Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh, Yeah!

Last weekend, we celebrated my sister-in-law's and nephew's birthdays. They are mother and son with birthdays exactly one week apart. They are both so very special to us and we love and treasure them mightily.

Shirley is a fantastic cook - and always makes my hubs favorite dishes whenever we get together. I don't think there is a thing she can't cook (and she's no bigger than a bird - don't ask me how!) but because they are both so special to us, we wanted to make their favorites on their birthday.

Darby wanted ribs and although she wouldn't pinpoint anything specific, we knew Shirley loves my hubs smoked salmon.

So I went to the store and bought 4 slabs of ribs and 4 salmon filet's and let hubs go to town, working his magic. Now there are 2 secrets to his salmon that he will let me share here...

Secret #1: soak the salmon in a brine for at least 4 hours and rinse WELL before cooking.

Secret #2: smoke the delicate meat with Sassafras instead of a heavier or fruity wood.

I oiled the skin on the backside of the salmon while hubs sprayed the grill with nonstick cooking spray and we proceeded to lay the fish directly on the grill for 3 glorious hours, basting all the while and biding our time till they were done and we could eat.

We have barbecued in competitions many years with the Kansas City Barbecue Society and presentation is 1/4 of the scoring in judging. Tenderness gets 1/4 of the score and Taste gets 1/2 of the score. We both cooked and judged many contests and sometimes you wished you could give a dish a better score than 9 for each category (36 being a perfect score). Now I have done my fair share of parsley (which was the only garnish you could use in competition) and you learned to make it as appealing as you could.

When the salmon was finally done, we brought it in the house. It turned out so tender and juicy and delicious ... even without the garnish, I thought it was picture perfect.

Everyone else must have thought so too - because there was enough to send home with the birthday girl and boy and not much more than that!

Bon appetite! ♥


Diane of Crafty Passions said...

That looks to die for , what I wouldn't give for a taste!!
Have a good week.

Doreen said...

Oh my goodness Cookie..that looks amazing...yummy!!!

Glad you had a good time.

Have a wonderful day,

Tina said...

Oh my!!my mouth is watering!
my hubby is, what I call him anyway, the "grill master" and I'm going to share this with him.

Sunshine said... birthday is in May! I'm just saying...


BittersweetPunkin said...

That looks wonderful...I didn't realize you could cook salmon for that long and have it turn out so great!!
Have a great day!!

Dogpatch Primitives said...

oh Cookie, I AM DROOLING!!!
I have seen Salmon prepared lots of ways, but I have never seen Salmon look so delicious! The glaze looks and sounds scrumptious, and I wish I could have been there to try it!
I'll bet your shindigs are a BIG hit!

Let's swap....Salmon for Tamales?

kat449 said...

MMMM I can smell it wayyyy over here...Oh your grill master sure is a keeper aint he????
Love your ghosties with the mosties. love you too Cookie...hugs, Kat

Shay said...

Oh wow Cookie, that looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing tips with us! Do you rent your grill master out?? lol I love salmon and it's very hard to find it prepared nice around here!
Have a wonderful day!

~GoldieLoo Woodworks~ said...

Hey Im new to smoked salmon, is it tuff ? Do you have to cook so long so it will be tender ? I want to try this ! Thanks for sharing.~~Pam

Janelle said...

OMG that salmon has me drooling - and if my Luk Luk saw it - he'd be your very best friend for life! It's his most favorite, but then again, it probably is for most Huskies! :)