French Fridays with Dorie
There isn’t much time left in the day to get this Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce up on the blog for French Friday’s with Dorie I’m a bit stressed about it. My stress isn’t due to having suddenly developed a sense of Friday posting timeliness. (I certainly haven’t gone and done something so stupid as to make a New Year’s resolution out of said timely posting.) No sir. I’m in a hurry to get this Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce to you in case you might enjoy having something so tasty, classy, and easy to serve at your own New Years celebrations.
The thought of letting you down by not offering you such a New Years treat would surely stress me out. Truthfully the only stressful part of making this fish dish is remembering the 48 hours it needs before the party to make it. The rest of the prep is a piece of cake. Or fish. So breath easy and don’t get so stressed out! I’ll tell you how its done.
Gravlax is Scandinavian and its origin comes from the salted salmon early-age fishermen made as a means to drawing out the fatty fish’s moisture content in order to preserve it. My family heritage is full of stress and not Scandinavian so this dish has not been a part of our family traditions. We Kensey’s were brought up to enjoy more stressful fare I suppose…but let me tell you that after enjoying every smooth, tangy, easy to prepare ounce of this cured fish you can be certain that I will be making it a tradition from now on.
I’ve enjoyed Dilled Gravlax it when it has been served on posh charcuterie platters or on certain tony brunch buffets but I’ve never once thought to make it myself.
I guess it was too easy.
Dilled gravlax has no picky egg white beating textures or roux making frenzy. It has no hard to find ingredients and no narrow temperature windows or last minute out of the oven because it must be served piping hot timing issues. Set it brining in the fridge 48 hours in advance and walk way. Its that easy.
I suppose it is because my party celebration choices are fueled by stress that it never occurred to me that I could make gravlax myself. Now that I have seen the light and have experienced first hand how delicious and incredibly easy this is I can’t imagine not making it again.
Additionally, gravlax served this way screams “celebration” and I can think of no other appetizer so perfectly matched for a cold glass of champagne. (Champagne, by the way, is another antidote for party stress.)
Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce
As alluded to earlier the hardest part of making your own gravlax is remembering that you’ll need at least 48 hours for it to cure before eating it up. 72 hours works too so if getting a dish out of the way that early before a celebration takes the edge of your stress then this is for you.
Start with a 1 to 1 1/2 pound center cut, skin on salmon filet. With a sharp knife cuts 8-10 holes in the skin with a sharp knife. To make your curing mixture heat up 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds in a skillet for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and them ground them with a mortar and pestle. To this add 2 tablespoons sea salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar and mix well. Spread the curing mixture over both the top and bottom of the salmon and then spread 1 cup chopped fresh dill over both sides. Put the salmon in an 8×8 Pyrex pan and cover with plastic wrap. Put some kitchen weights or heavy cans on top of the plastic wrap to weight it down and assist the brine to draw out the salmon’s moisture.
After 48 hours remove the salmon and rinse well under running water and pat dry. With a very sharp knife cut against the grain of the salmon and leave the skin behind. Slices of salmon can be served on pieces of rye bread or baguette with Mustard Sauce.
To make the mustard sauce put 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, 3 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mason jar and put on the lid and shake well. If you prefer a sweeter sauce you can add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or a drop of honey and shake again.
The full recipe can be found here at Epicurious.