(Swedish cured salmon)
Gravlax--also spelled gravlaks, gravadlax, or gravadlaks — is a classic Swedish way to preserve salmon. It is often served as part of the first course of a smörgåsbord. Gravlax is delicious on a slice of rye bread with a bit of hovmästarsås or a squeeze of lemon.
Makes 20 to 25 appetizer portions
* Whole sides of salmon, deboned, skin on -- 2, preferably from the same fish
* Kosher salt -- 1/4 cup
* Sugar -- 1/4 cup
* White peppercorns, crushed -- 2 tablespoons
* Fresh dill -- 2 bunches
* Aquavit or vodka (optional) -- 1/4 cup
1. Lay a piece of plastic wrap in a glass dish large enough to hold the salmon sides. Lay one side, skin side down, on the plastic wrap.
2. Mix the salt, sugar and crushed peppercorns and spread half this cure mix over the surface of the fillet. Lay the whole bunches of dill over the salt. Sprinkle the aquavit or vodka over the dill. Spread the rest of the cure mix over the dill and lay the second side of salmon, skin side up, over the first.
3. Pull the plastic wrap up to cover the fillets. Place another dish or some plates on top of the salmon and weigh it down using canned food or other heavy items.
4. Place the dish in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours. Once or twice a day remove the dish, unwrap the salmon and baste it with the juices that accumulate. Then flip the fish over and return the dish to the refrigerator.
5. Take the fillets from their wrapping, remove the dill and scrape off any excess cure mix. Slice thinly on the bias and serve.