Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches, smoky and peppery on rye with mustard. The best sandwich in the world. Hands down….
Living outside my native Nova Scotia, there come times when frankly I miss it. Short of hopping on board a flight, usually turn to the kitchen to cook up something that will take me back to the land of bluenosers. Last week, it when I opened the fridge I took out the some homemade maple hot smoked salmon fillets to indulge in a bit of Nova Scotian cuisine.
How the salmon got in my fridge is actually due to my recent oak smoked chicken sandwich, after which I ponied up the cash and bought a stove top smoker. I’ve craved a smoker for years, and have been very jealous of my family in Canada who own them (at much cheaper prices than the UK). While I would never have gotten permission to buy a Bradley or, dare I dream, a Green Egg, I could justify a stove top.
Hot smoking salmon is very easy to make, and takes only a few minutes. This dish was actually made with day old hot male smoked salmon, however fresh out the smoker it almost tastes like butter basted salmon. Just delicious. I shamelessly used some of my supplies of imported Nova Scotian maple syrup to add some sweetness to the dish… Well that and because I can.
Anyway, I took this maple hot smoked salmon, and topped some bread with cream cheese and cucumber. It is a creamy, savoury and fresh dish that reminded me of breakfasts in Nova Scotia, satisfying my homesickness for another few weeks.
I’m used to having this type of salmon for breakfast, so a good tea or coffee (Pact Coffee click the link to get £3 off) would hit the spot.
Well, I’m being nostalgic, so might as well be some East Coast music. Actually I’m being really nostalgic, so I’m going with Joel Plaskett’s A Million Dollars. True local guy, saw him play with his Dad once, amazing.
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Maple Hot Smoked Salmon
- 2 debonned salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons maple smoking chips
- 10 tablespoons cream cheese
- 24 slices of cucumber
- 4 slices of German Rye Bread
- Using a stovetop smoker, such as Cameron's|http://amzn.to/2cbavxi, smoke the salmon fillets for 10-20minutes. This will depend heavily on your type of smoker. Meanwhile combine the maple syrup and mustard. When salmon is full cooked, take out and lightly brush with the maple mustard then chill (you can serve hot if you would prefer). Pinch to break up the fillets into pieces.
- Spread each piece of bread with some of the cream cheese, then top with the cucumber, and finally salmon. If you have some chives, you can sprinkle these over top.
Like clockwork, every summer we get a cold snap only to have it quickly reverse for a day or two. As such, I’m writing this post while hiding in the shadiest cool place in my house. By enough about my seeming inability to handle warm weather, this is about sandwiches, specifically my lunch for today: an oak smoked chicken and mozzarella pressed sandwich.
It seems like every cafe in the last ten plus years offers many panini options. Quiznos and Subway offer toasted sandwiches. We get it, people no longer consider sandwiches to be things that are only served cold. Yet I’ve never been tempted to buy a panini maker, considering it to be something else to crowd my small kitchen. I do however have a kick-ass cast iron pan.
So, back to my lunch. Last weekend we were visiting Edinburgh, and while there I visited a farmers market. One of the stands was selling fresh smoked food: fish, bacon, chicken and the like. It was very moreish, so I bought some smoked chicken to take back with me. And there it was, staring at me on the shelf in the fridge. The question about making a sandwich with oak smoked chicken, is how do you make it so you will get the flavour of the chicken and not have it washed out by other ingredients. Hence, the oak smoked chicken and mozzarella sandwich was born.
Starting with a demi-baguette, you put a thin layer of mayo on inside and then filled it with sliced chicken. Yet, how to make it gooey? Cheddar or provolone would be too flavourful and overpower the chicken. Instead, some fresh mozzarella would do the the trick, plus it is naturally stretchy. A little bit of fresh parsley and the sandwich it nearly done.
To get the cheese running, and crisp up the bread, I fire up the stove and heat the cast iron. I lightly smear some butter on the outside of the sandwich before wrapping it in some greaseproof paper. Into the pan it goes, with a heavy pot placed on top. After about 4min, carefully flip the parcel and cook on the other side. When the cheese is gooey, you’re smoked chicken and mozzarella sandwich is done and ready to be devoured.
