My father loves smoked salmon. He also loves spending the winters with my mom in Arizona. So every year I smoke him a batch of Salmon for his yearly trip South. I decided this year I would can it for him instead of freezing it because it will last longer and take up less freezer space. It is a longer process and a labor of love, so Dad I love you and I hope you enjoy it. The first thing you want to do is brine the fish. I like to make mine a with a complexed flavor that begins sweet and ends with a little heat or kick. So the brine I use is a little sweet but as you follow along you will see where the kick comes in.
Put the fish down face down with skin up in a plastic container. Then the remaining fish skin down flesh up so the fillets have their skin touching. Put in fridge and turn it upside down every so often so all the filets get exposed to the brine. I brine it for 8 hours, then take out and wash off with water and put on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.
The salmon is very red because they were Silver Salmon caught on the infamous Russian River in Alaska. Stephanie caught these with her fly rod. Let the fish air dry for about an hour, then get them ready for the smoker. I keep the fish on the wire rack on top of cookie sheet in my smoker to keep the fish from drying out.
I smoke the fish for about 2.5 hours at 180-190 degrees. I am going to can these so I do not want to completely smoke the fish, just to taste. If you smoke it too long the fish will go black when you can it and be over done.
I pull the fish and let it sit for about 20 minutes, and why I do this I get my cans ready. I will give you the canning instructions later, but after I get the jars cleaned. I add 1 teaspoon of olive oil in each jar, one slice of jalapeno and one slice of garlic. Remember the little kick I was talking about? Do not think that the fish is going to be too hot and spicy. It just gives it a little flavor and a little pop. Trust me, you will like it!
Time to add the smoke fish. Add the fish to the jar, but make sure you leave about 1/2 inch of spacing to the top of the jar. This is important.
Add the lids and get them ready for the pressure cooker. Check the blog for how to can fish and it will give you the step by step instructions. I will add that as a separate blog.
Then you can them in the pressure cooker. Remove and clean the jars.
I always mark them with a sharpie pen what it is and the date. Then you can put them in storage for a rainy day. It was raining today, so I opened one to check the flavor. It is awesome and has all the flavors of a good smoked fish. Great for crackers, great for fettucine, salad, or even pizza. A great way to store it and it turns out great.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It is a winner!