Sunday, October 2, 2011

Camper's Fettuccine Alfredo with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

Any idea what this is?

Okay, let's take a step back for a better look.

Yes, it's my smoker. I think I may be in lurve with it. Smoked food is good food. Smoke up a whole chicken and you might never roast one again. Pork shoulder, brisket, oysters—it's all good, as the kids say.

And nothing beats smoked salmon. This is how I eat salmon year-round. Brined, smoked, and vacuum-packed. You can keep it in your freezer for a long time, too. Truth be told, we still have a few packages left over from the epic pink run of oh-nine. This year's run was just as big and I put more poundage away for a rainy day.

The pink salmon is an ideal fish for kids. They're eager biters and small enough—usually around five pounds—to be landed on light tackle. This year's run had some noticeably bigger fish. I netted one pushing 10 pounds, and my boy lost a monster at the beach.

One of my kids' favorite camp meals is Tuna Noodle Surprise. We gussied up this classic comfort meal with pink salmon right out of the smoker, fresh fettuccine, alfredo sauce, and asparagus. 

9oz fresh fettuccine
1/4 lb (or more) smoked salmon, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 lb asparagus, cut into 3-inch segments
4 tbsp butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan
fresh-ground black pepper
grated nutmeg to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan and whisk in cream. Reduce until slightly thickened. Add smoked salmon and several grindings of pepper to sauce. Meanwhile, cook pasta. Add asparagus to boiling pasta water for last minute or two of cooking, depending on thickness of asparagus. Drain pasta and asparagus. Toss in large bowl with the sauce, salmon, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and a few grindings of nutmeg.

This can all be accomplished quite handily on a Coleman two-burner camp stove. Heck, you could make it on a single-burner stove. The salmon smokes up easier at home when you have a couple hours to kill and a six-pack of Rainier, but even that task could probably be managed on the camp stove with a sheet of aluminum foil and a few twigs of green alder. Eating well in camp is an art form, after all.


daddisan said...

Glad you had a fruitful 2011 run. I really thought my first try at Pacific salmon would be as amazing as I'd always heard it could be. "Just throw something pink out there, and you'll land one every cast!" Well, let me tell you, nothing could keep me from leaving my wife and young children each weekend to go and lose all my [admittedly cheap] gear on the rocks. But after four long days on the beach: zilch. I'm from the south, so I'm totally out of my element here, but to me catching a salmon is like winning the lottery. I don't discern any noticeable element of skill involved. At least, no one is going to just tell me if there is anyway. Everyone seems to just run up and down to beach to wherever they seem to be hitting and put on whatever they seem to be biting, usually to no avail. If I'd brought home some fresh wild protein I would be singing their praises, but until 2013 me and the pinks are on the outs. Now bring on the fungi.

Langdon Cook said...

daddisan - It's raining right now. Bring on the fungi, indeed! You'll get the hang of this salmon fishing thing. There's no skill involved except learning how to count yourself among the 20% who catch 80% of the fish. Now go get yourself a land fish! Mushrooms are a-poppin'.

Fergus W. Clare said...


Wish we had Salmon out here on the East Coast. I've greatly enjoyed your informative posts. Check out my blog at for a smattering of what's going on in the out of doors on the East Coast. Keep up the good work!

Jen said...

That sounds really good. I have never tried Smoked salmon (HIDES LOL) But I am going to make sure i do SOON!

Lisa Pedersen said...

hot damn, i'm keeping this recipe bookmarked for spring when our asparagus comes back again...can't wait!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post Langdon! I'd be keeping your Tuna Noodle Surprise recipe for our fishing trips as well. I'd say it's pretty easy to make and looks pretty delicious as well! Thanks!

Kevin Snow
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