Chef Sidney's Recipe for Gravlax
What better way to wind up a week dedicated to seafood than with a fish recipe from Chef Sidney of Le Calabash cooking school in France's Loire Valley? Each Tuesday at 4AM Chefs Sidney and Alison receive the freshest catch delivered from the Atlantic port of La Rochelle, just two hours from the cooking school. What follows is a wonderful primer on how to select, clean, and prepare the wonderfully fresh fish.
2.5 kg (about 5 lbs) fresh salmon fillet, skin still on
1 large bunch of chopped dill
150 gr (5 1/3 oz) coarse sea salt
100 gr (3 1/2 oz) sugar
2 Tbsp crushed white peppercorns
Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Mix the dill, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and spread it over the flesh of the salmon.
Wrap the salmon tightly in two or three layers of plastic wrap. Place a chopping board on top as a press to weight it down and refrigerate for 32 hours.
Remove the salmon from the brine and slice thinly, as you would smoked salmon. Arrange it on a plate with a bit of dressed arugula and a dollop of horseradish and mustard sauce (recipe below).
Horseradish and mustard sauce:
1 tsp finely grated fresh horseradish (or from a jar)
2 tsp onion, finely grated
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
175 mL (6 oz) heavy cream
Chef Sidney enjoys making a variation of this recipe by replacing the dill with two grated, cooked beets to make a wonderful beet cured salmon. Another option he recommends is to replace the dill with 2 Tbsp of Wasabi for a Wasabi cured salmon.
By Peg Kern