Our annual lefse party is Saturday, and I can hardly wait! I started the gravlax yesterday: layered with lots of fresh dill and tangerine, buried in mounds of sugar and salt, and a spritzing of aquavit. We will slice it thin and place bites of it on crisped lefse with sour cream, pickled vegetables, and caviar. Read about our revelry in this week's Called to the Table.
Gravlax is one of those dishes that, at first, seems daunting. Cured fish can be a little scary to a novice. But once you get the swing of it you realize how easy it is. And experimenting with seasonal flavors adds a little variety to the salmon flavor.
1 1/2 pounds sushi quality salmon fillet, cut in half with skin on
2 cups sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons dried dill and several sprigs fresh
2 tangerines, sliced
Spritz of aquavit or vodka
Place one salmon fillet skin-side down on large sheet of plastic wrap. Spritz salmon flesh with aquavit or vodka. Combine dry ingredients and rub half into salmon on both sides. Layer dill and tangerines over flesh and plank with other fillet, skin-side up, rubbing remaining cure over second fillet. Wrap plastic around fish, pressing together. Lay in glass dish at room temperature 4-6 hours. Refrigerate salmon additional 36 hours, flipping fish every 12 hours. The cure will liquefy during curing process.
Remove plastic and cure; rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Slice paper thin and serve with
mustard sauce if desired.