Whiskied Smoked Salmon and Salad of Mixed Greens

Copyright of Grasslands Entertainment Inc. 2001
TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 5 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 45 min
YIELD: 6 servings


  • 6 fresh salmon fillets, 4 oz. each
  • 4 cups cool water
  • salt
  • 1/4-cup liquid honey
  • 1/4-cup Islay whisky
    • pinch of freshly ground pepper
    • small handful of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
    • mixed greens, about 3 handfuls
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    SALMON: To make brine, pour 4 cups of water into a non-reactive bowl. Add a small potato about the size of a golf ball to the water. It will sink to the bottom. Begin pouring salt into the water, mixing gently, until the potato bobs to the surface of the water. Discard potato.
    Place salmon fillets in brine and allow to soak in a cool place for one hour. Remove salmon fillets from brine solution and pat dry. Set aside.
    In a measuring cup, blend together honey and whisky. Gently brush fillets with blended honey and whisky mixture. Smoke fillets for nine hours in smokehouse or water smoker.
    Alternatively, soak wood shavings or chips (apple, beech, or untreated cedar) in water for about an hour. Meanwhile, prepare a small charcoal fire in a dome-shaped barbecue. You are trying to maintain a covered temperature somewhere between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    When the coals are glowing, place salmon fillets on the grill on the side opposite to the coals. Sprinkle damp wood chips over coals and cover grill. Because this method is somewhat hotter than smokehouse or smoker methods, smoke fish for about 45 minutes. Check progress halfway through cooking. You are looking for a bronzed, shiny exterior and a firm buttery interior.
    Serve fillets with a side of mixed greens and dressing. Top fillets with a small drizzle of Islay whisky.

    SALAD: Make dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the first six ingredients in the order in which they appear. Toss mixed greens with dressing until evenly coated. Arrange greens to one side of plate.


    There is not a more gracious hostess than that of Rachel Whyte of the Glenmachrie B&B on the Island of Islay. She and husband Alaisdair catch and smoke their own salmon. This delicious concoction not only uses smoked salmon, but Scotland's finest: whisky.

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