Basic Cured Salmon or GRAVLAX
Susan Delbert, Executive Chef; National Press Club
Yield: about 12 generous servings
1 salmon fillet (usually 2-3#), pin bones removed (rub fingers down middle of fillet; remove bones with needle nose pliers or tweezers)
1 cup salt
2 cups sugar
1 bunch dill, including stems, chopped
Lemon, Lime or Orange zest (optional) (1-2 fruit)
½ cup vodka or Aquavit (optional)
2. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the flesh side of the salmon with the mixture, making sure to coat it completely, there will be a lot, try to use it all. If using vodka, pour the vodka over the salmon before pressing on the dry cure mixture.
1. Mix together the salt, sugar, zest (if using) and dill (note: the ratio of salt to sugar is highly personal and can be altered to taste)
3. Wrap the fish tightly with multiple layers of plastic wrap. Place in a perforated pan with pan beneath to catch drippings.
4. (Optional step) If the temperature is below 70 degrees, and it is not too inconvenient, let it rest outside the refrigerator for about 6 hours (to allow the sugar and salt to melt), then refrigerate, 12-24 24 hours. Otherwise, refrigerate up to 3 days. Place some weight atop the salmon to facilitate curing. Canned goods--many recipes suggest bricks--work well, but press equally on whole fillet. The longer the cure, the stronger the taste.
.5. To serve, unwrap the salmon, and rinse off the cure. Dry, Slice on the bias
Variation #1: Fuchsia cured salmon
Delete the dill and vodka, substitute:
1 cup freshly grated red beets and
1 cup freshly grated horseradish root. Prepared horseradish ok.
1 cup salt;
2 cups sugar;
Use a food processor to speed the grating process. [The freshly grated horseradish has a VERY STRONG odor]
Variation #2: Pastrami cured salmon
(Delete dill and vodka)
Shallot/ Herb mixture; Combine:
1 cup salt
2 cups sugar
2 T (one lemon) fresh lemon juice + zest
2 bunches fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped stems and leaves
1 bunch parsley, stems and leaves
2 shallots, minced
2 T cracked black pepper
½ cup molasses (or honey)
¼ cup cayenne or
(Sub red pepper flakes)
4 bay leaves, crumbled
2 T paprika (smoked paprika ok)
2 T ground coriander seeds (or ground)
3 T cracked black pepper
1. Drizzle lemon juice on salmon flesh; cover salmon with Shallot/herb mixture. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 24 hours to 2 days.
2. In dry skillet, toast coriander seeds, black pepper, bay leaves and paprika until fragrant. Grind fine.
3. In saucepan combine all items in Pastrami Glaze. Simmer. Cool
4. Scrape Shallot/Herb mixture off salmon. Brush molasses and spices over salmon. Wrap tightly and return to refrigerator for 24 hours -2 days.
Pictures from October 8's meatball competition (Photos taken by Elanor Wainscott).
***Round About with Patrick Garrity was our guest music performers ***
Round About is a local pop/rock band that has been performing around the Washington, DC area since 2010. They describe their music as “melodic pop,” combining quirky, perceptive lyrics with catchy, upbeat melodies to create a unique yet accessible sound. They've recently begun working on their 3rd original album, following The Best Laid Plans (2015), and their debut Hanging By A Thread (2012). Both albums featured songs which earned awards from the Songwriters Association of Washington. The band has also been featured locally on radio, podcasts and online.
While Round About is typically a four piece rock band, they were delighted to be performing as an acoustic duo at the Olney Farmers Market. Go to www.roundaboutrocks.com to hear samples of their music.
*** FUTURE CHEF DEMO SCHEDULE ***