Smoked Chili Cured King Salmon with Citrus Wild Blueberry Sauce
- 4 skin-on, center-cut wild king or other salmon fillets (2 1/2 pounds total)
- Olive Oil
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of smoked chili mix such as Ancho or Chipotle mixed with all or any of the following: Garlic powder, Thyme, Oregano, Fennel Seeds
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- Wood Chips for Smoking (Recipe is also delicious without the smoking step)
- Pat fish dry with paper towels and generously oil salmon. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, spices, and zest. Generously Rub mixture all over fish. Place in a dish, cover and let cure in the fridge for at least 4 hours to 6 hours. Brush off brine from fillets but do not rinse. The fillets will create a wet sauce with the remainder of the brine which will help with grilling.
- Light the grill. Once coals are hot, scatter drained hickory chips over coals. (If you’re using a gas grill, place them in a disposable metal pan on the grill next to the salmon.)
- Place salmon flesh side down on grill and cover, closing top vent, so not much smoke is released. Smoke salmon, covered, for about 5 to 6 minutes, then flip. (If the fish is sticking to the grill grate, then it’s not ready to flip. Cook for another 3 to 10 minutes, depending upon how hot your fire is. The fish is done when the interior is medium pink and exterior crisp and smoky.
Wild Blueberry Sauce
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1½ cups frozen wild blueberries
3 tablespoons agave or Honey
Zest of half a lemon
1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Dash of Heavy Cream
A few leaves of fresh chopped thyme, or Oregano optional
Place the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined. Place the wild blueberries, cornstarch mixture, agave or Honey, lemon zest, fresh ginger, salt, and thyme/Oregano as desired in a small saucepan and stir well to combine. 2. Place the blueberry mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, frequently stirring, until thickened and heated through about 5 minutes. Finish with a Dash of cream. This should not be a sweet dessert sauce; the blueberries accent the earthiness of the salmon. A few fresh blueberries can be added at the end if a bit chunkier sauce is desired.
Recipe by: Sharon LaTulippe, Regional Culinary Specialist – Florida/Alabama/Oklahoma, Sagora Senior Living