GRAVLAX: A How-To in Pictures

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For the past three years, if it’s Friday, I’ve been posting a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around my French Table.  Cooking-the-book with colleagues from around the world, I’ve had hits, fails, wows and  never agains. This week’s effort, Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce, sugar-and-spice cured-salmon,  may be a personal best.

 

Crush toasted peppercorns, white and black, and coriander seeds with a mortar & pestle

Crush toasted peppercorns, white and black, and coriander seeds with a mortar & pestle

Add sea salt and sugar to the crushed seeds and mix. Poke holes in the skin side of the salmon, rub the mixture into it and top generously with fresh dill.

Add sea salt and sugar to the crushed seeds and mix. Poke holes in the skin side of the salmon, rub the mixture into it and top generously with fresh dill.

 

Gravlax is the traditional party food but it’s just as delicious a breakfast-morning-after. Reluctant to hit the highway after Christmas dinner down valley, I bartered salmon for a sleep-over with my friends, Donna and Bernie. Donna phoned Zabar’s to send some bagels. Ho! Ho! Ho!

 

Flip the salmon and rub mixture into the flesh (no holes).

Flip the salmon and rub mixture into the flesh (no holes).

Cover with dill.

Cover with dill.

 

This was a three-day process. Words cannot describe how luscious and buttery this gravlax tasted. Richness personified. Let’s have pictures tell the story………

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, weight evenly, and refridgerate for 48-72 hours. I found the combo of 3 cans, a jar of pickled okra and a pineapple, just perfect.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, weight evenly, and refridgerate for 48-72 hours. I found the combo of 3 cans of pumpkin puree, a jar of pickled okra and a pineapple, just perfect.

After 2 to 3 days, scrape the dill and mixture off the salmon, rinse quickly with cold water, dry thoroughly, and refrigerate until ready to slice.

After 2 to 3 days, scrape the dill and mixture off the salmon, rinse quickly with cold water, dry thoroughly, and refrigerate until ready to slice.

 

Bernie thinly slices the salmon, cutting on the diagonal, leaving the skin behind. (Please know that Donna and I are standing close behind giving Bernie directions!)

Bernie thinly slices the salmon, cutting on the diagonal, leaving the skin behind. (Please know that Donna and I are standing closely behind giving Bernie directions!)

Bring on the bagels.

Bring on the bagels.

A post-Christmas feast, Gravlax with cream cheese, capers, and onions and Zabar's toasted bagels.

A post-Christmas feast, Gravlax with cream cheese, capers,  onions and Zabar’s toasted bagels.

The Christmas Dinner table at Chez Chase

The Christmas Dinner table at Chez Chase

A woman's work is never done.

A woman’s work is never done.

Ever.

Ever.

The men enjoy the cocktail hour, of course.

The men enjoy the cocktail hour, of course.

While the women are in the kitchen, the men relax. Ahhhhh

While the women are in the kitchen, the men relax. Ahhhhh

 

If you’d like to make your own Gravlax, here’s Dorie’s recipe. Interested in seeing the results of other Doristas‘ efforts this week? Go, here.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR from ASPEN

Comments

  1. Donna Grauer says

    another adjective for the gravlax…transcendental, diplomatically bordering the states of solid and liquid.
    so glad we got to enjoy the results of your 3 day saga. ANYTIME Mary.
    PS> Dogs are still loving the skin and now they are your friends for life.

  2. says

    Perfect choice to usher in the New Year, Mary! Lambeau got her very own sample, too! A highlight of my year was meeting you and many from our Dorista clan. Hoping 2014 brings equal memorable moments. xo

  3. says

    Very nice, Mary! I skipped this as I’m not a fan of Salmon but am so glad you enjoyed it & had such a sense of accomplishment!

    Happy New Year to you, too! xoxo

  4. says

    Looks great Mary! I personally LOVE gravalax on a bagel with onions and capers so I’m looking forward to making this one myself…!! I’ve been remiss with FFWD since the hubby has been gone and we’ve been too busy since his return to get any of the recipes completed! :)

    Love the snow! Love the table! Have a great weekend!

  5. says

    I was wondering what you had yourself up to for the holiday :-)
    Beautiful fish – wonderful friends. And I am sure there was plenty of good food and wine to top it all off. Sounds like a lovely holiday.

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year, Miss Mary and all the best in the coming year. XO

  6. says

    Well done, Mary! I think you used the perfect adjective for the gravlax: buttery! I love how you followed Christmas dinner with a quintessentially Jewish breakfast: Bagels and Gravlax! I was so thrilled to meet you earlier this year. Looking forward to cooking through another year with you! Happy New Year, my friend.

  7. says

    I agree, this recipe was a perfect way to end the year. I haven’t loved all of the recipes, but I have loved every minute of cooking along with this great group. And this recipe is a perfect example of why I love this project, because it falls squarely into the category of, “I would not have tried this were it not for FFwD”.

  8. says

    How is it that I live an hour outside of New York City and you got to enjoy your gravlax with Zabar bagels? You have a Zabars…wow! Looks like a lovely time with friends…Happy New Year Mary… looking forward to another year of your adventures both in an out of the kitchen.

  9. says

    I will send family members here to see the step by step photos. One of these days I have to start doing that. How fantastic! And what friend wouldn’t want someone with a salmon in their purse to stay the night? Happy New Year my sweet friend. I look forward to cooking along side you in 2014! XO, T.

  10. says

    Ahhhh Mary, A job well done! Your gravlax looks absolutely perfect! This one was a big hit in my house, too…we love gravlax, especially with bagels and cream cheese…yum! A perfect trade off! Glad you had a great Christmas! Wishing you a most perfect New Year, my friend!

  11. says

    Oh gosh you had me laughing with the comments and captions- especially about the men enjoying cocktails. My own hubby is a saint (no shock there…) but I learned early on in our marriage that assigning him the “offer guests drinks” job was not a good use of kitchen resources. At the critical beginning of an event he would then be found walking around the kitchen and dining area with his own glass in hand, as if he too were a visiting guest. Not. So. Much. A few underbreath comments rectified that but it also took a few days off my life, stresswise, at the time. Ah, the young married days. Live and learn, which is exactly what this gravlax recipe was about. Who knew ? I don’t even like raw fish, not that this ended up raw..and even I appreciated it. Ok, it may have something to do with the “fix it and forget it” aspects of the recipe but most likely it was because my family adored it. What fun. And thanks, as always, for sharing your adventures which were also clearly FUN. That is some holiday set up and some great set of friends…who are very lucky to have YOU. Happy 2014.

  12. says

    We don’t like gravlax was my starting position with this recipe but after reading everyone’s post I’m saying ‘we don’t think we like gravlax’. Maybe we need to try this recipe for gravlax and we’d find we actually like it. It looks like you’ve had an excellent Christmas. At least you ate well. I hope the new year brings good things your way! Happy New Year Mary!

  13. says

    Happy New Year! What a wonderful holiday with friends, and the snow just glistens with beauty in your photos. Wonderful post as always. Looking forward to the writing group with you next week :)

  14. says

    Wow, what a party! Your gravlox looks fabulous. I finally got to this one, and we had some mixed reviews, though all of the salmon/gravlox lovers loved it! Happy New Year!

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