James Beard Award finalist Zachary Engel shares a superb Passover dish.
As a James Beard Award finalist, Zachary Engel, the Chef de Cuisine at Shaya Restaurant in New Orleans, is a busy man these days (well, busier even than normal). Still, the talented chef made some time for Nola Weekend to talk about life and share one of his tantalizing recipes. These smoked salmon deviled eggs make for a fantastic traditional Passover dish or a lovely appetizer any time of the year.
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Yield: 16 pieces
8 oz salmon filet
4 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups labneh (Note: mayo is a good substitute)
2 cups wood chips, soaked in water overnight
1. Add the salt and sugar into the cold water and stir with a whisk until dissolved. Place the
salmon filet in the water solution and refrigerate for four hours.
2. After four hours in the water, remove the salmon filet and pat dry with a towel.
3. Bring a medium pot of water up to a rapid boil. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling
water. Adjust the temperature on the heat so the water boils slowly. Cook for 12 minutes
and then remove the eggs and submerge them in a large bowl filled with ice water.
4. Remove the shells from the eggs and slice the egg in half lengthwise. Carefully, remove
the egg yolk and place in a separate bowl. Using a spatula mix the labneh and egg yolks
together until the mixture is smooth and without lumps. Set the cooked whites aside.
5. To smoke the salmon you can either use a smoker set at 160F or use the following
stovetop method: Place a piece of tin foil in the bottom of a large pot or pan. Place wood
chips on top of the foil in a pile and put a metal grate above the chips. Turn the heat on
until the wood chips start to smoke.
6. Place the salmon on top of the metal grate and cover with a tight fitting lid. Remove the
salmon after 10-12 minutes and check for doneness. The fish should have no raw flesh on
7. Let the salmon cool and then flake the fish into the bowl of the labneh-yolk mixture. Fill
the egg whites with the salmon-labneh filling. Enjoy!
Recipe by Zachary Engel
Chef de Cuisine, Shaya Restaurant
Editor’s note: In the coming days, we’ll share more of this interview so that our audience can get to know this up-and-coming chef a little better.