Bank Holiday weekend, home alone and in a clear attempt to put off cleaning, a fit of domesticity curing and baking which sounds sounds a lot more involved than the reality thanks to these hand off recipes.
It was all set in motion on Thursday afternoon in of all places the supermarket. I want to stress I rarely buy meat fish or vegetables here the selection is too depressing ( air-freighted veg and greying plastic sweating meat) so market , butcher trips and a regular vegebox see us through. Rant over , ethics supressed, wine must be bought and I always hopefully wander past the reduced section and was excited to see sides of salmon for just £5 each. It’s practically freegan to buy this stuff, right?!
Seeing long sides of salmon I had just one thought – Gravadlax a Scandanavian dry cured salmon dish that I have always wanted to try making. I have had the Word of Mouths Gravadlax recipe book marked since October and like my now perfected beetroot and vodka cured salmon ( one of my fantasy Come Dine with Me Dishes) Gravadlax promises for just a few minutes preperation and some occasional turning in the fridge for a spectacular and tasty dish.
Enjoying this hands off approach to cookery ( I suspect I am actually a pretty lazy cook who just loves good food) and rather than finding myself elbow deep in bread dough , I opted for a no-knead bread , originally published in the New York Times the recipe was picked up by a lot of bloggers as a risk-free simple dish. This is a bread that after leaving to rise overnight you bake in a cast iron pot. I have made it once before with white flour but wanted to see if it would work with a wholemeal flour . Though I feared a sunken glutinous mess but the result was a nutty airy bread with plenty of bubbles.
Nothing really beats the pride of slicing the beautiful looking salmon, except of course the pleasure of eating it, a not overly salty gently cured and flecked with green dill leaves.
Traditionally accompanied by a sweet mustard and dill sauce, this easily made from a basic mayonnaise recipe fresh dill and toasted mustards seeds. I add some freshly steamed local asparagus, I am eating this for breakfast , lunch and dinner til the all too short season ends.
Does anyone have any variations on the recipe below since I have another side of salmon in the freezer ( Have sweeter words ever been uttered?) some recipes suggest alcohol and I am thinking maybe some of the sloe gin might work well ?
Gravadlax ( Salmon cured with salt and dill)
2 x 500g salmon fillets ( Approx one side of salmon cut into two )
1 large bunch of dill finely chopped
3 tbsp coarse sea salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp back peppercorns, crushed
- To make the curing mix: place the salt, sugar peppercorns in a bowl sized bowl. Add the dill and stir to combine.
- Line a large, shallow, rectangular dish, with clingfilm. Place one of the salmon fillets, skin-side down sprinkle over the cure then add the second fillet skin side up forming a sandwich of fillets and cure
- Wrap the fish in the clingfilm and wrap the whole thing in foil , return to the dish and cover with a board
- Weigh the fish down with some cans or weights on top to remove. Place in fridge, turning the salmon over every 12 hours, for 3-4 days ( min 3 days really). I found I needed to pour off excess liquid coming from the salmon
- Before serving the Gravadlax dust of most of the cure and cut the gravadlax thinly 10mm thick
No Knead Poppy Seed Bread
- In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Pour in the water. Its very wet dough . Leave in a bowl somewhere warm like the airing cupboard overnight
- The dough will increase in size and get bubbles on the top also it have a stringy consistency.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface gently bring the sides over and over . Put it into a floured le cruset pot. in the oven pre-heated to 230°C
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid, remove the (hot) lid, and bake for another 15 minutes, until beautiful and golde
Dill and Mustard Sauce
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
150ml of sunflower oil
3 tbsp of mustard seeds
- Put the egg yolks into the bowl with the Dijon mustard and the salt and whisk well until smooth.
- Gradually add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the time. You should have a smooth, quite thick mayonnaise that stands in peaks.
- Add the white wine vinegar & honey to taste and briefly whisk.
- Add the chopped dill and mustard seeds.
- This will keep for a week or so for sneaky dipping of gravadlax.