If you enjoy smoked foods this is a great do-ahead recipe for brunch, appetizer, party dip, or late night snack. Try in a grill cheese, on a bagel, with your favorite crackers, or just eat it with a spoon. You can substitute halibut, bluefish, or trout for the salmon or even corn for those vegetarians (smoke the cob whole and then cut off the corn). Be sure to adjust the brine time and cooking/smoking time based on the item smoked. The process takes time but it is definitely worth it. Enjoy.
P.S. This recipe makes alot, but remember leftovers are a good thing.
3 pounds wild Alaskan salmon (skin-on)
For Brine: 4 cups water
I cup kosher salt
I cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
For Spread: 3 pounds cream cheese
I/2 cup chives (minced)
I/4 cup shallots (small dice)
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
For Brine: Combine all ingredients and stir until salt and sugar fully dissolve. Fully submerge salmon in brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove salmon from brine, rinse well and dry well. Smoke salmon at 225 degrees for 45-60 minutes or to desired doneness (I like it just cooked through). Remove salmon from smoker and chill.
For Spread: Combine all ingredients until incorporated and there are no lumps of cream cheese. Once salmon is chilled, remove skin,crumble, and stir into cream cheese mixture.