This is an old family recipe that my mother developed over years. She used to used canned salmon when the family lived in Colorado, and it was delicious, but living next to Puget Sound now, we can obtain FRESH salmon–which takes this dish to a completely new level.
The first thing that you should do is to try to get fresh salmon. Flash frozen directly off the boat down at the harbor is where I get mine. The freezing doesn’t affect the flavor; it actually preserves it. The frozen fish in my fisherman’s boat have been there for maybe a week or two at most; they are still in their flavor prime.
Next, you must smoke the salmon. I have a wood-fired smoker and I use hickory chips to help flavor the smoke, with a pan of water under the filet to keep it from drying out. The pan keeps the atmosphere in the smoker nice and humid.
I get my cheddar cheese from a local creamery. It’s much higher quality than anything in the store. The paprika is my own, made from peppers that I grow, and the mayonnaise is my own that I make. Onions are those that I grow, dill is my own from the garden, and the hout sauce is my own. As always, the highest quality ingredients lead to the best flavor, but this dish tastes good even if you just use everything from the local store.
- One cup flour
- 2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 6 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb smoked salmon (or one 15 1/2 oz can of salmon)
- 3 beaten eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp chopped sweet yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp dillweed (fresh, if you’ve got it)
- 3 drops bottled hot sauce
Crust: combine flour, 2/3 cup cheese, nuts, salt, and paprika in a bowl. Stir in oil. Set aside 1/2 cup of this crust mixture. Press remaining mixture into bottom and sides of a 9″ pie plate. Bake at 400ºF for ten minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325ºF.
Filling: drain salmon (if in can), reserving liquid. Add water to reserved liquid, if necessary, to make 1/2 cup liquid. Flake salmon, removing bones and skin, set aside. In a bowl combine the eggs, sour cream, mayonnaise, and salmon liquid. Stir in salmon, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, onion, dillweed, and hot pepper sauce. Spoon filling into crust. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture. Bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes or until the center is firm. Serves six and freezes well.