Cold-smoked Salmon, Cracked Wheat, Black Barley, Elberton Blue Cheese, Tomatillos, Romanesco, and Chamomile-Lemon Aïoli

Adapted by
February 2014


Cold-smoked Salmon
(Yield: 18 servings)
1 cup sea salt
2 cups brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 sides salmon, skinned and patted dry
Black Barley
(Yield: 3½ cups)
3 water
1 cup black barley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cracked Wheat
(Yield: 9 cups)
4 ounces butter
3 cups Falls Mill cracked wheat
1 quart boiling vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Lemon-Chamomile Aïoli
(Yield: 1 pint)
1 cup canola oil
Zest of 1½ lemons
2 egg yolks
1 egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon raw sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
2 heaping tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
To Assemble and Serve
(Yield: 1 serving)
canola oil
Romanesco florets
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
black pepper
2 tablespoons crumbled Elberton blue cheese
4 tomatillo wedges


For the Cold-Smoked Salmon:
In a mixing bowl, combine salt and sugar. Tear off a large piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with one-quarter of the cure, spreading the cure into roughly the same size and shape as the salmon. Lay 1 side of salmon skinned-side down on cure and sprinkle two-thirds remaining cure on flesh. Place remaining side of salmon flesh to flesh with salmon on plastic wrap. Spread remaining cure on skinned side. Wrap tightly. Transfer to hotel pan and refrigerate 1 hour. Thoroughly rinse salmon in cold running water. Pat dry. Rest salmon skinned-side up, uncovered. Refrigerate 24 hours. Cold smoke salmon with pecan woodchips 1 to 2 hours. Slice salmon into serving portions, vacuum seal individually, and refrigerate.

For the Black Barley:
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and add barley and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 40 minutes, until grains are tender. Drain. Pour barley onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cool.

For the Cracked Wheat:
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, brown the butter. Add cracked wheat, stirring to coat. Thoroughly toast the wheat, about 30 minutes (watch carefully to prevent scorching). Add the hot stock and salt and pepper; stir once or twice only. Simmer 5 minutes without stirring. Pour mixture onto sheet tray and spread thinly so the mixture cools quickly. Combine with Black Barley and store in refrigerator.

For the Lemon-Chamomile Aïoli:
In a blender, combine lemon zest, egg yolks, egg, mustard, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and chamomile. Blend on high 1 minute. With blender running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is consistency of mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the water bath of an immersion circulator to 118°F. Cook Cold-smoked Salmon sous vide 20 minutes. In a sauté pan, on high heat, sear Cold-smoked Salmon in canola oil. Reserve, keeping warm. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook romanesco in boiling water 3 minutes. Drain and reserve, keeping warm. In an 8-inch skillet over medium-high flame, heat stock and butter. Add ¾ cup Cracked Wheat and Black Barley mixture. Reduce until the grains pop and sizzle. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and fold in cheese. Plate a swath of Lemon-Chamomile Aïoli, followed by the grains. Top with Cold-smoked Salmon, and finish the plate with a few pieces of romanesco and tomatillo.