Chef Ray on Twin Cities Live

Chef Ray was on Twin Cities Live again this week to show everyone how to home-smoke fish and make a fabulous warm potato salad, perfect for winter.

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Warm Potato Salad
Potato salad is a common food for summertime picnics but there are ways to enjoy it even in the winter.  Chef Ray Wyatt with Rivertown Inn, has a warm winter version of the summertime favorite.

1 1/2 Lbs Small red potatoes, cut in quarters
3 Slices of good smoked bacon,  Thinly sliced
1 celery stalk cut in small dice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Wholegrain Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 Teaspoon of smoked Paprika (optional)
1/2 Cup Light Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1 Vine ripened tomato cut in small dice

Cook the potatoes until tender either by steaming or boiling.
Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Stir in the sugar and cook for about 2 minutes, stir in the mustard, stock and the vinegar.  Bring to a boil and pour in to a blender, add the paprika if using and turn the blender on medium. Whilst the blender is running, slowly add the oil util a smooth vinairette is formed.

Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the cellery, green onions, tomatoes and parsley.  Combine warm potatoes with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Home Smoking Fish
Home smoking fish is fairly easy and you can gauge the amount of smoke flavor by the amount of time you smoke your fish. Keep in mind that smoke is strong so if you intend on smoking indoors have a good hood vent or be ready to have the whole house smell like smoke for a few days.You can buy smoking units or you can use an old grill for outside and for inside all you need is a big old pan an old sieve or perforated pan, woodchips and foil.It is a good idea to salt your fish for at least one hour before smoking to reduce the water content and to season it slightly. Simply cover your fish generously with kosher or sea salt and leave at room temperature for one hour. If you are intending on salting for longer, use less salt and place in the refrigerator.
Soak your wood chips overnight in water.To smoke, place a layer of drained wood chips in the smoker or in your saucepan and heat until they begin to smoke. Turn down the temperature to a low heat.Rinse off the salt from your fish and dry with paper towel.
Place into the sieve, perforated pan or smoker.Cover with foil or lid and slow smoke for desired time.
For a lighter flavor, smoke for about 15-20 minutes and finish your fish in the oven or on a pan.

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