Gravlax Recipe

Happy weekend, lovelies!  I hope the beginning of summer is treating you well!

I can hardly believe that we have already had some days in the triple digits.  Egads!  My formula has been to find as many days as I can to get myself to the coast for a little of nature’s air conditioning.  Ahhh, sweet relief.  I love everything about the beach.  The warm sand is so relaxing and great for a mini-pedi, and the warm sun coupled with cooling breezes are almost as intoxicating as the sounds of the surf.  Whether body surfing, laying out or hitting the coastal trails, it is my relief when the thermostat starts to climb.  However, my favorite thing about the coast is food.  I love seafood so dang much that I tend to be exclusively pescatarian.  In the words of the chef in The Little Mermaid, “Les poissons, les poissons, he he he, huh huh huh.  Such a sweet little succulent dish!”

gravlax_0000 With my Scandinavian roots, my tastebuds veer towards the fabulousness of gravlax.  Sure, some basic bagels and lox are awesome!  But, the slightly more delicate flavor of gravlax really has a special place in my heart.  In Swedish, gravlax simply means buried salmon (grava = buried, lax = salmon).  It’s kind of poetic to think of my ancestors coming back from the boats, salting their catch and burying it with pine needles by the shore to cure.  The best part is that I can partake in this cool process in my very own kitchen!  It’s so crazy easy, guys!

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The whole process starts with a quick little sea salt bath.  This totally reminds me of Darryl Hannah in Splash (ouch!  I am dating myself!)…the fishy needs to be in the sea!  Actually, this short little 10 minute bath serves two purposes: it seasons the flesh and it helps to wash off any surface bacteria that could make the fish prematurely smell like it’s going bad.  Just salt the water enough to make a mermaid happy (ok, if you don’t get my reference to Splash, it’s time to rent a classic….guhhh I’m old enough to say “classic”).

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While the fish bathes, combine the salt, sugar, caraway, and pepper to make your curing seasoning.  Next, lay half your cypress and dill in a shallow, non reactive dish.  Pat your fish dry and use half the salt seasoning to coat the skin side of your fillet.

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Lay the fish skin side down and use the remaining salt seasoning in the flesh side.

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Now “bury” your salmon with a shroud of the remaining cypress and fresh dill.

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Cover everything with plastic wrap and then weight it down.  I just used some kitchen cans to weight it, but you could cover a brick with plastic wrap and use that, too.

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Now refrigerate!  The last bit of activity is easy.  After being in the refrigerator for one day, unwrap your salmon and flip it skin side up, rebury it in the herbs and recover with the plastic wrap.  Now, let it cure in the fridge for two more days.  Ta-dah, you are done!  The flesh will be nicely firm and wonderfully seasoned.

gravlox_0000This is definitely a showstopper.  I like to rinse off the excess salt and seasoning, just remember to pat it completely dry.  Then, simply slice the fish thin at an angle.  Absolutely gorgeous and delicious!  I am one happy Scandinavian-American girl!  Hahahaha.

Yum!

xoxo

Chanda

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Gravlax Recipe

Make this luxurious food in the comfort of your own home without the hefty bill!

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, entree, Gluten Free, Main Course, Seafood, Snack
Cuisine: American, Scandinavian, Seafood
Ingredients
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 1 tspn caraway
  • 4 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2-4 cypress leaves (you can omit, but I had it growing in my backyard)
  • 2 bunches dill
Instructions
  1. The whole process starts with a quick little sea salt bath. Actually, this short little 10 minute bath serves two purposes: it seasons the flesh and it helps to wash off any surface bacteria that could make the fish prematurely smell like it's going bad.  Just salt the water enough to make a mermaid happy.

  2. While the fish bathes, combine the salt, sugar, caraway, and pepper to make your curing seasoning.  Next, lay half your cypress and dill in a shallow, non reactive dish.  

  3. Pat your fish dry and use half the salt seasoning to coat the skin side of your fillet. Lay the fish skin side down and use the remaining salt seasoning in the flesh side.

  4. Now "bury" your salmon with a shroud of the remaining cypress and fresh dill.

  5. Cover everything with plastic wrap and then weight it down.  I just used some kitchen cans to weight it, but you could cover a brick with plastic wrap and use that, too. Now refrigerate! 

  6. After being in the refrigerator for one day, unwrap your salmon and flip it skin side up, rebury it in the herbs and recover with the plastic wrap.  Now, let it cure in the fridge for two more days. 

  7. Ta-dah, you are done!  The flesh will be nicely firm and wonderfully seasoned. I like to rinse off the excess salt and seasoning, just remember to pat it completely dry.  Then, simply slice the fish thin at an angle.  Absolutely gorgeous and delicious! This should keep for about a week!

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