Barefoot Jewess

16 Feb

Hey Y’all, it’s Whitney.  So my mom is coming into town for her first visit to Miami and her first time visitng the hubby and I in any place we’ve ever lived together.  I’m really looking forward to her visit.  I left work, ran to 2 grocery stores to pick up the goods I need for our Swedish Shabbat lunch, prepared and gravlax and then mom called to say her flight is 3 HOURS LATE!! Boo.  Regardless, it gives me more time to relax, clean, watch some Top Chef and keep an eye out on the gravlax.

Like any red-blooded American woman, I’m a massive fan of Ina Garten, a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa.  The woman is living the dream.  This is the kitchen in her barn in The Hamptons:

This is the pantry in her barn:

I mean, I have a microwave cart in the corner of our kitchen that’s about 1/20 the size of one of these shelving units.  Its real real nice.

Sigh.  Anyway, we can’t all have a glorious barn in the Hamptons but we can at least cook like we do in our tiny apartment kitchens and cook we will do.

So, like I said, Mom’s coming into town and I’m thinking gravlax on top of a yummy dark pumpernickel with the mustard sauce paired with a creamy leek soup might be just what the Contessa ordered.  Gravlax is a cold-cured salmon dish popular in Sweden, Norway and other Scandinavian countries.  It is very easy to put together (though I say that now but I won’t know if it all work out until Saturday at lunch) and usually served as an appetizer. See recipe below and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh salmon, center cut
  • 1 large bunch of dill, plus 1/4 cup chopped dill for serving
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • Pumpernickel bread, for serving
  • Mustard Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Cut the salmon in half crosswise and place half the fish skin side down in a deep dish. Wash and shake dry the dill and place it on the fish. Combine the salt, sugar, crushed peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the piece of fish. Place the other half of salmon over the dill, skin side up. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place a smaller pan on top of the foil and weight it with some heavy cans. Refrigerate the salmon for at least 2 and up to 3 days, turning it every 12 hours and basting it with the liquid that collects.

Lay each piece of salmon flat on a cutting board, remove the bunch of dill, and sprinkle the top with chopped dill. With a long thin slicing knife, slice the salmon in long thin slices as you would for smoked salmon. Serve with dark pumpernickel bread and mustard sauce. You can also serve with chopped red onion and capers, if desired.

Mustard Sauce:

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon ground dry mustard

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Combine the mustards, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil and stir in the chopped dill. Serve with the gravlax.

Yield: 3/4 cup

2 Responses to “Barefoot Jewess”

  1. Misty February 17, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Holy smokes you’re so brave for trying this. I’ve seen the recipe before but was terrified to try. You give me hope :). One question I have is that if I remember right the other recipe told me once the salmon is done fermenting and before you cut it you wash all the stuff off…do you do that in this one??? Seriously can’t wait to hear out it turns out..I mean, salmon, pumpernickel and mustard??!! How could it be bad right??

    • jewhungry February 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

      UPDDATE: Gang, the gravlax were a complete fail. I have not earned my way to Barefoot Jewess status. I made a few errors; one being that I did not wrap the fish itself but the dish the fish was on. I also put WAY too much fennel in there. Mom’s got a recipe where its cured with vodka and white peppercorns with the addition of some liquid smoke. Oy, it was just wrong. I mean, I didn’t even eat it. We’re still learning and growing here people.

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