Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

French Fridays with Dorie

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce 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.

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce 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

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.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. What a gorgeous platter of party fish! You’re right, this would be perfect with champagne. Well, what isn’t? It’s been fun cooking with you again for another year. Looking forward to another one. Happy New Year, Trevor!

  2. Gorgeous as always Trevor – and I agree (even as someone who doesn’t eat salmon) it’s definitely perfect for entertaining over the holidays! Have a wonderful NYE and I look forward to cooking along with you next year!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous platter – the salmon too! Simple to do but stunning in effect, definitely a keeper recipe!

  4. Agreed. This one has great bang for your buck because its elegance will make people naturally assume that it was more difficult than it really was. I’m a convert and am already considering making it again for New Years.

  5. Perfectly plated. I’m ready to make another batch! This will be my go-to gravlax recipe for life. Happy, happy New Year, Trevor!

  6. I usually pride myself on leaving arch comments, silly poems, or inspired bon mots (and on being quite humble) but I cannot do so in the face of these absolutely gorgeous photos. Really stunning.

  7. Lovely presentation, so very elegant. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and let me say again,
    it was such a pleasure meeting you in Seattle. Your Christmas fantasy card was absolutely adorable.
    Have a wonderful holiday.

  8. This dish really works well with both my heritage of “The Feast of the Seven Fish” and my husband’s Scandinavian or as my kids prefer to call it, “Viking” heritage. It is one fish dish I can get done ahead of time… and yes, it is heavenly with Champagne, especially a bottle that you savagely hacked it’s head off in oh such a barbaric way… I can’t win you on the Sabrage?… oh, well let them eat garvlax. Happy New Year. (PS love that serving dish.)

  9. I am behind as usual, but just bought some wild Coho so that I can make this. As always, yours looks amazing! Happy New Year!!!

  10. Lovely. Your food is unerringly beautiful and tantalizing. And you have the gift of making it all sound so simple.

    Again, here is a food I do not eat. I know. I know. It is one of the great regrets of Bart’s life that he married a woman who does not like fish. My cardiologist feel even worse about the situation. Nevertheless, I can appreciate that you have done a superb job here. Bravo! And Happy New Year!

  11. I’ve always been a bit shy about making gravlax, but it looks so good and your words have convinced me. If I were at the party, this might be all I would eat.

  12. That’s a perfect dish to serve on New Year’s Eve! I love anything that can be made ahead AND looks that good and tastes really good.

    Happy New Year!

  13. Your gravlax looks so tempting – it’s a shame it won’t jump out of the screen so I can have some. Champagne and gravlax for New Year would be awsome and definitely not stressful. Happy New Year Trevor!

  14. Didn’t we all just love this??? I wish everyone would stop writing about how easy it was to throw together. Damn. I have told MY friends that it’s rather “twicky’ (as my granddaughter says) and one has to be most careful to rid the sweet little salmon of parasites (that part is true). Yeah, this was not the level of difficulty of a Bûche de Noël but who would know that if I don’t tell them? At any rate, a lovely appetizer with champagne. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s fabulous with cream cheese, onion slices, capers and a tasty bagel also. I am looking forward to cooking with you into 2014, Trevor. I’m pretty predictable with my Posts – weave an anecdote into the recipe of the week. You are totally unpredictable which is why it is so much fun to read all your Posts. But, can we softpedal Valentine’s Day this year? I still am recovering from your Post last year (although I know you won an award for it.) One of my joys this year was meeting you. Would marry you anytime, as I said, if you are interested! HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014.

  15. We really enjoyed this…wish I had known it was so easy to make, I might have actually gotten it done in time for Christmas. However we will enjoy it welcoming in the New Year! Yours looks amazing, and your photos are just gorgeous!! Happy New Year, Trevor!

  16. LOVE this. Not sure it will work with my desserts and chocolate martini NYE party, but I KNOW it will with my Super Bowl party!

    Happy New Year!

  17. Yup- easy and fabulous. And this is coming from Ms No Sushi. I always thoroughly enjoy your posts and this one’s references to entertaining and family traditions being rooted in stress….not no fuss recipes…had me rolling. So true. I guess that I fuel that myself and can’t simply blame the family (though Nana, I am looking sideways at you and your bar raising events !!) So, so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks also for sharing those insanely great photos (you really make me want to take a class, or at least read the instruction booklet, instead of grabbing my camera on Thursday evening when I knock out the recipe). Happiest of New Year’s to you and Sina. Here’s to an amazing 2014 for all of us !!

  18. Whoa baby I loved gravlax too and have never made it, but this is very encouraging to read your post. I would like to try it with an ouzo brine and really Greek it up and what not. I wish I was in the OC to come to one of your parties and drink cold champagne with you before/during/after. Car broke down on this last attempt and we just turned back to Portland. Hope to be there in the next few months. Any chance you’re coming up to the great Northwest?

  19. The world needs stressed people to light a fire under the back sides of the unmotivated…

    I know they say stress is self-inflicted, but I am fully convinced that it is genetic. I am pretty sure mine is inheritied.

    Happy New Year, Mr. Trevor.