Appetizer and Light Fare Recipes

A Salad of Smoked Salmon and Grilled Corn Salsa

Here is one of the dishes I demonstrated at a cooking class a few years ago. The recipe is an adaptation of recipes from Chef Pernot’s Ceviche!.  Pernot uses cold-smoked salmon here, which is, for is our purposes, too much of a hassle to make at home.  Hot-smoked salmon is easy to make if you have a Camerons Stovetop Smoker.  This dish makes a great first course.  It is too intense to be served in a larger portion as an entrée.

Yield:  Four salad-size servings

For the Salsa:

Yield:  about 3 cups

See Abbreviations, if needed

·     7        ears of corn, grilled and cut, or 1 lb frozen corn kernels, sautéed

·     6        fresh limes, juiced

·     ¼ C   chopped fresh cilantro

·     2-3    serrano chilies, seeded and small diced

·     1 t     chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (see note)

·     4 T    extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

·     1 T    red wine vinegar (RWV)

·     1       large red onion, small diced

·     1       large red bell pepper, small diced

·     4       fresh small tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and small diced

·     S/P    to taste

1.  Husk the corn, grill to well browned, cool and cut off the kernels, or defrost a 1 lb. package of corn kernels and sauté them without oil in a non-stick pan until they begin to color

2.  Small dice the cilantro, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes using your best knife techniques

3.  In a medium stainless steel bowl, combine the diced items from Step 2 with the freshly squeezed lime juice, EVOO, RWV and chipotles in adobo sauce

4.  Add the corn and mix thoroughly

5.  Place in fridge for one hour to macerate

6.  When ready, remove from fridge, let stand awhile and check seasoning (salt)

7.  Serve with a slotted spoon to drain off the lime juice

Note:  “Chipotles in adobo sauce” comes in small cans. La Morena brand is good, readily available but very hot.  I prefer a medium hot, very smoky-flavored brand by Chile Today – Hot Tamale (available at

For the Smoked Salmon:

Yield:  4 salad servings

·    1       1-1¼ lb piece of fresh, skinless salmon filet

·    1 T    kosher salt

·    1 T    sugar

·    1 T    paprika (not the hot variety)

·    1 T    ancho chili powder, if available, or regular chili powder

·    ½ t    chipotle chili powder, if available, or delete

1.  Make a dry rub in a small stainless steel bowl by combining the salt, sugar, paprika and chili powders

2.  Place the salmon filet in a medium flat glass dish and rub both sides evenly with the dry rub

3.  Place the salmon, covered, in the fridge for about 2 hours

4.  Using the Camerons Stovetop Smoker:

·    Place 2T of Alden wood chips in the bottom of the smoker

·    Spray the bottom pan and grill with Pam

·    Place the dry-rubbed salmon filet on the grill

·    Slide the cover on to ¼ inch of being closed

·    Light the burner and set to medium-low

·    When smoke begins to emerge from the smoker

o    close the cover tightly and

o    set the timer

·    Cook 10 minutes per pound, then turn off the burner and let the smoker cool, closed, for 5 minutes

5.  Carefully remove the fish from the smoker, cover and fridge until cold

Note:  The ancho and chipotle chili powders are inexpensive and available at  The ancho powder is mild; the chipotle powder is medium hot. Both can be used like other powdered seasonings.

To Assemble The Salad:

1.  Remove the smoked salmon filet from the fridge.  With a sharp knife, cut thin biased   slices across the grain (perpendicular to head-tail), just thick enough so that the slice of salmon holds and does not break apart. (Practice with the first two slices)

2.  Using a slotted spoon, place about 1 cup of corn salsa in the center of each salad plate and shape each into a mound

3.  Nicely arrange, vertically and overlapping, four or five slices of smoked salmon around the mound of salsa.  Press the grouping together with both hands to mold the salmon round and to raise the salsa in the middle

4.  Garnish with a few cilantro leaves and/or a few drops of vinaigrette, if desired

Note:  Any remaining smoked salmon will keep well in the fridge, covered, for 2-3 days.

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