Summer's around the corner. Reel in a crowd with an elegant twist on this upstream swimmer.
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Smoked Salmon: Clean the salmon making sure to remove all pin bones and scales.
Combine the salt, brown sugar, crushed juniper berries, bay leaves and black pepper.
Place a long piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Spread 2/3 of the cure mixture on top of the plastic then place salmon skin side down. Spread the remaining cure on top of the fillet then carefully wrap the ends of the plastic wrap folding them in making sure the salmon cure is tightly encased. Place the salmon on a sheet pan then top with another sheet pan. Place something heavy on top of the sheet pan so that the weight is distributed evenly along the salmon fillets. Allow to cure for 24 hours.
After the 24 hours, remove the salmon side from the plastic wrap and rinse remaining cure. Pat the salmon dry and lay flat on a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan. Place in the fridge and allow to sit overnight to form the pellicle. This will help the smoke to adhere to the salmon.
When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
Set the salmon fillets skin-side down on the grill. Smoke for 1-3 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon registers 150℉. Make sure to monitor the temperature closely to make sure it does not get above 160℉.
Remove the salmon and set aside.
Increase the grill temperature to High and preheat.
While grill is heating, place new potatoes on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sheet pan with potatoes directly on the grill grate and roast for about 25 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and the skins are slightly wrinkled.
Crème Fraiche: Combine whipped cream and buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature from 8-24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
To assemble: Smear 1/4 cup crème fraiche on a plate, break apart a chunk of salmon and place on top of crème fraiche. Add a couple of the new potatoes, sprinkle with pea shoots and dill, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!
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