Meri Kirihimete. Merry Christmas!
This year I made beautiful cured salmon again. It is light, tastes great and goes with just about anything. Of course, Christmas is slap bang in the middle of summer here so although we serve roast turkey for the main it is also nice to have lots of summer food on offer and this recipe fits the bill.
It is great as an entre served on crusty, chunky French bread or crostini but I usually don’t go to too much trouble, just leave it on the main table and it will disappear quick fast.
- 200 g raw beets
- 100 g rock salt
- 50 g demerara sugar
- 50 ml vodka
- 1 big bunch of fresh dill (60g)
- 1 lemon
- 50 g fresh or jarred grated horseradish
- 1 x 700 g side of salmon , skin on, scaled, pin-boned, from sustainable sources
- Peel and trim the beets and place in a food processor with the salt, sugar, vodka and dill.
- Finely grate in the lemon zest, add the horseradish (I used wasabi), finely grating it if fresh, then blitz until combined.
- Rub a little mixture on to the salmon skin, then place the salmon on a large tray, skin side down, and pat the remaining mixture all over it so that the flesh is completely covered.
- Cover the tray tightly with clingfilm. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down evenly, then put the whole thing into the fridge for 36 hours. Please use your instincts here – if you have a particularly chunky side of salmon you may want to leave it for up to 48 hours to allow for proper penetration.
- Once cured, unwrap the fish, then, holding the fillet in place, pour the juices down the sink and rub away all the salty topping (it’s messy, so you might want to wear gloves).
- Pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper, then tightly wrap in clingfilm (sometimes I like to cover the salmon with freshly picked dill before wrapping, for bonus flavour). Put back into the fridge until needed, where it will keep happily for up to 2 weeks.
- To serve, use a long sharp knife to slice the salmon thinly at an angle and, as the knife touches the skin each time, kink it off, lifting away the salmon.
- Arrange the slices on a board or platter as you go. Delicious with a simple salad and good wholemeal sourdough, as part of a seafood platter, served up at a party or even as part of a festive brekkie spread.
- I served with Crème Fraîche mixed with dill, also sliced, pickled cucumber and some gourmet crackers.
I used the recipe from Jamie Oliver, an oldie but a goodie.