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Homemade Cured Salmon

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Homemade Cured Salmon

Ever thought of doing it yourself? Me neither, at least until two days ago, when, coming back from a Saturday in Big Sur and from the necessary stop at Big Sur Bakery, which I've already told you about, here, I've rediscovered this old friend. For the first time, glancing at the wonderful pictures and the unreproducible delicacies, I wasn't tempted by scones, cookies or any other sweet, but my eyes fell on the description of the process to make your own cured salmon. It's extremely easy, I'm sure if you try it you'll never let it go again. The only advice is that it doesn't last long, two weeks at the most, so it's better not to let it get out of hand and choose a piece of salmon of manageable size.

P.S: Sometimes it's really encouraging realizing that all those books on the shelves have a reason to be, you almost feel like going on with the collection for ever...
Now, I'd say we need a bagel. Or a nice Christmas Eve.

Homemade Cured Salmon

salmon fillet, skin on and no bones about 300 gr.
sea salt about 350 gr.
sugar 50 gr.
black peppercorns 1 tablespoon
fresh dill to taste

Crack the peppercorns in a mortar. Mix together salt and sugar and place half of the mixture on the bottom of a container large enough to hold the piece of salmon. Place salmon on top, skin side down, cover it with pepper and few dill sprigs and then pour the rest of the salt mixture on top of it, so that the fish is covered all over. Cover it with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Marinating time will depend on the thickness of the fillet. After two days, check for doneness: pressing it in the middle with your finger, it should feel pretty firm. Otherwise, leave it in the brine for one more day. Rinse salmon very quickly under water, to wash away salt, pat it dry with paper towels and slice it very thin.

In my extra-fluo version, I’ve paired it with purple potatoes, boiled and sliced, and I’ve dressed it with a simple caper sauce (capers, lemon juice and olive oil, mixed together in the mortar). But, as I mentioned before, it would be perfect on top of a nice bagel, toasted and spread with cream cheese, maybe even with a thin slice of red onion and a couple of capers…
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