So here it is, another Thanksgiving – five years after Dad’s gone, two years after Coombsy has left us…and yet we’re still hanging on. We’re a little older. Not sure about the wiser thing, but we are definitely older.
This year’s excitement includes (hopefully) a real turkey breast, assuming Jim determines that’s what he wants. We’ll have some dressing, some potatoes, some veggies, and pie. Oh and I’m making my gluten free devil’s food cake because Jim likes it. So…there’s the menu. We’re also going to have a little bit of an appetizer – home made guac, and home made cured salmon. So, I was asked yesterday for a recipe for both my mac & cheese, AND for my cured salmon. If you’re interested in the mac & cheese one, it’s here. Cured salmon is less precise than others I’ve “created” and by created, it’s just my version of something I learned somewhere – Food Network, or out of a cookbook. I’ve been doing my own version for a while so it’s hard to say where I got this one from.
Mary’s Cured Salmon
- 1 cup of kosher salt (you can use Himalayan pink salt, or sea salt if you want. I just have lots of kosher salt)
- 1 cup of sugar (I happen to use organic sugar, but whatever is your fancy)
- Dill (100% imprecise here – I have a bag of dried dill and I usually put a couple of tablespoons in…if you’re using fresh dill, use a few sizeable frawns or leave it out entirely)
- Salmon (again, not so precise…typically I’m at about ¼ lb – a small filet around 6”-8” in length and about 3”-4” in width. Approximately ½” in thickness. Skin on.)
Mix the salt and sugar (if using dried dill, mix that in too). It will look like you’ve got a TON of salt/sugar for the small piece of salmon. It should. You should have about two to three times what you THINK you should have (ergo, bigger salmon, more salt and sugar)
Wash the salmon filet and pat it as dry as possible. Position the salmon on a piece of plastic wrap that will fold completely around the salmon tightly. This is pretty important. Make sure the plastic wrap will fit and be able to wrap tightly around the salmon.
Pour the salt/sugar mix over the salmon. Because I typically don’t remove the skin, I just load it up on the meat side of the filet. If you’ve got a piece with no skin, you’ll want to nest the salmon in the salt/sugar mix. The point is to get the salmon flesh COVERED with the salt/sugar mixture. Completely.
After the filet is completely covered with the salt, wrap the fish as tightly as possible with the plastic wrap ensuring none of the salt/sugar mix escapes. Once a little escapes, it’s like the mixture screams, “There’s a hole! Come on, guys…let’s get outta here” and it’s hard to contain. I speak from recent experience.
My method is to then put the tightly wrapped salmon in some sort of zip-top bag. I’m a Hefty Zip Top fan, but choose your own favorite.
Chill the fish for 24 hours, at least.
To serve, open the wrapped fish and discard all the salt/sugar. You can remove any “excess” by using a damp paper towel but don’t rinse the fish.
Slice in thin slices.
FYI – items you can probably add although I’ve never tried:
If you’re a cracked pepper fan, you can probably sprinkle freshly cracked pepper on the fish prior to salt/sugaring it.
You can probably dust the fish with smoked paprika or ancho chili powder prior to the salt/sugar.
Like spicy stuff? Try fresh jalapeno slices on top of the fish before salt/sugaring
Mix lemon zest into the salt/sugar mixture
Jus thinkin’ out loud with those “add ins”.
Hey, I hope you and your family enjoys the holiday. I’ll probably post again before Christmas. I’ve been swamped lately but I really have a ton of thoughts in my head.