New Mexico may be a landlocked state, but we do offer the opportunity to fish for salmon, a species that brings to mind the icy waters of coastal Alaska or the northern Atlantic. Kokanee is the only salmon species available to catch in New Mexico but it can be served in a variety of tasty ways, including smoked. The recipe below can be used with any type of salmon including our very own kokanee.
Brine: Mix 1/4 cup kosher salt, one cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup dry rub (for this recipe I did equal parts black powder, sea salt, Cajun seasoning) and four cups water. Stir well. Put salmon filets and mixture into gallon baggies and place in fridge overnight (at least six hours).
In the morning pull salmon out of the baggies and set on rack in the refrigerator to dry for an hour or two.
Place in smoker for four to six hours, or until the salmon internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
Glaze: Mix 3/4 maple syrup, two tablespoons of dry rub and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add glaze to salmon and place back in smoker for 10-15 minutes to allow glaze to start caramelizing. Add more glaze before eating.
If you don’t have a smoker, this can easily be duplicated on a grill using a small grill smoking box.
Makes enough for approximately two pounds of salmon.