Maria Hines: The things she does for love.

Tilth ’s Maria Hines offers a recession-savvy tip for using leftover cooking scrap while still pampering your palate.

Curing leftover salmon scrap is really easy. You use one part sugar, one part salt, and whatever aromatics you want to put in there. I like to put a splash of gin and then add chopped parsley stems (staying with the idea of using up whatever scrap you have). If you’re going the splash-of-gin route, juniper berries accent it nicely because gin is traditionally made with juniper berries. I like to use Aviator Gin from Oregon. Adding some garlic and onion and white peppercorn to that mixture is very nice as well. Then I cover the top of the salmon scrap to let it cure. You’re not cooking it; you’re curing it. So, you’re just going to take that mixture and pack it on top of the salmon, and let it sit there for about four hours.

Then you rinse it off, and you have your cured salmon. You can serve it by itself or with some crackers and a little salad. Or you could add it to a potato hash in the morning. I’ll cure it like that, and then I’ll smoke it and put it in scrambled eggs with diced fried potatoes and capers, and serve it as a brunch item. Since people are trying to save money these days, this is a way to do it. You can even do it with a whole fish or do it with a filet if you want. I usually get my salmon from Loki Fish Company [ a local sustainable fisher who sells its catch at grocers, such as Eat Local and Madison Market].

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Read more tips from Holly Smith, Brian Parks, Eric Donnelly, and Tom Douglas.

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