September 30, 2011
Wonderful Alternative To Smoked Salmon and Steelhead
by Chef Lucia Watson*
Gravlax is a salt and sugar-cured delicacy found throughout Scandinavia, where it is the custom to start the morning with thinly shaved pieces heaped on a plate and served with small shots of Aquavit. This recipe uses brown sugar with lime and tequila for a fresh clean flavor. Thinly slice the salmon (or steelhead trout) and use for appetizers on crackers spread with cream cheese or sour cream, in scrambled eggs or omelettes, on toast, in sandwiches and, of course, as part of a lovely buffet.
1- to 2-pound side of salmon, skinned and boned
3 generous tbsp. chopped fresh dill
3 generous tbsp. chopped shallots or white part of scallion
3 generous tbsp. chopped parsley
chopped zest of 3 limes
Combine ingredients. Lay the salmon on a cookie sheet covered with Saran Wrap. Sprinkle the ingredients equally on both sides of the salmon.
Next, combine . . .
juice of 3 limes
2 c. brown sugar
3 c. kosher salt
3/4 c. tequila
Pack this mixture on both sides of the salmon. Now cover the top of the salmon with wax paper. Place a cookie sheet atop the wax paper, weigh down with cans or heavy objects, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain off liquid and gently flip both cookie sheets so the salmon is reversed. Weight down again and refrigerate another 24 hours.
The salmon should feel firm — almost stiff. (For extra-thick salmon or if it doesn't feel firm and stiff, cure with weights another 24 to 48 hours.) Quickly and gently run the salmon under ice-cold water to remove the brine. Pat completely dry with paper towels. Keep refrigerated. Serve paper-thin slices.
Fish Recipe Tequila Cured Gravlax