This is about the time we start stepping up our picnics and parties. In Alaska, we don’t need an excuse to invite friends, family, neighbors and newcomers for a spontaneous feast or celebration. Just caught a salmon? Come on over. A warm, sunny day in the forecast? Let’s have a picnic.
Seems like smoked salmon always has a place at our table. It makes a great hostess gift, and you can take it up a notch, with a recipe like our Salmon and Cream Cheese Rollups. Takes just a bit of planning because you’ll need to chill them for a bit.
Smoked Salmon Medallions
Makes 4 Servings
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
8 ounces Alaska sockeye gravlax
6.5 ounces Dear North Smoked Sockeye Salmon
1 English cucumber; a dozen radishes
1 sushi mat
Plastic wrap to cover mat
Make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, lemon zest, pepper, capers, and minced shallots in a small bowl. Set aside as you prepare your sushi mat. Cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap—the plastic wrap should extend over the mat by a couple of inches.
Assemble the salmon roll: Place the gravlax in single layers on top of your plastic covered sushi mat using its borders as a guide. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the gravlax by placing small dollops onto the salmon. Wet your fingers and push the filling over the salmon, finally smearing it evenly with a small spatula so all of the salmon is covered. Next, place the segments of Dear North Smoked Salmon evenly on top of the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle the parsley over the smoked salmon and cream cheese layers.
Roll the medallions: Curl up the mat with your left hand to start the roll. Make sure to pull the plastic wrap and mat with your right hand as you roll with your left. Exert light pressure as you continue to form the roll. Once roll has been completed, set it aside and discard the plastic wrap. Tear off a new piece of plastic wrap to roll up the salmon roll, asserting light pressure. Twist both ends of the plastic wrap to tighten the roll. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight depending on the timing of your gathering.
To serve: Remove chilled salmon from the refrigerator. Don’t remove the plastic wrap as it will hold together the roll as it’s sliced into medallions. Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon roll into ½-inch thick pieces, cutting through the plastic wrap. Keep a warm damp towel handy to wipe your blade after every cut. Remove the plastic wrap from each medallion. Arrange on a plate with sliced cucumbers and radishes.
Perk up your next picnic - July 4 and any other event - with some lightly-smoked, wild-caught deliciousness.