November 3, 2008

Gravad Lax

So recently I bought this cookbook entitled Swedish Cooking- from where else? Yes, Ha. Ikea. However, upon flip-through, I could tell this was not a commercial giant watered-down frozen meatball cookbook! It was also not dumbed-down Swedish cooking for Americans (I HATE books like that!). It has a recipe for Blood Soup. YES! Blood Soup! Any cookbook that has enough culinary gumption to include a recipe for blood anything must be bought -at once.

So now I am the proud owner of Swedish Cooking that includes Svartsoppa, but that's not what I feel like talking about today. What I feel calling to me today is...Gravad Lax.

I love Salmon. I think I started loving Salmon when I lived in Alaska and people kept giving me free Salmon for my freezer which I found to be infinitely better than the free moose-meat that started taking over my freezer. I have discovered though, that I prefer the variety of non-cooked salmon dishes to cooked. Give me smoked salmon lox, gravad lax or salmon sushi rather than a cooked fillet any day of the week. So, it is in homage to raw and semi-raw salmon, that I present the following recipe from my wonderful new cookbood entitled Swedish Cooking that has Blood Soup, (printed in Germany by Naumann & Göbel Verlagsgesellschaft mbH). I'm going to paraphrase the instructions and my comments are in *stars*

Gravad Lax (serves 4) *that's about 1/2 lb fish per person, which seems like alot imo*

3 bunches fresh dill, chopped fine
4 T salt
5 T sugar
2.25 lb or 1kg salmon, boned and filleted, with skin on. *This equals 2 pieces*
1 T. peppercorns *grind*
mustard seed to taste *grind*
allspice to taste *grind*

Spread half of the dill on a plate and lay one half of the fish skin side down in the dill. Using half the salt and sugar, rub into the fish. Then season with the black pepper, mustard and allspice. Repeat with the remaining half. Fold up both pieces with the skin on the outside, wrap up and chill in the fridge for 3 days.

*One point is a little obscure with the you put any fresh dill on the flesh of the fish? I think that according to the recipe, the dill might solely be for the skin of the fish- which doesn't get eaten, by the way. However, I love dill, so I think I'd use some on the flesh as well.*

After 3 days of marinating in the fridge, you "extract the marinated salmon from its skin and the spices" (love it!) and slice thin. It is recommended to be served on crispbread with mustard-dill sauce. The sauce is as follows:

Dill-Mustard Sauce
5 T sweet swedish mustard *substitute spicy brown and add sugar to taste, it's sort of a honey-mustard taste- that would work too actually :)*
4 T. vinegar
3 T sugar
1 t salt & .5 t pepper (or to taste)
3/4 c oil
2 bunches dill, chpd fine

Blend the mustard, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper together and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oil slowly and whisk to incorporate. Stir in the dill and keep cold.

Well, that's that. If you ever wanted to make your own gravad lax, now you know how. It's very tasty, I love it. No, I'm not doing photo today. I'm in an anti-camera mood, mostly because I'm redoing the kitchen and it's a total disaster area- no floors, walls, counters, stove, nothing. Makes cooking interesting! Sorta like camping- but in your house and no s'mores.

I need to find out how to make smoked lox. I know that you use a cold smoke, - hot smoke would cook the fish and you'd have jerky, but I'm sort of a noob when it comes to the ways of do-it-yourself smoking. I'll have to research it further. One day, I'm going to own my own smoke-house where I will be able to produce all sorts of smoked delicacies! One day! Oh, speaking of smoked fish, have you ever had smoked trout? or smoked whitefish? Delicious.

Enjoy the Gravad Lax!