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Absinthe-Scented Gravlax


Making my own gravlax had never occurred to me. Until I heard a quick recipe mentioned on NPR's The Splendid Table. I was on my way to Huckleberry Hill for a hill work-out, but it haunted me during my run and I swung by Whole Foods on my way home to pick up some wild-caught salmon and give it a go.

Here's a link to the recipe as posted on thesplendidtable.org. I used it as a starting point, but made several modifications to fit the ingredients I had in my kitchen.

1/2 C coarse sea salt
1/2 C raw turbinado sugar
1 t ground black pepper
3 springs fresh dill
splash of absinthe
2 pieces of wild-caught salmon, well matched in size and shape, if possible

Mix the salt, sugar, and pepper together. Spoon a third of the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and place one of the salmon pieces on top of it, skin-side down. Put half of the remaining salt mixture on top of the salmon. Drizzle the filet with absinthe. Sandwiching the fresh dill in between, fit the other piece of fish, skin-side up, on top. Use the remaining salt-sugar mixture on the top.

Wrap the salmon tightly with the plastic wrap. And place it in a glass container because it will weep through the duration of the curing process. Every twelve hours, flip the salmon. The recipe called for doing this for three days; I did it for five.

Before serving, rinse the salt-sugar off. Serve thin slices with Crème Fraîche and capers. I think that I will definitely try this again...and this time I will let it cure for three days, versus five. I read that the longer it cures, the more firm it becomes. So, I think the shorter duration will lead to a softer salmon. We'll see. But, as it was, the flavor was divine.

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