Here at Unicoi Preserves, we talk about connections a good bit. Our business started out of a desire to produce a product from things we could source locally. It is important to have a connection to where your food comes from. That holds true in our products, but also in our lives as well. When we aren’t slinging jelly, I am personally involved as the project coordinator for Yonah Preserve Trails, a proposed 20+ mile natural surface, multi-use trail system that our volunteer group, Northeast Georgia SORBA is building in our adopted home county. We are currently building out Phase 1 and Phase 2, which will give us our first 7 miles of trail. Since I am the coordinator on this project, I have had the pleasure of working very closely with our professional trail builder, Preston York, of Flowmotion Trail Builders. He is an avid outdoorsman, and recently went to Alaska on a trip. He of course went fishing while he was there, and happened to bring back some delicious wild caught salmon.
This is where I come in. Since Preston is working here and calls Alabama home, he is a bit out of his element when it comes to cooking things. He has happily discovered my love of our Big Green Egg, and has asked me on several occasions to prepare things he provides, which I am more than happy to do. Preston brought us several pieces of beautiful salmon, which I prepared for dinner for all of us.
I used a rub from Meat Church to season the fish called Honey Hog. It is has honey powder and some spice that pairs well with fish. I also have a connection to the owner of this particular rub company, as he comes to Atlanta to teach BBQ classes at Big Green Egg Culinary Center and I have helped with his classes and have become friends with Matt through those classes.
I placed the salmon on locally sourced Western Red Cedar planks from my good friend Tommy Joe Conner, who owns Pappy’s Cooking Planks and also happens to be a hell of a guitar player and singer.
Once the salmon were almost done, I glazed them with some of our Apple Cider Pepper Spread and allowed that to caramelize a bit. While I was cooking these, it hit me that I had a personal connection to every part of the dish. I know everyone behind each of the products used to make the meal. Preston provided the fish, Matt provided the rub, Tommy Joe provided the planks, and I provided the spread. It’s these kind of connections that we try to demonstrate through the ingredients we choose to put in our spreads, and sometimes it just happens to work out in other ways as well. I encourage you to give this simple recipe a try, it is beyond delicious.