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Smoked Salmon with Potato Pancakes

It’s easy to smoke salmon on a backyard grill. While the salmon cooks, prepare crispy potato pancakes to serve alongside.

Ingredients:

  • 4 center-cut salmon fillets, with skin intact, about 1 1/2 lb. total
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh dill
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely shredded
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

Directions:

Prepare the wood chips and grill
In a bowl, soak 2 large handfuls of wood chips in hot water for 10 minutes. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling over high heat. For a gas grill, place a handful of dry chips on a piece of aluminum foil and set the foil on the high-heat burner. Drain the soaked chips and when the dry chips begin to smolder, add the soaked chips to the foil. For a charcoal grill, sprinkle the drained chips over the coals.

Smoke the salmon
Season the salmon on both sides with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Lightly oil the grill rack. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the cooler area of the grill and cover the grill. Cook until the fish is opaque when tested with a knife tip, 8 to 10 minutes. If the salmon is done before the pancakes, transfer the fish to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Prepare the potato pancakes
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place in the oven.

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and dill; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the potatoes, onion, whole egg, egg yolk, bread crumbs, the remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and the remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until very hot. For each pancake, add about one-eighth of the potato mixture to the oil and spread into a round with the back of a spoon; do not crowd the pan. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.

Serve the salmon and pancakes with the sour cream. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Grilling, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2007).