Sunday, July 14, 2013

my first homemade gravlax

Intrigued by some gravlax photos shared on my Facebook newsfeed, I looked into it and found the method quite simple and fast, I decided to give it a try this weekend.   New York temperature has been in the upper 90s in the past week.  I lost motivation to cook anything or eat anything hot.   This recipe came just in time.

The original recipe comes from Saveur as below,

2 tbsp. white peppercorns
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
2⁄3 cup kosher salt
1⁄3 cup sugar
2-lb. center-cut, skin-on salmon filet
1 cup dill sprigs, plus 1/3 cup chopped dill
1⁄4 cup aquavit (optional)
Mustard-Dill Sauce
1. In a small food processor, pulse peppercorns, fennel seeds, and caraway seeds until coarsely ground; combine with salt and sugar. Stretch plastic wrap over a plate; sprinkle with half the salt mixture. Place salmon filet on top, flesh side up. Cover with remaining salt mixture, dill sprigs, and aquavit.
2. Fold plastic wrap ends around salmon; wrap tightly with more plastic wrap. Refrigerate the fish on the plate for 48–72 hours, turning the package every 12 hours and using your fingers to redistribute the herb-and-spice-infused brine that accumulates as the salt pulls moisture from the salmon. The gravlax should be firm to the touch at the thickest part when fully cured.
3. Unwrap salmon, discarding the spices, dill, and brine. Rinse the filet under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large plate with the chopped dill. Firmly press the flesh side of the gravlax into the dill to coat it evenly.
4. Place gravlax skin side down on a board. With a long, narrow-bladed knife (use a granton slicer if you have one; the divots along the blade make for smoother, more uniform slices), slice gravlax against grain, on the diagonal, into thin pieces. Serve with mustard–dill sauce or on knäckebröd with minced onion. Refrigerate any remaining gravlax, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.
SERVES 8 – 10

I gave it some twists depending on the availability of some ingredients.  I didn't use caraway seeds and used black peppercorn instead of white.  I happened to have some leftover vodka and used it up instead of aquavit.   Based on feedback from people who have tried this recipe, 48 hour curing is too long and the salmon ends up too salty, so I cured 24 hours with flipping it twice, which i found still a little bit too salty for my taste.  However paired with original flavor greek yogurt, which by the way so creamy and rich makes a perfect substitute for cream cheese, the salty and sour flavors are well balanced.  The texture of the salmon is so rich and buttery.  I love it.  Will definitely make it again!

No comments: