Joshua Riesner and fellow Atlas Bistro chef Keenan Bosworth like to switch up their menu day by day, while goofing around in the kitchen together and bugging their intern.
Riesner is an avid foodie and says he could cook with bacon, fennel, and tarragon everyday. His creative culinary tower, Smoked Salmon with a Tater Tot, has tarragon and fennel (sorry bacon), and as Meatloaf wisely put it, "Two out of three ain't bad."
Smoking salmon may seem a little intimidating, but Riesner guides us through the process step by step.
Smoked Salmon with a Tater Tot:
Allow it to soak 16 hours minimum -- you'll know it's done when the thin tails are somewhat hard and the middles are firm to the touch. The creamy texture of the fish will be sacrificed if left longer.
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Rinse the salmon under cold running water to stop the curing process and rid the fish of any seeds that may stick. Then try giving it a one-hour cold smoke to have "THE best smoked salmon ever!" according to Riesner. You could do this at home with a grill. Start by igniting a few pieces of charcoal and cook them until they smolder and add hot apple wood chips. Place coals and wood at the bottom of the grill with racks of salmon above it. Put in a tray of ice just below the first rack of fish to help keep the temperature down. Let this go until the smoke stops or about one hour, checking on it occasionally to make sure that you don't have a fire or your smoke goes out.
Bread mashed potatoes with egg wash, flour and panko bread crumbs. Pan fry these until golden brown.
Squirt of lemon juice
Place the tot at the bottom and stack thinly sliced salmon on top. Then place the fennel fronds and lemon juice on top.