gravlax

Gravlax

Gravlax

I have prepared gravlax a thousand times over the years, starting at the beginning of the 70’s when I worked in  Torekov/Sweden  for the first time, and usually, it comes out perfect, or at least close to perfect. It is one of those dishes which actually require an effort to mess it up. So every time I prepare it, I am sure that the outcome Is a predictable “10” on a scale from 0 to 10. But then came this baby !!!
I had to increase the scale by another point to accommodate its level of excellence. It was so off the chart, in taste, texture, and color. Just a perfect “11” 🙂
It was probably a combination of the quality of the fish, the freshness, the amount and quality of the dill, the ratio of the ingredients of the brine and finally, the time I left the salmon in the brine to cure. Whatever it was, this gravlax is the one all future gravlax will be judged by.
But, I can not give you the EXACT amount of time or ingredients, only approximates. Like with most savory cooking, recipe-measurements and times can only serve as guidelines. Usually, there are too many variables to cook EXACTLY by a recipe. (I am sure you have often heard folks say “I followed the recipe to the dot, but it did not turn out to be like in the picture or in the book or the video?- well, that’s the reason why – too many variables. It is also the reason why a professional chef “interprets” a recipe because, with his/her experience over many years, he/she has learned to factor-in these variables and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To quote myself – “Cooking is easy – if you know how to do it !” 🙂
So here now is the recipe I used for this specific gravlax. Again, there are a million and one recipes out there. Every Scandinavian cook, housewife and home cook guards at least one gravlax recipe they swear by, and most of them are pretty awesome, just slightly different from each other.
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2 lbs raw salmon, skin on
2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jigger vodka
1/2 cup sliced dill leaves plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup red beet juice
2 tblsp dijon mustard
1 tblsp fresh-cracked>
black pepper
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Dill/Mustard Sauce
(Traditional condiment for gravlax)
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil, sugar, fresh dill leaves, pepper(optional), mix all ingredients well.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Gravlax  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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add the salmon and onions (for a prettier presentation / restaurant presentation) put the egg and capers together with the onions on top of the salmon, however, the way I did it here will keep the capers and egg from rolling off when you eat the sandwich)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gravlax Dinner



Tonight  I finally got to eat the gravlax I prepared last week. What a great tasting piece of fish. Of course, what makes it perfect is the accompanying dill/mustard sauce, without which a gravlax is not complete. Many restaurants nowadays serve gravlax with all kind of fancy sauces and condiments, which might seem right if you never been to Scandinavia and had the real deal. But please believe me, making the dill / mustard sauce will take you less then five  minutes and only “it” will make the dish perfect.
The ingredients for dill / mustard sauce are few and in everybody’s cup board:
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil (I used grape seed oil), sugar, fresh dill leaves only, pepper(optional), I used cayenne pepper and replaced the sugar with weisswurst senf (sweet, brown, Bavarian mustard)

Smaklig måltid!    Livet är bra !


Click here for  Gravlax  recipe


Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce



Preparation :

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dijon mustard, sweet mustard, dill leaves

dijon mustard, sweet mustard, dill leaves

mix mustards, dill, kosher salt and cayenne pepper

mix mustards, dill, kosher salt and cayenne pepper

slowly drizzle grapeseed oil into mustard and dill mixture until a emulsion has formed, check / adjust taste

slowly drizzle grapeseed oil into mustard and dill mixture until a emulsion has formed, check / adjust taste

dill / mustard sauce

dill / mustard sauce

toast bread until golden

toast bread until golden

toasted sour dough bread

toasted sour dough bread

smear bread with herb butter

smear bread with garlic / herb butter

top with thinly sliced gravlax, serve with dill/ mustard sauce, lemon slices and chilled white wine

top with thinly sliced gravlax, serve with dill/ mustard sauce, lemon wedges and chilled white wine

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce

Gravlax, Sour Dough Bread, Dill / Mustard Sauce



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please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





EASY DOES IT # 15 – Gravlax

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There  are a few compelling reasons to make your own gravelax instead of buying it at a store or online:

– Price – Fresh salmon $ 15.00 per pound versus store bought gravlax at $ 40.00
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 – Ease of preparation – actual preptime about 10 minutes, curing between 3 and 5 day’s
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 – Total control of texture and taste of finished product
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 – The joy of adding another stunner to your cooking repertoire
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My  standard  dry-marinade recipe is as follows :
3/5th  of kosher salt, 2/5th of sugar, fresh chopped dill including stems, white pepper, lemon peel, crushed mustard seeds and dark rum.

In the variation  below, I have changed the dry-marinade recipe a bit as follows:
3/5th  of kosher salt, 2/5th of sugar, freeze dried dill leaves, raw garlic paste,  cayenne pepper, dijon mustard, vodka.
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Mix the marinade ingredients, place half of it in a chemical reaction-free container. Top with salmon filet. Add remaining dry marinade to top of salmon. Cover airtight, place in refrigerator. Flip salmon every twelve hours. After twenty four hours, dry-marinade will have transformed into a thick brine. The salmon will be cured after two to three day’s, depending on the thickness and salt to sugar ratio in your marinade. I usually keep my salmon in the brine another one to two days, again depending on the marinade and thickness of the filet. The extra time will give me a slightly dryer and more opaque product which I prefer. This one took four day’s to be exactly the way I like it.
To serve, remove salmon and wash under running water to clean off excess brine. Slice into thin slices, accompany with dill/mustard sauce and rustic bread of your choice.
(To think, first time I prepared  Gravlax  was in the summer of 1973 at the  Hotel Kattegat,  Torekov,  Sweden.  Good times 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Note:
Start out the first time by following my standard recipe, the next few times experiment with the marinade and curing time until you find your own sweet spot.
Variations can be, but are not limited to, different salt/sugar ratios, different herbs, different seasonings, different liquors, different curing length’s.
Enjoy your gravlax journey !
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mise en place

mise en place

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Preparation :
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mise en place

mise en place

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sprinkle top of salmon with plenty of dill leaves, mix dry-marinade ingredients

sprinkle top of salmon with plenty of dill leaves, drizzle with vodka,, mix dry-marinade ingredients

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add half of the marinade to chemical-reaction-free vessel

add half of the marinade to chemical-reaction-free vessel

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add salmon filet, top with remaining dry-marinade, cover airtight, store in fridge for 3 - 5 days

add salmon filet, top with remaining dry-marinade, cover airtight, store in fridge for 3 – 5 days

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flip salmon every twelve hours

flip salmon every twelve hours, cover again, back into fridge

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4 day's later - done, rinse under cold running water, carefull not to rinse of the dill

4 day’s later – done, rinse under cold running water, carefull not to rinse of the dill

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

the beauty and the beast

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