Salmon Gravlax recipe

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by dexternjack, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    Per request, this is a recipe that I have used in a few fine dining restaurants. This is a salt cured fish similar in texture to a smoked salmon. I like eating this on gamedays on occasion along with some smoked ribs.

    Step 1: Choose your salmon, I recommend pacific or atlantic because they have a little more fat. Coho and sockeye are my favorites but they don't work as well in this type of cooking.

    I use a 3-4 lb filet with skin on (the whole, half side of the fish). Use needle-nose pliers and remove all of the bones. Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

    Step 2: place the salmon in a glass baking dish big enough to hold the filet (skin side down), you may cut the salmon in half, but leave the skin on. Brush some Whiskey (your choice) over the fleshy side with a brush, about 2 TBS worth.

    Step 3: mix 1 cup of sugar and 2/3 cup of kosher salt together and coat the fish evenly. Be sure to rub some of this mixture on the skin side, but not a lot of it. After covering with the mixture, add a layer of fresh cracked pepper, from 1 TBS to 2, whatever your taste is.

    Step 4: coarsely chop 2-3 bunches of fresh dill and cover all of the fish and then some, do not be skimpy with this part, it adds the unique flavor. Once covered, take 2 lemons and thinly slice them into rings. Cover the whole fish with the lemons leaving very little empty space.

    Step 5: cover the salmon with saran wrap tightly, do not wrap, just cover it well. Now, place a cutting board or another glass baking dish on top of the fish. It has to be slightly smaller than the original baking dish so it will lay on top of the fish, this is only used so some weight can be placed on it. For the weight (about 6 lbs), I use aluminum foil wrapped bricks and place them on the second dish or cutting board. You also can use a cast iron skillet or anything really heavy.

    Step 6: leave the prepared salmon on the counter for up to 5 hours to reach room temperature. Then place in the fridge to cure at a minimum of two days. We did it for 3-4 days and can be left for up to 7 days. The longer it cures, the saltier it gets, so its a personal preference of taste. Every 12 hours or so, use a baster to suck up the brine and pour it over the fish, this is an important step.

    Step 7: your salmon gravlax is done, but first take a knife or spatula and scrape off the excess dill and other stuff and throw it away. Pat the fish with paper towels to get the leftovers. Serve on top of some toast points or just slice it and put on a plate covered with some capers drizzled with a balsamic demi-glaze.

    But, before any of this is done, make sure you kill the parasites. Several ways to do this....
    1. buy sushi-grade salmon or..
    2. freeze the salmon first(if the salmon has never been frozen) for 7 days, thaw, then start the recipe or..
    3. if you are not sure if the salmon you bought was previously frozen, prepare recipe as follows. But, when it is finished, freeze the cured salmon for a week before you eat it.

    I just go to a local seafood market and get a fresh-caught salmon (usually pacific and not sushi-grade but good quality)) and freeze it for a week, thaw and start the process.

    To slice the gravlax, slice each piece to the skin (but don't cut through it) about 1/4 inch thickness and place on a plate or toast/bagle.

    This dish can last for a week in the fridge when finished covered tightly, enjoy :)
  2. JonJon

    JonJon Injured Reserve

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    Thanks for the recipe. Will give this a try hopefully soon!
  3. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    Good recipe and nicely explained technique dexter.

    Here's one I do 2-3 times a year, especially for the start of summer and once at christmas.

  4. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    I like some of the ideas in that one too, especially the brown sugar and basil. She uses a few different techniques, but they all come out the same in the end. She puts the salmon with skin up, I suppose in my recipe you can do the same and leave out the basting part, just have never tried it that way.

    As for the tequila, no way, no how for me. I almost died in high school from that vile poison. To this day (25 years later), I have never drank tequila or sweet-n-sour, even smelling them makes me almost throw up.

    My brother (HPD detective) had a bachelor party, so he and his 40 cop friends thought it would be funny to see me and my buddy (we were both 17) get wasted into oblivion. I don't remember anything after 12 margaritas and 4 strip clubs :(
  5. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Xie xie! I will try when the kids come down. Thanks again.
  6. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    Small world. My cousin, (my moms brother's son) born-n-raised in Hou. Did about 10 years as a HPD patrol officer. Left to get his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Couldn't find a job in a Baptist church because he's been divorced. Now he's back on the force in The Woodlands.

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