7.11.2009

Gravlax = Heaven

gravlax

It is pretty much a simple equation: salt + sugar + salmon + time = heaven.

How I love salmon. Such a delicious fish that's diversity continues to astound me. I love it pan seared. I love it grilled. I love it poached. I love it smoked. But the most simplest method I find is to salt cure the salmon. Salt curing involves no application of heat (which is great for the summertime), a handful of staple ingredients, and a small amount of refrigerator space. The only other ingredient is the most pesky one: time. Unlike curing duck breast, making salt cured salmon, known as gravlax, takes only a day or two. Still, just knowing the silky texture that awaits you can make those 48 hours almost unbearable!


gravlax


2 fillets of salmon, totaling 1 lbs.
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small bunch fresh dill
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup peaty Scotch ( if desired)



Check your salmon for any pin bones and remove as necessary with clean tweezers or needle nose pliers. If desired, gently marinate salmon, flesh side down, in some peaty Scotch (I recommend Caol Ila) for about half and hour. Pat dry. On a large piece of cling film, spread some of the salt and sugar mixture in an area slightly larger than the first fillet. Top mixture with first fillet. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper on top and cover with more salt/sugar. At this point, place the fresh dill on top. (Confession time: I didn't have fresh dill for this batch and will openly confess to using dried dill. The results will still be great. Used 3 - 4 tbsp dried dill if you must.) Repeat the process for the other fillet. and invert on top of the first fillet.

Wrap tightly with cling film. Wrap with another layer of cling film to ensure nothing drips out of the parcel. Place in a dish with a high rim, like a pie plate. On top the whole parcel, place an inverted dinner plate. Add some weight on top the dinner plate. You can used can goods or anything else, just make sure the weight is distributed as evenly as possible. Place the entire set up in your refrigerator for 48 hours, turning the fish every 12 hours or so. When done, briefly rinse under running water to remove any excess salt. Dry thoroughly with paper towels and slice on the bias as thinly as possible. Use your sharpest knife and try to slice with one long stroke instead of sawing away.

Great for breakfast with cream cheese on a bagel, or better still: some baguette.


gravlax


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1 comments:

Michele said...

I just made your recipe this weekend and it was fantastic! I used 1 lb of Scottish salmon and the dried dill as well (out of fresh) and it was heavenly. Next time I will try it with the Scotch!