Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The best gravlax sliders you will never make

This is beginning to be an obsession by the obsessive chef: "you will never make." It's only because I'd rather you did not assume you have to replicate my output, rather use it as a template for your own creativity.

I have made gravlax (salt-cured salmon) many times. It always turns out a bit different from the last time - don't know why.

The unique ingredient this time is taramosalata, a Greek-style fish roe mayonnaise. That may not sound appetizing to everyone, but if you like caviar it's wonderful.

The biscuits are generic supermarket ones, easy to make.

The best gravlax sliders you will never make

1 lb center cut salmon filet (skin on)

2 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp dried dill seed (or fresh dill fronds)

1 tbsp roughly ground black pepper

supermarket biscuits, baked according to package directions

taramosalata (or a mayo-based condiment you like)

Cut the salmon into 2 pieces of equal size. Line a loaf pan with a nice big piece of plastic wrap. Place one piece of salmon skin side down into it. Top with the mixture of salt, sugar, dill and pepper. Invert the other piece of salmon over the first piece with the thick part over the thin part of the bottom piece.

Wrap tightly in the plastic. Put a weight (like, maybe, a can of soup) on top of it. This works best with something flat (I use a little plastic tray from airline food that I brought home years ago). If the soup can wants to roll around, secure it with a wad of foil underneath.

Refrigerate for 2-4 days, turning the salmon several times and being sure not to lose the brine that will exude within hours.

Rinse very thoroughly under cold water. Taste. Sometimes it can seem very salty, in which case I soak it in the fridge in cold water for an hour. To serve, slice against the grain as thinly as you can. As you slice it you will not try to slice the skin, just use that as something that holds the whole thing together.

To make sliders, put a piece of lettuce on half of a biscuit; top with a generous quantity of gravlax and then some condiment. Delicious!

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