A big name for a dish big on taste. Chef Patrick Ehemann of Richmond, Virginia's The Jefferson Hotel shares the secret to his Apple Wood Smoked Atlantic Salmon on Mushroom and Napa Cabbage Hash, Stone Ground Grits with Comte Cheese and Duo of Pepper Butters.
For planners who prefer to experience this delectable meal straight from the source, The Jefferson offers 26,000 square feet of elegant meeting space.
Prep Time: 24 hours
Total Time: 24 hours
- Four six-ounce potions of Atlantic Salmon
- 1 tablespoon of pickling spice
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Kosher Salt
- 1 cup of Apple Wood Chips, soaked for 24 Hours
- Mushroom Cabbage Hash:
- 4 slices of Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons of diced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 3 cups of mushrooms, diced
- ¼ head of Napa cabbage, diced
- ¼ Cup of white wine
- ½ cup of chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- Stone Ground Grits:
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- ½ cup of Anson Mills Stone Ground Grits
- 3 Bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- 1¼ cups of heavy cream
- ½ cup of grated comte cheese
- Duo of Pepper Butters:
- 2 yellow peppers
- 2 red peppers
- ½ teaspoon of citric acid
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
To prepare the salmon you will need at least two days.
First, combine sugar, salt and pickling spice in a small bowl. Rub sugar mixture into salmon flesh and pack the remaining rub around salmon. Wrap salmon tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate eight hours.
After eight hours, unwrap salmon and rinse with cold water. Pat salmon dry. Place salmon on grill rack and leave uncovered in refrigerator to complete cure and develop a pellicle.
On the day of serving, start a low fire in the smoke box, add pre-soaked wood chips and place salmon in smoker. Gently bring temperature up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of about 30 minutes and then smoke until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 135 degrees.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring stock, Bay leaves, and one cup cream just to a simmer in a 4- to 5-quart oven-proof heavy saucepan. Season cooking liquid to taste a little salty.
Meanwhile, cover grits with water in a large bowl and whisk vigorously. Let stand 30 seconds, then skim any chaff that has floated to surface with a fine-mesh sieve. Drain grits well in a fine-mesh sieve and whisk into simmering liquid. Reduce heat to medium and simmer grits. Stir often with a heat-proof rubber spatula until grits are thickened to the consistency of loose oatmeal. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for one hour. Stir in cream and cheese. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered, up to 20 minutes.
Next, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until they are toasty brown. Remove bacon to drain on paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat. Heat the remaining bacon fat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes, until they are deeply browned but not burned.
Add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring often, for about five minutes until onions are translucent. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce until pan is almost dry. Add cabbage and stock, cook until wilted. The cabbage should still have some crunch. Add bacon back to hash, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve warm.
For pepper butters, juice yellow peppers first into a small half-quart saucepan. Whisk citric acid into the yellow pepper juice to keep color bright. Juice red peppers and place in a separate half-quart saucepan. Reduce both juices on medium heat until they reach a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and whisk a stick of butter (one each) into both reductions. Keep warm. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Now, after all that hard work, it's time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!