Tuesday, 25 September 2007

I've Got Your Cure Right Here

As you all know, you don't need heat to actually cook something. Curing and smoking foods is not only not new, it predates heat methods for many cultures. It is very easy to purchase smoked fish but you are usually stuck with stuff that you may or may not want. Besides, curing your own foods is so much more cost effective and it enables you to control the flavours you want to use.

I was catering a bachelorette party and I had very little money to use. I decided to salt cure my salmon and I discovered that I saved close to twenty dollars on my food cost.

Curing your own salmon sounds tricky but it isn't. All you need is your memory. And it really impresses people when you've actually gone and done it.

Tequila Scented Gravlox

1 kg Salmon Fillet, whole and skin on
120 g Rock Salt
120g Sugar
Pinch ofWhite Pepper
1 Sprig of Basil, coarsely chiffonade
50 ml Tequila
2 Bricks

Combine sugar, salt and pepper.

Using a glass or stainless steel pan (big enough to hold salmon fillet, 13 X 8), sprinkle a little of the mixture on the bottom. Lay salmon skin side down. Cover with half of mixture completely. Spread basil evenly on top of salmon and finish with the remainder of salt. Pour the tequila in the corner of the pan slowly to allow for even distribution.

Cover well with plastic wrap. Lay down bricks (please make sure bricks are clean) and cover with wrap once again. Refrigerate for 1 day.

Turn fillet over 24 hours later and cover well. Refrigerate for another day.

On the final day, drain any excess water and carefully remove all the remainder of the basil.

Using your sharpest knife, slice on the bias as thin as possible.

Approximately 30 slices.

Variation: You can now use your Gravlox for anything you want: wraps, canapes, open face sandwiches, in a salad, whatever. It will keep for up to two weeks so long as it well wrapped to prevent drying out.

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