Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tequila Infused Gravlax

Tequila Infused Gravlax
The disenfranchised voice of Scottish youth and world renown writer Barry Graham once said of this dish.  "Being from Scotland I've eaten Salmon all my life and Mad Coyote Joe's is not the best I've had in America... It's the Best I've had!"   I'm sure I missed a hyphenated cuss word somewhere in that quote, but you get the idea.  Far better than the Lox sold at the grocery store and for about 1/3 the price!       
Oh and make sure to use Philadelphia cream cheese with those fresh bagels.

2 Large Salmon Fillets
2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 cups kosher salt
2 Tbl. Orange zest
2 tsp. Lime zest
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 cup fresh dill sprigs, rinsed well and chopped
1/2 cup premium tequila

1. Scale the fillets (this step is optional). Remove any finger bones and cut at least 6 1" long holes in the skin to allow penetration of the brine. Place salmon in a baking dish, skin side down.

2. Mix the brown sugar, salt, orange and lime zest, pepper and then fold in the dill and spread over the salmon to cover. Drizzle tequila over salmon and cure mixture. Place a second baking dish (about the same size as the dish the salmon is in) on top of the salmon and cure, and place an approximately 6LB weight in the upper dish (I use the family dictionary or a one gallon can of pineapple.) Set both dishes on a sheet pan to catch drippings, and let cure in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Remove from refrigerator and turn salmon over, place weighted pan back on top and let cure for 12 more hours.

4. Removes from refrigerator, rinse well, paper towel dry and place in clean baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in refrigerator for 1 more day.

5. Serve sliced paper-thin, across the grain. If you have a food sealer, seal the salmon and refrigerate.  Date sealed salmon; it will remain fresh for about two-and-a-half weeks.

6. Serve with fresh toasted bagels, thin sliced red onion, tomato slices and cream cheese or as an appetizer place a dollop of cream cheese on a water cracker top with a small slice of gravlax and a sprig of fresh dill.

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