I love English tea luncheons. There's something about eating dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and clotted cream that makes me feel like royalty-- if just for a short while. One of my favorite finger sandwiches is smoked salmon and cream cheese or cucumber and cream cheese. Hold that thought, please.
I took a holiday appetizer class at our local adult school, and one of the recipes that our culinary teacher demoed for us is making a Citrus Cured Salmon. She made canapés of fresh cucumber, whipped cream cheese and topped it with the cured salmon, thinly sliced. I was smitten, at first bite. I wanted to grab the entire plate and devour them. But, that would be rude. So, I made up my mind to make my own, at home.
gravlax. Essentially, what I am doing is creating a rub of coarse salt, sugar and citrus zest. What's important (and I didn't photograph this part) is that you need a large sheet of aluminum foil, one sheet of parchment paper, some heavy cans or bricks and two baking sheets. You layer the parchment paper on top of the foil, because the foil should not touch the salmon-- it's a chemistry thing. I layered almost half of the rub on top of the parchment paper, laid the salmon (skin-side down) and covered the top of the salmon with the rest of the rub. Wrap it up, lay a baking sheet on top and weigh it down with heavy cans (crushed tomato cans, in my case). Set it in the refrigerator and forget about it for 24 hours.
You can click here, to see a Martha Stewart video on how to make this.
A moment of truth: Don't make my mistake! I set the salmon on a paper towel lined tray, but... well, um, er, I placed a paper towel on top. Big mistake.8 hours later, the paper towel stuck to the salmon and I had to work a bit to get it off (as I tried to hid underneath my copyright log in the photo above. So, don't do that!
10" wide slicer knife, that does a great job of it!
TASTING NOTES: For this recipe, I did not used dried dill-- only because my husband says he doesn't like dill. In retrospect, I wish I had, because I think that dill is perfect with salmon. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cured salmon was not salty, even though it had been cured in it. The notes of citrus was very mild. Again, I missed the dill.
I was craving fresh bagels so I could make a sandwich of this cured salmon, with a layer of cream cheese. That triggered me to learn how to make my own, at home. I was so hungry, by the time the bagels were freshly baked (recipe here) that I wasn't going to rummage my pantry for capers. Sliced red onion would be perfect, and some fresh tomatoes (they're out of season right now, and I don't care of hot house anemic looking tomatoes). Still, I
Rook 17" for showing us how to make this easy recipe.
Here is the printable recipe. NOTE: I store all of my recipes on Key Ingredient. Unfortunately, they have recently reverted back to requiring a free membership to log in and view my recipes. I'm hoping that they'll change their mind, but in the meantime, I'll post a second site that doesn't require a membership. If you have any problems printing the recipe, please write to me firstname.lastname@example.org.