Saturday, May 12, 2012

what to do with an excess of salmon


in which our plucky heroine ponders if "an excess of salmon" is actually possible...

Last weekend, while parents were here, dear G bought a Very Large fillet of wild salmon, which was actually too big to fit in the pans here at Acorn Cottage, and indeed larger than four people could eat for dinner. While the most straightforward thing would be to simply cook it in two batches, and have leftover cold cooked salmon, my memory turned to a special treat that my Mom made years ago - "gravlax"

It is a very simple way to transform the taste and texture of raw salmon, (not that plain raw salmon is not just as delectable, as witness the very popular sushi), and takes only a few ingredients and a bit of refrigerator time. The directions here on "Cooking for Engineers" are what I followed, with only a few changes. (There was no fresh dill available, so I used dried dill instead, and since I am not at all fond of the optional black pepper, that was not added.) The chunk of salmon sat in the fridge in a covered glass storage container, with a smaller glass lid tucked atop to keep the salmon under the brine. After a few days, the salmon was noticeably denser and darker, so was removed from the brine, rinsed off, and placed in a smaller container in the fridge.

This morning, a very small sharp knife made translucent diagonal slices, which were just the savory thing to put atop a slice of lightly toasted sourdough spread with some cultured cream cheese. The gravlax is neither intensely salty or sweet, but has a delicate salmon flavor. Probably if fresh dill is used, there would be more of an overtone of that herb than is possible with the dried dillweed. It is, nonetheless, a wonderful thing on a Saturday morning, almost so tasty as to cause me to forget entirely to take a picture, hence the partially eaten aspect... If you like salmon at all, this is easy and wonderful!

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