#107 Salute to Salmon

Nordic Burger

For this recipe you will need:

• 20 oz skinless fillet of salmon, pin bones removed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for brushing)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
• 1 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1/4English/hot house cucumber, thinly sliced
• 2 oz smoked salmon - thinly sliced
• 1 oz Sturgeon caviar (optional)
• 4, whole-wheat buns
• Small handful of radish sprouts or dill sprigs for
• Salt + freshly ground pepper
• Aluminum foil for prepping fish

Cut four sheets of aluminum foil each about 8x12-15 inches. Fold them in half lengthwise. Fold lengthwise twice more to make longer strips about one-inch wide. Brush the strips with oil.

Lay a strip of the prepared foil across the salmon fillet to mark off a piece of fish one-inch wide. Cut six, one-inch wide slices crosswise from the large fillet. Each slice should be about five inches long and weigh about 3 ounces or slightly more. For each burger, you will need 1 1/2 slices of fish.

To shape the burgers, break two slices in half on the central line of the backbone. Stand a whole slice up on its side, with what was the skin side away from you. Holding a half piece, cut side up, fit it between the two long ends of the first slice. Blend the ends of the slice loosely around the half piece. Take a strip of the foil and, oiled side in towards the fish, wrap it around the fish like a belt. This will tighten the pieces of fillet into a round burger. Twist the ends together to tie the burger securely. Repeat with the remaining slices. The burgers can be shaped in the afternoon, covered, and refrigerated until needed.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, chopped dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until needed.

When ready to cook, season the salmon burgers well on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot.
Add the still-belted salmon, which should sizzle in the pan. With a large spoon, baste the burgers with the oil occasionally, and turn when well browned on the first side, about three minutes. Turn and cook, continuing to baste, until the fish is browned on the second side and done (about another three minutes.) The burgers should remain a little translucent in the center. They will continue to cook as the burgers are assembled.

When the burgers are about half cooked, split the buns and place them in a toaster oven or under the broiler, cut side up, about five inches from the heat, until lightly toasted.

To assemble the burgers, put the bottom half of each bun on a warm plate. Make a circle of overlapping cucumber slices on the bun. Then arrange three onion slices on the cucumber. Un-belt the salmon burgers and arrange them on top of the onions. Divide the smoked salmon between the burgers, and then add a dollop of sour cream to each. Garnish with the radish sprouts or dill sprigs. Add a small spoonful of caviar (if using.) Prop the bun tops next to the burgers and serve immediately. Pass the remaining sour cream at table.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.