While we're in the mood to preserve our protein, how about something especially seasonal? No, alas, it is not a local product, and not readily available through our community fishery (which is on a break for the summer months). But, as I said, it's especially seasonal, and, while it travelled some distance to get to my kitchen, this line-caught Copper River Salmon didn't do much harm along the way. I can honestly say I haven't eaten any other salmon this year - and why would I? Once you've had Alaskan salmon in June, nothing else comes close.
Looks irresistible, no? This will be the third time I've had it this week. And I'll have it again before the season's out. But with this piece I decided to do something other than just roast it quickly and gobble it down while it melts in my mouth (hard to gobble and melt simultaneously, but that's Alaskan salmon for you). I'm going to cure this piece in a gravlax style.
The cure is extra simple: Salt, Sugar, White pepper
Pack the cure all over the flesh, somewhat thickly. It's all going to wash off later, so don't be shy about it.
One local ingredient to add: fresh dill from Cane Creek. Put the fish in a ziploc bag, strew some minced up dill all around the concoction, refrigerate, and then - - - wait.
After 48 hours, I took the fish from the fridge, and washed the fish under cool water to remove excess cure and dill.
Look at that lovely slab. Imagine the things you could do with it. Bagel and cream cheese spring immediately to mind. I thought about folding it into scrambled eggs and browned onions - lox and eggs and onions for my homeys. And I've got a few hunks of it left to do something just like that. But tonight . . .
rustic sushi. Quick pickled summer squash, yogurt cheese (from homemade yogurt - my latest obsession), padrano peppers, and some sticky sushi rice. Dinner is ready in three minutes - once you've cooked and cooled the rice, and, um, cured the salmon for two days. Totally worth it.
Oh, and the just-as-good part (no pic provided). Once you slice the flesh of the cured salmon away from its skin, you can roast the skin at high heat for 5 minutes, and you'll crisp up the fishiest chip you can imagine. Brilliant.
Don't miss the Copper River - or King, or Chinook (they're all the same thing, and by law MUST be harvested sustainably) salmon season. This gravlax recipe (is it even a recipe? More like a seasoning) is a snap, but it's all but impossible to screw up this fish. Enjoy!