Alton Brown has been on the Food Network since waaay back in the early days of its existence, teaching viewers about the science behind food and cooking with his hit show, Good Eats. His cooking demo at the Wine and Food Fest on Saturday had the air of a stand-up routine, and not just because of the venue (Comix comedy club).
As he made salmon jerky, Brown worked the crowd, hamming up his "swap-outs" (where a whole fish is exchanged for a bowl of diced fish, so the audience doesn't have to wait and watch the whole process) and at one point tossing an enormous hunk of salmon in the freezer, where it landed with a thump. Brown, in his uniquely geeky style, used a box fan, cellulose furnace filters and some bungee cords as a makeshift dehydrator. His salmon jerky recipe is after the jump.
1 1/4 pound side of salmon, skin on, pin bones removed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Place the salmon in the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Place the soy sauce, molasses, lemon juice, black pepper and liquid smoke into a large ziptop bag, seal and shake to combine. Remove the salmon from the freezer and cut into thin strips. Add the salmon strips to the bag with the marinade, reseal and allow to marinate for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.
Drain the strips in a colander and pat dry on paper towels. Evenly distribute the strips of salmon onto 2 of the air filters and then stacking the filters on top of one another. Top these with one empty filter. Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it. Strap the filters to the fan with two bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium. Allow the meat dry for 12-18 hours. If using a commercial dehydrator, follow the manufacturers directions.
Once dry, store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.