For my fish course I knew I wanted to serve salmon, because I knew most people like salmon. I’m also blessed to live in the great Pacific Northwest, where we have access to wonderful wild salmon.
I chose to make gravlax because I thought it would be interesting to have a cold dish. Also, it is a Scandinavian dish, and a reference to Sherlock Holmes Great Hiatus, when he was masquerading as a Norwegian explorer named Sigerson.
2 lb fillet of salmon (previously frozen)
½ c sugar
½ c kosher salt
½ c fresh dill, chopped
¼ c Aquavit
Use salmon that has been commercially frozen. This rids the fish of any unwanted parasites. Combine the sugar and salt. Place fillet skin side down. Remove any bones, if necessary. Rub sugar/salt mixture into the flesh of the salmon, then press on the dill. Sprinkle with Aquavit. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, several layers as you don’t want it to leak. Place in a pan and put in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, turning once or twice. To serve, remove the cure residue, rinse lightly and pat dry. Slice the flesh off the skin at an angle, as thin as you can.
½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ c chopped fresh dill
1 t sugar
¼ c olive oil
2 T cider vinegar
Toss all ingredients shortly before serving.
Sour Cream Sauce
1/2 c sour cream
2T fresh lemon juice
1 T course grain mustard
2 T chopped dill
To serve, layer a toasted round of rye bread, the cucumber salad and then the sliced gravlax. Drizzle sour cream sauce over, then drizzle a bit of olive oil. Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped dill.
The wine served with this course was a 2009 Cedergreen Cellars Chenin Blanc Old Vine. This was my guests’ favorite wine. Very interestingly, it was almost colorless. Quite a visual difference from the previous wine! Nice, nice pairing.
Tomorrow, we cleanse our palate!