll update with more posts from the other LetsLunch-ers as I find them throughout the day!

Charissa's Bacon, Apple and Swiss Quiche at Zest Bakery
Ellise's Sundried Tomato Pesto Palmiers at Cowgirl Chef
Cheryl's Cheddar Pecan Crisps at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Lisa's Salmon Tartare at Monday Morning Cooking Club


  1. Great job on this recipe. I am late with my post for lunch but am making the same thing. I hope it turns out ....

    Happy luncheon to you!!

  2. I love home-cured salmon with bubbly! Actually sandwich with this would be good too!

  3. I am SO impressed! It looks delicious...and so professionally done! Thanks for sharing...xo

  4. Well, you did a great job making that look so easy and delicious. Glad to be in LetsLunch with you and love this idea. {{{{Clink}}}