Monday, 24 December 2012

Gravlax and a Merry Christmas!


I posted this recipe in July but this is an update... it is also now in "cups"!  I have added  seaweed (dried, bought from my health food store) this time, which is optional.  I made it lastnight for later in the week and ready for New Year's eve  - it takes two days to cure (dehydrating the fish with salt) but keeps very well in the fridge for over a week if wrapped properly.  I have left the skin on unlike the last post as I am ahead of time.

100g / 1/2 cup of 'gros sel de guerande' / course grey sea salt
80 g /  1/3 cup of brown sugar
10 g / 1/2 cup of dried seaweed (dulse, sea lettuce and nori)
2 teaspoons of caraway seeds crushed
2 teaspoons of dill seeds crushed
2 teaspoons of crushed juniper berries (if you like them)
2 tablespoons of dried dill (for the rub as it is more intense - or fresh but triple the quantity)
a small bunch of fresh dill (to dress after the salting)
3 tablespoon of vodka

Sauces - Greek yoghurt mixed with chopped dill, shallots and chives or a rustic mayonnaise made with grainy mustard, lemon juice and peanut oil for thickness.

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You need a very fresh fish, scaled,  filleted with the pin bones removed - a good fish monger will do this if you order in advance.  You can also buy a side of salmon and pull out the pin bones with (new for the kitchen!) tweezers/baby pliers - the bones run down one side and you can feel them, just keep pulling!!

Assemble all the ingredients, except the vodka. Rub the mix in the fish, adding 2/3 to the middle and the rest on the  two skin sides.  If using vodka, sprinkle it on the inside fillets now.  Put the fillets together and into a plastic zip-lock bag (a big one!).  They should be weighed down in the fridge, so I put a small cutting board on top and  bowl with wine bottles or heavy items.  You want to turn them every 12 hours and do this for 48 hours.

Remove the fish after the two days and brush all the salt and herbs off - you can rinse it if your salt is finer than I suggested.  I redress it with fresh dill and a tablespoon of oil to make it stay on.  Slice across ways long  slices starting from the tail end.  A sharp knife makes this easier (!)  

Note : if slicing scares you, then start at the other end and do thinnish slices though the thicker part (best to remove the skin first. You may need to start it off with a knife, start from the tail end and go slowly - if any of the fish gets stuck to the skin, just cut underneath and carry on).

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Wishing everybody a most Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays et Joyeux Nöel...

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog; it means a lot to me. I have a log fire, a box of soft centers, a book with my name on it and a pug needing to be squeezed - it's Christmas!!  The tourtière is waiting to go in the oven later!  Have a wonderful few days and I shall be back with food for New Years Eve as we may even be hungry by then!

All the best  -  Ivan x

15 comments:

  1. Happy Christmas to you too Ivan, enjoy your break. Your fire/chocolates/book/dog combo sounds pretty wonderful, I have to say!

    Gillian x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - Merry Christmas to you!
      Ivan x

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  2. Happy Holidays to you too! :O)

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  3. Thank you for sharing your blog, your home, recipes, etc. I have enjoyed reading them very much throughout the season. Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Charlene,
      Thank you, really sweet of you to say and it is my pleasure!
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...
      Best wishes Ivan

      Delete
  4. Awesome recipe, love the doggie treat post too! I have actually made the pork and puff pastry bites from your previous post for tonight! Just stopping by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

    Basset Momma, Freddie & Gloria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      Merry Christmas to you all and happy you made the food - hope you liked it!
      Best wishes Ivan and a woof from Aston!

      Delete
  5. All the best Ivan! We are having Tourtiere on Boxing Day and that salmon looks delicious! See you soon.
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jim,
      Merry Christmas and best wishes from us three to you three!
      Ivan

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    2. All the best Ivan, Mark and Aston....Sophie just came in from a snow romp...guess what? She is covered in snow....she loves this season. Happy New Year!
      Ron

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  6. Sounds lovely Christmas hope you have a lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      Thank you, yes - a relaxed and too much food sort of time (perfect!). I hope you also had a wonderful time.
      Ivan

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  7. Your fish looks delicious, but I'll have to wait for a trip to Nova Scotia to get some fresh fish from the wharf in Digby. I hope your French dulse tastes better than Nova Scotian! It always seemed that the more I chewed it, the bigger and worse it got! Maybe it's your Cordon Blue touch! I hope your pug enjoyed his homemade doggie treats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      The fresh bit is important and I bet the salmon is wonderful from those parts! The dulse I use is small, dried and shredded - so not like the fresh dulse which sounds like an acquired taste! I just use it for the 'sea' taste and it is removed before slicing. Aston (Mr.pug-head) loved his biscuits and was staring intently at the box I had put them in, so I had to hid it!!
      Ivan

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