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Homemade Gravlax


2 tablespoons pink or white peppercorns
1 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
2-lb. center-cut, skin-on salmon filet
1 cup dill sprigs, plus 1/3 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup gin or aquavit (optional)

In a small food processor, pulse peppercorns, fennel seeds, and caraway seeds until coarsely ground; combine with salt and sugar. Spread out one large piece of plastic wrap; sprinkle with half the salt mixture. Place salmon filet on top, skin side down. Cover with remaining salt mixture, dill sprigs, and gin. You want to be sure the entire fillet is covered.

Fold plastic around salmon; wrap tightly with more plastic wrap. Place the fish in a dish and refrigerate for 48–72 hours, flipping the packet every 12 hours. When fully cured, the gravlax will darken in color and be firm to the touch at the thickest part.

Unwrap salmon, discarding the spices, dill, and brine. Rinse the filet under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Place gravlax skin side down on a cutting board. With a long, narrow-bladed knife, slice gravlax against grain, on the diagonal, into thin pieces. Refrigerate any remaining gravlax, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.

*The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word grav, which literally means “grave” (in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch), and lax (or laks), which means “salmon”, thus gravlax means “buried salmon”. (quote from Wiki)

I have seen it in TV about curing salmon but really didn’t know how to do it and the term itself was kind of new for me. So when I found this recipe from Love & Olive Oil, I kind of challenge myself. For one we love smoked salmon already and we buy our salmon in a special Russian store, that’s why I decided to make it.  At first I was skeptical because I’m not a fennel or caraway fan but it’s not that pronounced. I followed everything except I used black peppercorns my local grocer didn’t have it and didn’t have time to go to Whole Foods. I didn’t have gin either so I skipped it. It turn out well, with lemon and capers paired with vodka… it’s a match made in kitchen heaven. enJOY!!!

Source: Love & Olive Oil