Submitted by the Cook & Eat Committee
"In my house – when the going gets tough, the tough bake. We’ve been trying all sorts of fun recipes and trying to give them away and not eat them lol.” That is how Cook & Eat Co-Chair Pam Hankins sums up how she is spending her time in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Committee members who are able to follow her example, suggest it is a great way to break up the monotony of the sameness of the days. Spend the afternoon baking loaves of fragrant rye bread, cardamom rolls, a favorite cookie, or treat your family to homemade gravlax. Gravlax is one of the most celebrated dishes from Scandinavia. Mike O’Bryant, former Executive Director of the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation has a tried and true recipe for gravlax that we’ve shared. Our committee looks forward to incorporating his recipe into the Cook & Eat class schedule, but between now and then, give it a go!
According to House of Hegelund, during the Middle Ages, gravlax was made by fisherman, who salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high tide line. Fermentation is no longer used in the production process. Instead, the salmon is “buried” in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill and cured under refrigeration for twelve hours to a few days. Common to all the Scandinavian cuisines, it is usually served as an appetizer, sliced thinly, and accompanied by a dill and mustard sauce, either on bread or with boiled potatoes. No special equipment is needed to make gravlax, just a sharp knife and a little patience to slice it thin.
Ingredients for Gravlax:
· 2 large salmon fillets
· 120 to 240 grams of kosher salt
· 100 to 200 grams of sugar
· 2 Bunches of fresh dill
· 1 tablespoon of aquavit (optional)
See the conversion chart below:
Steps for making Gravlax:
Combine equal amounts of salt and sugar. Note: 5 pounds (2.25 kg) of fillets will need about ¾ Cup of each.
Prepare aluminum foil longer than the fillets.
Rub skin side of one fillet with a thin but thorough coating of salt/sugar mixture and place skin side down on the foil.
Spread a thin layer of the salt/sugar mixture on the flesh side of the salmon. Add a layer of dill, and if desired, the Aquavit.
Place the other fillet over the first, flesh to flesh. Cover with the remaining mixture.
Wrap salmon tightly in foil, then wrap again in plastic wrap.
Place in a dish and put a lightweight object on top to compress the salmon slightly. Refrigerate 48 hours, turning the salmon every 12 hours.
After the salmon has marinated (cooked), separate the fillets, discard the dill, and rinse off the salt/sugar mixture.
Pat dry and slice the fillets diagonally in the thinnest slices possible, detaching from the skin.
Ingredients for Mustard-Dill Sauce:
· 3 Tbls Dijon Mustard
· Juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbls)
· 1 Tbls honey
· ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
· Salt to taste
· ⅓ cup vegetable oil
· 2 Tbls fresh dill, minced
Steps for making Mustard-Dill Sauce:
Combine mustard, lemon, honey, pepper and salt in a food processor and process for one minute.
With the machine running, slowly add the oil until smooth and thick. Stir in the dill.
How did this recipe work out for you? Let us know by sharing your photos with us!
(Recipe Source for Gravlax and Mustard-Dill Sauce: The Swedish Table by Helen Henderson)