Think about it. What aspect of your life did you not expect? Is there anything that makes you think, “Damn. I never saw that coming.”
No? Really? Well maybe that should be somewhat of a priority. Make a change, even a small one, and see how it feels. Plant a garden, start running, take up yoga–start anything that can grow and evolve, and see what happens one year from today. Who knows, maybe you have gift you never knew about.
There are constants in my life though. Things I can count on to stay the same. Alejandro, my most important constant… and this gravlax recipe. I have wanted to make this recipe for ages – since I first saw it in Saveur.
And now, a year later, I made gravlax. Damn good gravlax. And I’m opening a restaurant. Who knew?
(technique adapted from saveur magazine)
- 2 pounds, center-cut, wild, pacific salmon (debone with a tweezer. Makes life much easier.);
- 2/3 cup kosher salt;
- 1/3 cup sugar;
- 2 tablespoons marash pepper;
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin;
- 1 tablespoon paprika;
- 2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns.
- Combine all of the spices into a large bowl.
- Cover a plate with plastic wrap, and pour half of the spices on top. Place the salmon on top of the spices, skin side down, and cover with the rest of the spice mixture.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 48-72 hours. Every 12 hours, flip and redistribute the spices with your fingers. You’ll notice that it’ll be extremely wet–that’s okay. The brine is pulling the moisture out of the salmon.
The salmon will feel firm when fully cured. Unwrap, and throw out the brine. Rinse the salmon under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Use a very sharp knife to thinly slice against the grain.
You can serve it many ways, but my favorite is on a toasted baguette with avocado, drizzled with good olive oil and course salt.