Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sara's Gravlax

Sara's gravlax are served with crackers at every McQuaid event or party and it wouldn't be the same without these infamous appetizers to munch on, even the Grandkids can't get enough.

This was an especially good batch of gravlax Sara made for us this weekend.  She said she can't explain it, maybe the brandy made a difference--she added a little bit this time...although, to us, it's always delish.  We enjoyed it so much, even to the point where I had to hide it from the kids so David and I could have some left to top on a toasted bagel this morning for breakfast.  As you can see, it's easy to make--you just have to remember to turn it and have room in your fridge.  :)

2 pieces salmon with or without skin (Sara prefers the domestic to the wild) any size according to how much you want to make but about even in size. Sara uses Costco salmon which is skinless.

1/4 cup sea or kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons whole pepper corns (I like mixed but black are fine) crushed to a coarse consistency
1-2 pkgs fresh dill depending on how much salmon you are using
3-4 Tbl brandy or aquavit (optional, not necessary)

Place one piece of salmon in a glass casserole large enough to hold (skin side down).
Put a layer of dill on salmon filet completely covering it.
Mix salt, sugar and pepper together.
Sprinkle salt mixture over the dill.
If using brandy, pour it over now.
Put other piece of salmon on top, skin side up.

Cover with saran, then tin foil, and then place a weight on top of salmon (I use a foil wrapped brick (kept just for this purpose) but you can use heavy cans or whatever.  Refrigerate.

The next day, baste with accumulated juices, turning entire slab over and basting some more between the layers and on top.  Cover and weight again.

Do this at least for two days and three or four is better but not longer than four.  Remove from dish, rinse under tap water and pat dry with paper towel.  Wrap in saran and then foil.  This will keep at least a week in the fridge and can be frozen.

Important:  When ready to eat, slice VERY THIN and on a slant with a sharp knife.  The slicing can be done in advance, but it's better to keep gravlax unsliced until ready to eat so it doesn't dry out.

Serve with crackers and any garnishes you like (chopped onion, capers, chopped hard-boiled egg, dill sprigs, etc.).  We eat it just plain or with crackers!  Very delicious!

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