March 8, 2011

Salmon BLT

When The Husband was on his way home from Afghanistan, he flew commercial the last leg into Anchorage.  A discussion came about on that flight when a tourist asked what the best thing to eat in Anchorage was.  All of the locals on the plane joined into the debate.  Eventually, they settled on the Glacier Brewhouse's Salmon BLT.  This sandwich is, quite simply, amazing.  In a city rife with salmon dishes, it certainly says something that this rises above all of the competition.  The crunchy, salty bacon perfectly complements the tender salmon, and a basil aioli freshens everything up.

Unfortunately, from time to time it vanishes from the menu!  There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it.  Thanks to the random vanishing, though, I decided it was time to make my own.  The focaccia comes from the Bread Baker's Apprentice.  It's time consuming, but totally worth it!  Plan ahead: You'll need two days.



2 1/2 c bread flour
1 t salt
1 t yeast
1/4 c hot water
3 T herb oil
1/2 c milk
1/4 c water
1/4 to 1/2 c herb oil

Day One

First, make the herb oil.  Gently warm olive oil to 100 degrees.  1/4 c herbs of your choice - I like italian herbs, but go crazy!  Allow oil to cool to room temperature.

Mix the yeast with the 1/4 c hot water and let sit for five minutes to waken.  While the yeast waits, combine bread flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the yeast-in-water mix, which ought to be frothy, the herb oil, and the milk.  Stir to blend.  The dough should be quite wet, clearing the sides when you stir but sticking to the bottom.  If it is not wet enough, add the additional 1/4 c water.

Stir vigorously for 3-5, changing directions every so often.  All ingredients should be well blended.  Don't be afraid of sticky dough!  It should be soft and sticky.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, about six inches square.  Carefully scrape the dough onto the bed of flour.  Dust the top with more flour and pat it into a rectangle.  Rest five minutes.  Carefully stretch the dough from first one side, then the other.  Fold the sides over each other like a letter.  Dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap and rest 30 minutes.

Repeat the stretching, folding, and resting twice more.  After the last fold, rest 1 hour.

Prepare a 17x12 inch pan by spreading 1/4 c herb oil over it.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pan.  Using your fingers, dimple the dough, gently stretching it.  It won't fill the whole pan, but make sure it's been stretched out well - again, just use your fingertips!

Cover pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (will keep up to three days at this point).

Day Two

Take the focaccia out 3 hours before you plan on baking it.  Drizzle with a bit more oil and dimple again.  Set aside to rise until it's nearly 1 inch thick.

Preheat oven to 500.  Place focaccia in oven and immediately reduce to 450.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate pan.  Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

Immediately transfer to cooling rack.  Cool 20 minutes before slicing.

Salmon BLT


1 salmon fillet, pins removed, cut into sandwich-sized pieces
salt, pepper, garlic
1 tomato, sliced
2 pieces bacon per sandwich
2 squares focaccia per sandwich
Lettuce or baby spinach

Fry up the bacon.  Remove bacon to cool; reserve a little bacon grease.  Rub the salmon with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Sear in the bacon grease, flipping once, until cooked through.

Assemble the sandwich: spread one piece of focaccia with pesto.  Add salmon, one slice tomato, two slices bacon, lettuce, and top with the other piece of focaccia.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment