When we learned that one of our favorite chefs, James Boyce was collaborating with pomegranate juice company POM Wonderful on recipes, we wanted in on it! So we asked if they would share this salmon recipe with our readers to help celebrate the aphrodisiac of pomegranates in a savory dish. This recipe represents their collaboration with the aphrodisiac fruit.
A glazed smoked salmon dish that’s flavorful and healthy
Chef Boyce, one of the most celebrated American chefs, is known for creating health-ish renditions of classic, European fare. (No surprise since he learned under the tutelage of some of the best French chefs cooking in the United States.)
In this recipe, he shares his technique for infusing salmon with robust flavor without the use of extra fat. Instead, he uses the grill to create hot smoked salmon. Best of all, he smokes the fish without any special smoking equipment. All you need is some cardboard and foil and hardwood chips.
What’s so great about hot smoking salmon?
As opposed to grilling, this technique uses indirect heat to cook the salmon. The fish is cooked longer than it would if you were grilling, but over indirect heat, giving it the time to absorb the rich, earthy and sweet notes of smoke.
Hot-smoking salmon is a specialty of the Pacific Northwest. It produces a flaky texture and a very different flavor than the kind of salt-cured and cold smoked salmon you might be used to. In this particular version of hot smoked salmon, Boyce glazes the fish with a sweet and tangy pomegranate and apple cider glaze. The result of this pomegranate salmon glaze is a filet with a subtle smokey flavor and the sweetness of pomegranate.
Serve this salmon with a watercress salad
In Boyce’s salmon recipe, the fish is served over a lightly dressed watercress and pomegranate salad. The slippery, soft texture of the smoked salmon plays beautifully with the “pop” of the pomegranate arils – that’s the correct term for individual pomegranate kernels – and the crunch of the faintly bitter, peppery greens. The result is an incredibly complex dish with an exciting array of textures and flavors.
Pomegranate Cider-Glazed Smoked Salmon with Watercress, Pomegranate and Endive Salad
- 1 cup pomegranate juice (juice from Wonderful variety of pomegranate recommended)
- 1/2 cup POM POMS fresh pomegranate arils
- 2 lbs salmon fillet
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup whole grain mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1 tbsp grated horseradish
- 4 bunches watercress
- 1 carrot
- 1 daikon
- 1 Belgian endive
- 5 lemons
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- sugar and salt to taste
- cracked white pepper to taste
- applewood or cherrywood for smoking on outdoor grill
- Prepare fresh pomegranate juice, if necessary.*
- Prepare fresh pomegranate arils, if necessary.**
- Soak wood chips in water for approximately 30 minutes and start outdoor grill 15 to 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- In a saucepan over low heat, reduce cider and pomegranate juice to 1 cup; add honey and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
- Fold in mustard, chopped dill, horseradish and a pinch of salt.
- Season both sides of salmon with a pinch of sugar and salt; let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove stems from watercress and wash.
- Julienne carrot, daikon and endive; toss with watercress and set aside.
- Once grill is ready, place salmon on foil-covered cardboard.
- Glaze salmon with pomegranate-cider reduction and place soaked applewood on coals and let them start to smolder.
- Place salmon on grill away from direct heat and smoke for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
- Let salmon rest before serving. (Salmon can be made the day before and chilled.)
- Toss watercress and arils with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place salad in center of plate and sliced salmon on top.
- Drizzle with excess dressing.
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