Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gravlax from the Minimalist


Years ago there used to be a wonderful restaurant just down the road from where I lived in West Hollywood called Scandia.  Just west of Doheny Blvd., it was one of those places that gave the feeling you were surrounded by Hollywood history and indeed you were! 

I loved sitting in the huge red leather chairs; so comfortable you just knew you’d be staying a long while and not care that you were forty years younger than most of the patrons!  I also loved that one actually dressed for Scandia; no matter that everyone in LA was relaxed and casual, at Scandia men were required to wear coats and ties.

I always started my meal with Gravlax described on their menu as ‘the great salmon of the north cured in the old Viking way.”  This cured salmon dish is exquisitely simple, so tender it practically melts in your mouth and brilliant served as is on toast with just a few drops of lemon or with a light tangy dill sauce.

Now, I’ve found just the perfect recipe for Gravlax that rivals the dish I used to enjoy at Scandia.  It is from the Minimalist and it is so easy anyone can now serve Gravlax as good as one of the greatest LA restaurants of all time!  These days I'm serving it as an appetizer with lemon and toast or as a starter salad.


THE MINIMALIST'S GRAVLAX

Time: 10 minutes, plus 24 to 36 hours' refrigeration

1 cup salt

2 cups sugar

1 bunch dill, stems and all, chopped

1 2- to 3-pound fillet of salmon, pin bones removed.

1. Mix together the salt, sugar and dill. Place the 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 the refrigerator for about 6 hours, then refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours more. Otherwise, refrigerate immediately for about 36 hours.

3. Unwrap the salmon, and rinse off the cure. Dry, then slice on the bias.

Yield: at least 12 servings.

For dill sauce:
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons sour cream
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill  
Directions:
Mix the mustard, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl.
Beat in the oil a little at a time until well blended.
The sauce will thicken rapidly and must be stirred vigorously.
Finally, add the sour cream and plenty of finely chopped dill.

11 comments:

  1. I never realized it was so easy to cure salmon. I was watching Ina on the Food channel a few months ago and she made it. It looked so easy and so good. I'll have to try your Gravlax recipe since there hasn't been a store bought smoked salmon I could tolerate. Making it from scratch will make all the difference.

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  2. I'm so glad that you shared this! I never thought of Gravlax being so approachable. Ooohhh, and I need to make the salad too!

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  3. This looks amazing and flavorful. Cured salmon is one of my favorite ingredients to use on appetizer and salads. :) Thanks for sharing you recipe.

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  4. This looks wonderful. Packed with flavor.

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  5. Just an hour ago I bought Sushi and I was wondering how can people eat raw fish. I did not know that its actually not raw. It is cured. I learn so many new things by making foodie friends.Thanks for sharing.

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  6. This salmon looks so delicious and flavorful!

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  7. Joanne, gravlax are miles away from smoked salmon. I can't wait to hear what you think when you've make it!

    Shawn, this really is SO easy!!!!

    Amy, I agree with you completely! Cured salmon is so versatile for appetizers!

    Thanks Christine and Stephanie! I do hope you try it!

    Balvinder, so glad you came by to visit!

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  8. This great KC, I just watch the MINIMALIST'S this morning on the cooking channel.

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  9. KC, you are too sweet! I need this, if you knew how many cake pops I've eaten recently, he he.
    -Gina-

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  10. this looks delicious lovely presentation

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  11. What a beautiful salad! I have never cured salmon, but it sounds like something I need to try!

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