Gravlax: For each pound of salmon use a cure made of a combined total of 4 tblsp coarse salt and white sugar, and 2 tsp white peppercorns cracked and roughly ground in a mortar and pestle. The original recipe used equal parts sugar and salt. I used about 60% sugar and 40% salt because of comments that equal parts was too salty. Use salmon fillets, covering all sides with the cure mixture and then sandwich a bunch of fresh dill between two pieces, skin side out. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and place under a heavy weight such as a brick. Of course the gravlax should be in a dish with another dish containing the weight on top. Turn the gravlax every 12 hours and let cure 2 or 3 days. Wash the gravlax under cold water scrapping off the cure. Pat dry and slice thinly. Serve on pumperknickel bread. Mustard dill sauce is traditional with gravlax, but I served it with creme fraiche.
Monday, December 15, 2008
About a week before the dreaded party I stumbled across a reference to gravlax and had an a-ha moment. It would be the perfect addition to my menu. All I needed to do was find the perfect recipe and so of course I turned to the web for research. My main source of inspiration was a site called "Cooking for Engineers" which had a very detailed recipe with lots of comments, some of which were very useful. www.cookingforengineers.com The site explained that salmon contains parasites and since gravlax is not cooked, it is wise to use salmon that has been commercially frozen. The freezing kills the parasites and home freezers are not cold enough to do this. This gave me permission to save money by buying my fish at Trader Joes. There were comments from our guests on how good the fish tasted, questions as to where I had bought it, and surprise as to the source.