So last week, I shared that I bought one big slab of smoked salmon (True North Premium Smoked Salmon) from S&R.
It was actually A LOT of smoked salmon, and I was able to make 3 dishes from it! First, I was able to make a salad with the Buy 1 Take 1 Lettuce (also from S&R). I made a Smoked Salmon and Mango Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing. I will be posting a recipe on that soon.
Next, I was able to make a Cream Pasta with Smoked Salmon. Recipe coming soon.
And finally, I made Smoked Salmon Panini with the bulk of the smoked salmon. We love SALMON PANINI! And now, we don’t have to trek to coffee shops to order our favorite salmon panini. We can easily make it at home!
It is February, after all. So smoked salmon is a splurge so my family will feel loved 🙂
A Smoked Salmon Panini is actually very easy to make.
SMOKED SALMON HOW TO’S
So this is what the smoked salmon looks like. I kept it in the freezer until I was ready to use it.
It thaws quickly, about an hour or two at room temperature.
It comes pre-sliced.
Since I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use all of it at once, I transferred the salmon to an airtight plastic bag. Once opened, the smoked salmon should ideally be used up in 3 days (but up to a week is okay if it still smells good). The smoked salmon should be packed in airtight plastic to prevent it from drying out – hence why I transferred it from the original packaging to the slider plastic bag. The whole thing didn’t fit, so I just cut the cardboard base from the original packaging so that it would fit in my plastic bag, taking care not to move the salmon too much.
I also cut out the important information from the original packaging and put it with the salmon, for easy reference.
You can also divide the salmon and package them according to how many meals you plan to make with them. For example, if you plan to make four different meals from the salmon, you can divide the smoked salmon into four airtight plastic bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then you can just take out and thaw the package that you need.
If you are going to be using the smoked salmon any time soon, you can just refrigerate it. Keep it stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator. It should last up to a week in the refrigerator (use an airtight plastic bag).
HOW TO EAT SMOKED SALMON
Smoked salmon doesn’t need to be cooked. The brining and smoking process already cooks it.
Smoked salmon is actually very healthy, It provides protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as many essential vitamins and minerals.
There are many ways to eat smoked salmon. It is great on its own, especially with a squeeze of lemon and some capers and a little bit of horseradish cream. I didn’t have any horseradish on hand or I would have totally done this! To give you a quick idea of what horseradish is, it is like European wasabi, but milder.
So, just to round things out – here are the foods that, in my opinion, go really well with smoked salmon:
- cream cheese
- eggs (scrambled)
- chives (or what we call green onions)
- red onions
Now that we have knowledge of the foods that work well with salmon, we can start building something delish!
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED SALMON PANINI
I have a cheapo panini maker that works for me. It’s one of those things that sell for a few hundred pesos. It doesn’t even have an On/Off switch. You just plug it in, it heats up, and you unplug it when you want it to cool down.
But even if you don’t have one of these contraptions, doesn’t mean you can’t make a panini. You can easily “grill” your panini in a hot skillet, weigh it down with something like a small pot, and then flip the panini to “grill” the other side.
The bread I used is called Flat Ciabatta, and you can buy it from the big bread chains. The price for mine was P78.00 for 5 pcs.
- Flat Ciabatta bread, sliced in the middle
- cream cheese or other white, creamy cheese that you like
- chives / green onions, finely chopped; you can also use other herbs, if you prefer (optional)
- butter or olive oil for brushing
- smoked salmon
I found the the smoked salmon and the cream cheese were salty enough that I did not feel the need to add any more salt. I also thought the fresh green onions / chives provided enough kick without the need for any ground black pepper.
To make a good panini, you need the cheese (when it melts) to act like glue that will bind all the other ingredients together.
Optional: you can drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the bread before adding the cream cheese if you want your sandwich a little more moist
Put some cream cheese on the bread. The reason for doing this is so that we have cream cheese melting on both sides to help the bread and the salmon stick together. If you like cream cheese, put as much as you want to. For me, I like more salmon and a smaller amount of cream cheese, roughly about 5-6 slices of salmon and a thin slice (about 1/4-inch thick slice’s worth) of cream cheese on both slices of ciabatta. Once you’ve done this several times, you will find your own preference.
Put some sliced salmon. Try to lay it on the bread in a ruffled pattern, trying to pleat it a little. It just looks nicer and this will also provide some bulk and air pockets in the finished panini.
Put some green onions on top of the salmon. Top with some more cream cheese. Squeeze some (a lot of) fresh lemon juice on the smoked salmon, be careful not to include any lemon pits.
Close the sandwich by putting back the top slice of the ciabatta. Press it down a bit so the sandwich fillings and the bread start to stick together.
Plug the panini maker so that it starts to heat up.
Put the buttered sandwich in the panini maker. It should be hot by now. Close the panini maker lid, make sure that the sandwich doesn’t get “lopsided” while being pressed.
Let it toast until your desired level of brown-ness.
I have this wooden spatula that I like to use for taking out the hot panini.
EAT WHILE HOT!
The salmon panini was delicious! The bread was crispy outside, chewy inside. Each bite was crunchy. The smoked salmon stood up very well, providing deep flavor; the cream cheese mellowed out the saltiness and provided some nice contast to the salmon.
I love green onions / chives with cream, and here they added some fresh flavor and mild spiciness and texture to the panini.
The lemon juice makes smoked salmon sing! The combination of lemon and smoked salmon just makes the flavor of the smoked salmon stand out more.
I hope you try this easy smoked salmon panini recipe. You don’t have to go to coffee shops anymore to eat your favorite panini when you can make it at home just the way you like it!
One pack of the smoked salmon can easily make 15 or more paninis.
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The Barat Queen
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