Also this year this dish was the perfect choice for the Holidays: it’s easy to make, affordable, and can be prepared several days in advance, which is always helpful this time of year. As usual my husband was on charge for making the Gravlax, which is a Nordic dish consisting of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill. It has a fresh, delicate flavor and is delicious served either as an elegant appetizer or as a topping for smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches made with buttered rye or whole wheat bread (smørrebrød).
Fresh salmon marinated with dill,peppercorn,brandy,sugar and salt, a traditional recipe for the Holidays.
- skin-on salmon fillets - 2 fillets (about 2 pounds each)
- brandy - 1/2 cup
- coarse salt (kosher) or 1/4 cup salt - 1/4 cup
- brown sugar - 1/4 cup
- peppercorns (white or black) or 1 tablespoon peppercorn (white or black) - 1 tablespoon
- juniper berries (opt.) - 2 tbs
- coarsely-chopped fresh dill - 1/4 cup
- for serving
- dark bread -
- lemon -
- butter -
Run your fingers across the surface to feel for any bones and remove with a pair of tweezers if there are any.You need a glass or ceramic dish which fits one piece of the salmon as tightly as possible.
Crash in a mortar the salt,the sugar and the peppercorns. Sprinkle two tablespoons on the base of the dish. Place one piece of salmon skin-side-down on top. Now scatter half of the remaining salt/sugar mixture on top, and sprinkle
generously with half of the bunch of dill and the crushed juniper berries. ‘Sandwich’ the second piece of salmon skin-side-up on top and scatter the remaining salt/sugar mixture on top. Cover with clingfilm then weigh down with a plate that holds something heavy .
Leave like this for 3 days in the fridge,tilting it once a day . After 3 days remove it from the fridge (by now it will be filled with water that the salt has extracted from the salmon). Pour off the liquid then rinse the fillets under cold running water to wash off the salt mix.Dry with kitchen paper and place the fillets skin-side-down on a board. If you like scatter with more chopped dill, pressing down to stick to the salmon.
Using a sharp carving knife cut the salmon slightly at an angle in thin slices – arrange on individual plates and serve with a side salad. Or arrange the slices on one large plate and let people help themselves.