A riff on traditional Russian coulibiac.
Step 1: Trim the fins off the salmon. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, remove the spine and bones, leaving the two large fillets attached by the belly skin.
Step 2: Stem the portobellos and wipe the caps clean with a damp paper towel. Brush the portobellos on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Cut the onions crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Skewer with toothpicks to keep the rings together. Brush the onions with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Cut the eggs in half widthwise and place in a glass bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, leaving one edge uncovered. Insert the hose from the handheld smoker. Fill the bowl with smoke and let stand for 4 minutes. Repeat 2 times or as needed to give the eggs a nice smoky flavor. (Alternatively, you can smoke the eggs on your smoker or on your charcoal grill for a few minutes using unsoaked wood chips.) Coarsely chop the eggs in the bowl, using two knife blades scissored back and forth. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, half the dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. Grill the portobellos and onion slices until browned and tender, 4 minutes per side, or as needed. Transfer the veggies to a platter and let cool.
Step 6: Arrange 6 to 8 16-inch lengths of butcher’s string, side by side, 3 inches apart, on your work surface. Lay 3 strips of bacon adjacent to each other on top of the strings; the bacon should run perpendicular to the strings.
Step 7: Brush the salmon on both sides with olive oil and season the generously, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Open the fish like a book. Lay the bottom fillet skin side down perpendicular to and centered on the butcher’s strings (the bacon should run along the length of the fillet). Add the filling ingredients in layers, beginning with the rice, egg mixture, mushrooms, onions and dill.
Step 8: Close the fish. Lay three strips of bacon on top. Bring up the ends of the string over the second fillet and knot, tying the salmon and its stuffing snugly. Breathe a sigh of relief: the hard part is over.
Step 9: Now, set up your grill for indirect grilling. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the salmon bundle on the grate over the drip pan between the coals. Indirect grill the salmon until the bacon is browned and sizzling and the fish is cooked through (the internal temperature will be 140 to 145 degrees), 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 10: To serve, transfer the salmon to a large platter. Cut and remove the butcher’s string. Cut crosswise into slices (a serrated or electric knife works best for this) and serve with the Sour Cream Dill Sauce.
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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2018 Barbacoa, Inc.