I’ve decided to take on Homemade Lox using terrific wild salmon from Alaska.
Good lox has an intense color and a meltingly tender texture. Go to a restaurant and you could pay big bucks for it too. To justify the price plenty of places compose the plate beautifully. Sometimes they’ll include unusual accompaniments which further elevates this simple cured fish to new culinary heights. The visual (and gastronomique) appeal is worth something in my opinion. It really is.
But other times I want lox presented more simply (and more often). I like it with bagels, cream cheese and tomatoes on Sunday mornings. But it also makes a very impressive appetizer on pumpernickel bread, crème fraîche and a spritz of lemon. But I don’t always want to pay $14.00 a bite!
So why not make it myself?
I was in Alaska this summer as the guest of Alaska Seafood (ASMI). We were treated to a cooking demonstration using wild-caught Alaskan salmon. One of the dishes the chefs prepared was gravlox (lox). I was struck by the simplicity. I was further struck by the taste and texture. It’s the same taste and texture that makes very good lox such a (pricey) delicious treat in the very best restaurants.
Making my own lox has been on my to-do list ever since. I suggest you start a to-do list of your own. Here’s a recipe I adapted from Tom Valenti to get you started. GREG
- 2 lb fillet of wild alaskan salmon, pin bones removed
- 2 T vodka
- 1/2 c kosher salt
- 1/4 c sugar
- 2 fresh bay leaves, chopped
- 2 bn dill, stems and all, minced
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 T freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 T fresh minced taragon
- 1 T green peppercorns
Place salmon, skin side down, on a large sheet of plastic wrap, and sprinkle it with the vodka. Mix together the salt and sugar, then sprinkle onto the flesh side of the salmon. Mix together the bay leaves, dill, shallots, pepper, caraway seeds, tarragon and green peppercorns. Cover the flesh side of the salmon with this mixture, making sure to coat it completely.
Wrap the fish well, and refrigerate for about 48 hours.
Unwrap the salmon, and rinse off the cure. Dry, then slice on the bias. Serve as you like.