June 22, 2013

Part I: Gravlax

Back in December, I caught Chuck Hughes' Christmas special on The Cooking Channel, and I watched him make gravlax.  It seemed simple enough, and we had the many of the components on hand (aside from the salmon), so why not try it out?

We put my mortar & pestle to use to crush the szechuan peppercorns, and to mix up the salt, dill and brown sugar.  I only had Kosher salt on hand, rather than coarse salt, so if that is the case for you, I'd recommend using a bit less salt than the recipe calls for.
For your salmon, either buy 2 filets, or buy 1 that you'll cut in half.  You want to have 2 pieces of salmon that are mirror images of each other so you can sandwich them, one on top of the other.  Take your salt/sugar/dill mixture and crust both pieces of salmon.  The thicker parts should get more salt/sugar/dill.
Sandwich the salmon together with the salt/sugar/dill mixture in the middle.  Tightly wrap your salmon sandwich in plastic wrap, and place on a cookie sheet.  You'll want to place another cookie sheet on top, then place it in the fridge with about 1lb. of weight on top.
Let it sit in the fridge for 24hrs.  You'll notice a lot of liquid will seep out, and the flesh of the salmon will darken and lose its translucence.  When that's happened, your gravlax is ready!  Just remove all of the salt/sugar/dill, rinse off the flesh with water, and pat it dry.  When you're ready to eat it, just slice off pieces on the bias.
Now we know what you're thinking...what do I do with a couple hunks of cured salmon?  Well, for part II of this post, we'll show you we made our own bagels, and how to build the perfect breakfast bagel.  You should "Like" our Facebook page to get instant updates too.  Stay tuned!

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