Best way to cure a Salmon??????
- Smithy Aug 19, 2001 09:05 AM
Can someone help me with some ideas regarding the above??
re: Kit H.
This recipe was in "The Minimalist" column by Mark Bittman on 11/11/98 in The New York Times. We made it and it came out delicious.
The Minimalist's Gravlax
1 cup salt
2 cups sugar
1 bunch dill, stems and all chopped
1 2-3 pound fillet of salmon, pin bones removed.
1). Mix together the salt, sugar and dill. Place salmon, skin side down, on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the flesh side of the salmon with the salt mixture, making sure to coat it completely. (There will be lots of salt mix; just pile it on.)
2). Wrap the fish well. If the temperature is below 70 degrees, and it is not too inconvenient, let it rest outside for about 6 hours, then refrigerate immediately for about 36 hours.
3). Unwrap the salmon, and rinse off the cure. Dry, then slice on the bias. Serve plain or with lemon wedges, creme fraiche, sour cream or a light vinaigrette.
Yield: at least 12 servings.
re: Nancy Ives
Re. the Bittman recipe: I'm a real Bittman admirer, but I think that's WAY too much sugar. I like to slick the salmon with a few tablespoons of vodka, just to be Swedish about it all, and grind plenty of black pepper into the salt/sugar mixture. I also use (following Tom Colicchio's recipe) some chopped scallion tops, and the zest of 1 lime, 1 lemon, and 1 orange. Unforgettable, what those citric oils do to salmon! The rest of Bittman's procedure is pretty much the same as every other gravlax recipe.
re: Tom Steele
You are right Tom...I just looked at a bunch of recipes in my cookbook collection and that is a lot of sugar. In the same article there is a recipe called "Cyril Renaud's Citrus Gravlax" with 2 cups of salt and 2 cups of sugar. We made the Minimalist recipe when the article came out and it was delicious. I wonder what would be different you if cut way back on the sugar.
Julia's proportions are a little different. She uses 1-1/2 tsp. salt & 3/4 tsp. sugar for ea. lb. of salmon. She also drizzles a little cognac over (for pizazz). She used whole springs of dill & a little more sugar than salt.
Jacques likes to use Kosher salt: 1 tsp. and 1/4 tsp. sugar. He also adds pepper and no dill.
Bittman's recipe sounds like it would be too sweet. If you're making gravlax, I'd recommend equal parts salt and sugar (how much depends on how much you're curing), and a few bunches of dill to lay atop and beneath the fish.
For my money, I like to spread a little bourbon over the fish before I put the spices on. When i do that I leave out the dill and just use salt, sugar, and a little white pepper. I guess any bourbon would work, but I've always used either Beam or Early Times.
One thing I've always done (I've never tried it another way) is to press the salmon as it cures. I make a tower of the two filets in a six-pound salmon, starting with dill, salmon, gin, salt/sugar, gin, salmon, and dill. I wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap, put it on a tray, and cover it with a board. An old 12 lb sledge hammer head provides the weight. The salmon goes in the fridge, gets turned once a day, and in four days it's firm fleshed and fabulous!