I’ve also gone and added this to Fiesta Friday, which is a great link share site for food ideas!
With heat like this outside, its gotta be ice tea. Yes, the English don’t get iced tea (unlike the French and North Americans), so make some it you need to, it’s not that hard.
Thanks for listening to random playlists on Spotify I heard ‘This Girl’ by the Kungs and Cookin’ on 3 Burners. Give it a go, and think of a lazy late summer afternoon.
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Toasted oak smoked chicken and mozzarella pressed sandwich
- 6-8 slices of cooked oak smoked chicken
- ½ a fresh mozzarella ball sliced
- 2 Tbs mayonnaise
- Sprigs of fresh parsley
- 2 demi baguette
- Slice the baguettes in half and spread the mayo on both sides.
- Carefully stuff the baguettes with layers of chicken and cheese and top with some parsley
- Heat a heavy pan to a medium heat. Meanwhile lightly smear some butter on the outside of the sandwich before wrapping it in some greaseproof paper.
- Place the sandwich into the pan, place a heavy pot placed on top. After about 4min, carefully flip the parcel and cook on the other side. When the cheese is gooey, you’re done.
A few years ago I was really privileged to be asked to attend a research trip to Vancouver. I had been to Vancouver before many years ago, and I really loved it. However it was a very brief weekend, which when you are flying across the country means you can only take in so much. This time around we were going for just shy of a week, so more time to explore. I was very excited, like my home of Nova Scotia, the West Coast of the country is also famous for its seafood. Albeit, while in the East Coast we are fond of our chowders and grilling/smoking, on the West Coast you are more likely to find yourself tucking into smoked salmon in sushi than on a bagel.
Safe to say, the visit had me falling in love with the other coast. The vibrant mix of cultures, the amazing scenery and of course everyone being slightly more relaxed than you find people in cities like Toronto or Calgary. I think it must have something to do with being next to the ocean. Although, it is safe to say that Vancouverites would not be as laid back as their counterparts on the east coast of Canada.
Anyway, one day I was walking with my colleagues into the area of Vancouver called Gastown. It is a cool place, that seemed like it had reached the stage in its development where it has surpassed being the hip trendy area and now people attempt to move and visit there because it was hip and trendy. I could be wrong, but that was the sense.
In any case, we were hungry so we hopped into a restaurant for some lunch. Nothing particularly special about this place, just a pub/restaurant on the corner of a busy street. Slightly peckish, but craving seafood, I ordered a bowl of penne with smoked salmon. It came, I ate it, but I was left feeling like I could make a better version. When I got back home, I set about doing just that. So here is my creamy smoked salmon pasta.
Key rule of thumb, the quality of the smoked salmon is the crucial to this dish.
The ingredients are incredibly simple. You need good pasta, good smoked salmon, full fat cream cheese, dill, maple syrup and some chicken stock. You may also want some salt, or if you have it some dried dulse (extra taste of the ocean). You cook the pasta until it is just to the point of al-dente, in the mean time your carefully slice your salmon into strips (or flake it depending on the fish). When you noodles are ready, strain it and set aside. In the pasta pot, place your cream cheese and slowly heat, gradually add chicken stock to turn the entire concoction into a delicious sauce of your chosen consistency. Add the salmon and the pasta, mixing to ensure everything is covered. Finally, a quick drizzle of maple syrup and severe with the dill sprinkled on top.
The end result is a delicious, and quick, lunch. Goes really well with white wine, or maybe a lighter style beer.
Creamy smoked salmon pasta
- 150 g dried pasta
- 50 g full fat cream cheese
- 1-2 slices of good quality smoked salmon
- 1 cup of warm chicken stock
- Spring of fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp of Grade A maple syrup
- Cook the pasta until just al-dente and then drain and set aside.
- In the warm pasta pot place the cream cheese on a low heat until it starts to melt. Slowly add the chicken stock until you have a sauce of consistency your like. You will not likely need all the stock.
- Slice the salmon into bitesize strips, and add to the sauce with the pasta. Toss to combine.
- Finally, stir through the maple syrup. Plate and sprinkle the dill over top.