Gravlax / Cured Salmon (06.15.12)

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jun 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-15 13:58:21-04

by Brandon Howard, La Caille

•    2 cups kosher salt
•    2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
•    1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
•    ½ tablespoons lemon zest strips (from 1 lemon)
•    8oz  Fresh salmon fillet, skin off, pin bones removed, rinsed under cool water, and patted dry
•    Sour cream or cream cheese, optional accompaniment
•    Sieved hard boiled eggs, optional accompaniment
•    Minced red onions, optional accompaniment
•    Chopped parsley, optional accompaniment
•    English Cucumber, optional accompaniment

Combine the salt, peppercorns, dill, sugar, and zest in a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix well. Lay a piece of plastic wrap twice the size of the salmon on a flat surface. Cross another piece of plastic of the same size over the first piece horizontally.

Place the salmon in the center of the pieces of plastic wrap, with the skin side down. Spoon the salt and sugar cure mixture over the top and sides of the salmon. Using your fingers, spread the mixture evenly over the salmon. No part of the flesh of the fish should be exposed. With the palm of your hand, gently press the mixture into the salmon. Fold the 2 pieces of plastic wrap very tightly around the salmon, folding in the ends securely. Wrap the salmon a second time with another large piece of plastic.

Place the wrapped salmon in shallow glass baking dish. Top the salmon with another baking dish. Place 2 heavy cans on the baking sheet to weight the salmon. Refrigerate for 24 to 30 hours, depending upon the thickness of the fish. Remove from the refrigerator and unwrap the salmon carefully. Discard the wrap and scrape off the seasoning mixture. Rinse the salmon under cold water to remove the seasoning mixture. Pat dry.

Slice the salmon, at an angle, into paper-thin slices. Serve with accompaniments.