Smoked Salmon with Lemon-Butter Sauce, Pears, and Cold Cream of Caviar
Slices of salmon fillet are drawn into steaks and smoked. They are served atop a lemon-butter sauce accented with Port wine syrup, with poached pear and caviar cream garnish. Lime may be substituted for lemon in the butter sauce.
- Smoked Salmon
- Wood chips or sticks - 6 to 8 mild (apple, alder, hickory; not mesquite)
- Salmon - 2 pounds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon-Butter Sauce
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 cup
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Port wine - 1/2 cup
- Pear - 1
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Cream of Caviar
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Whipping cream - 1/2 cup, beaten to firm peaks
- Chives - 10, minced
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sevruga caviar - 1 tablespoon
To smoke the salmon: Soak the wood for 30 minutes. Light a smoker or charcoal grill and set up for smoking with the fire to one side and the wood in an open box or open foil box over the fire. Ignite the wood. Remove the skin from the salmon. Trim off any dark areas. Cut across the salmon into eight strips. Wrap each piece around itself into a horseshoe, skinned-side out, and fasten the ends with a toothpick to hold. Lay the salmon on a rack and place in the smoker away from direct heat. Cover and smoke for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To prepare the sauce: Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir in the butter with a whisk. Stir until the butter has melted. Add the zest and 10 to 12 drops of the lemon juice. Whisk together until well blended. Set aside off the heat.
To prepare the Port syrup: Put the port wine in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced to a syrup. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To prepare the garnish: Cut the pear in two and core. Cut very narrow lengthwise strips from each pear half. Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan and add the pear. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
To prepare the cream of caviar: Fold the shallot into the whipped cream. Add the chives and fold together. Season with pepper. Very gently fold in the caviar; do not break the eggs.
To serve: Whisk the butter sauce until well incorporated again. Pool butter sauce in each serving plate. Squeeze a thin line of port syrup around each butter sauce pool. Using a spiral motion, draw a toothpick through the port sauce and butter sauce, creating a design all around the plate. Take the toothpicks out of the salmon steaks. Place two smoked salmon steaks in the center of each plate. Divide the pear julienne among the plates and put pear julienne between the salmon halves. With two small spoons, create quenelles of caviar cream and place one atop each salmon steak.