Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Homemade Gravlax w/ Salmon from Seattle


When I came home from work the other night there was a box waiting for me on my porch.

It was from City Fish Co. in the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, and the box said PERISHABLE FRESH FISH HURRY AND OPEN!

Ok, ok! I am hurrying!

When I opened the box, a gorgeous WHOLE 5 pound Wild Coho fresh caught salmon was inside.

dana fish2

WOW. What a treat.

My friend Dana from Dana Treat sent this to me to try and entice me to get my butt out to Seattle and taste the fresh fish (and also visit her!).

I accept bribes.

There is such a difference between fresh caught fish eaten the day after it is caught, vs. a piece of fish that has been sitting in the grocery store on ice for 5 days.
Fresh is a different animal.

I cut half the salmon into fillets and removed the pin bones and froze them, because I wasn't planning on company that night.

I seared 2 fillets Alton Brown's way: in a nonstick skillet with some kosher salt, pepper and olive oil. 2 minutes on each side. Nothing else needed.
Taste the freshness........straight forward and wow.

With the other half of the big fish I decided on gravlax, which is what the Swedes call cured salmon.

Here is the method I used:

In a 9 x 13 Pyrex glass dish, lay your salmon (about 1-2 lbs) with skin side down.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, a few turns of black pepper, and the zest of 1 orange.

Pat this mixture all over the fish to coat, pressing down with your hands.

Sprinkle the salmon with 1 cup of fresh chopped dill.

Cover with plastic wrap tightly and place another heavy dish inside the Pyrex dish to weigh the fish down.

I added some cans to the second dish to make it extra heavy.

Place in the fridge. You want to keep it there for a total of 48 hours.

After the first 24 hours, check on the fish (make sure he is still dead) and drain the liquid out of the glass dish.
Put back in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

After a total of 48 hours in the fridge, you are ready to serve.
Rinse the fish off under cold water and pat dry.

Slice on the diagonal and serve.

I served the gravlax with a cucumber salad made w/ thinly sliced cucumbers, sour cream, dill and lemon juice.

This was a wonderful Sunday breakfast with brown bread.

Thank you Miss Dana for the BETTER THAN JEWELRY treat!


kat said...

Glad you checked to make sure that fish was still dead, lol

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a lovely surprise you received. My brother-in-law makes gravlax too, and it's the best. I want to try making it too, but alas, have no Seattle friend to send me the freshest.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow, What a beauty! You better be packing your bags for Seattle soon!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Aha! So, if I ship you Salinas grown organic strawberries, Castroville Artichokes, Locally caught Dungeness crab, local salmon, local red snapper, you'd come to Monterey (which isn't that far from Seattle?)
I'm spoiled rotten, since fresh salmon is something I can buy at my local grocery store. You utilized the fresh fish beautifully. I do Ina Garten's technique, which I've blogged about several times-- salt & pepper, seared and roasted in the oven. Salmon doesn't need to be buried underneath too much stuff. It's wonderful!

Catherine said...

What a treat!!! Thanks for the gravlax step by step. I have always wanted to try it.

The Japanese Redneck said...

You are so right about fresh fish vs bought fish!

rcoda said...

I could do without the dill... but you HAVE to taste the fish from Seattle/Vancouver. Michele and I went there for our honeymoon (and Victoria, Jasper and Banff). I have never had better salmon than I had in Vancouver.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I do love my local foods but we just cannot compete with Pacific salmon. Sorry NJ! Loo

lisa said...

That's beautiful salmon! A lovely gift for sure. I want to try making cured salmon, but I'm a little afraid of the slicing part. I think my slices would be a mess!

Elra said...

Oh Good grace, how lucky you are. Nothing beat fresh fish. One day, I'd love to make my own gravlax. That look utterly delicious Stacey.

wood furniture said...

A lovely surprise for you! And you did a good job on that! This is perfect for an early morning meal with some bread. I can't wait to try this!

Lisa from Wilmington, DE said...

Lucky you, Stacey! Looks yummy. You definitely need to take a trip to the west coast. Pike Place Mkt in Seattle, ferry to Bainbridge Isl, Vancouver - that area is so different from the East. And gorgeous. Don't forget CA: wine country, Monterey, Carmel. All that wonderful fresh produce! Beautiful flowers. Lisa

Dana said...

Yay Stacey! You did that fish a favor by preparing it so simply. I grew up eating salmon on a regular basis and my favorite way was just grilled with a bit of olive oil and a light herb rub and then served with lemon wedges. No need to mask it's terrific flavor. And gravlax? Wow. That is a great idea for the brunches we host on a semi-regular basis. Something really special. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

huge fish
kat s.

LaDue & Crew said...

So, so, jealous... I need to make friends with this Dana gal, lol... Looks fab, Stace, and will be trying out the gravlax.