Aquavit at the Christmas table. Ever heard of that? I bet you have, you're reading this after all. This Nordic tradition has been living strong in Scandinavia for a long time.
Gravlax or cured salmon is also another Scandinavian tradition. Curing salmon with salt and spices of your choice is an exciting thing to do. Adding a few spoons of akvavit and orange peel gives an extra culinary experience to the traditional recipe.
Sharpen your senses, here’s a recipe to your Christmas food serving, because why would you want to buy ready made food when you can do it yourself:
Ägräs Akvavit Gravlax / Cured Salmon
Time to prepare:
Preparation 30 minutes
Time to cure: 2 days
500g-700g fresh salmon filet
3 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of pink peppercorn
a handful of fresh dill
Orange peels from 1 orange
4 tablespoons of Ägräs Akvavit
Go get your favourite, fresh salmon filet from your fish dealer. When preparing the salmon, be sure to dig out possible fish bones with small pliers for example. After this is done, cut the filet in half.
Blend the salt and sugar together and rub it in the salmon. After this, cut the dill very finely and crush the pink peppercorn. Sprinkle the mixture on the salmon as well and rub it in. Finally, peel the orange and cut the peels into small pieces. Top the salmon with the orange peels. The cherry on top is to add the Ägräs Akvavit evenly on the salmon.
Good, now you’ve prepared the filets. Soon they’ll go into the fridge for a few days. But first, it needs to be packed.
Spread out a sheet of baking paper and a sheet of fresh foil on top of the baking paper. Sprinkle a bit of the salt and sugar mixture on the fresh foil if there were any leftovers. The sheet of fresh foil should be big enough to accommodate the salmon filets tightly wrapped. Put one of the filets on the foil, skin down. Pour possible leftover akvavit on top of the filet. Now, take the other filet, and put it on top of the other filet, skin side up and put some of the salt on the skin side. You should now have two filets on top of each other with skin on each side, so that the red part of the salmon is facing each other. Wrap the fresh foil tightly around the package and finish by wrapping the baking paper around it as well.
Be sure to put the package on a plate or something that will keep the possible juices from running around your fridge.
Place the salmon into your fridge for 2 days. You can put a weight on the salmon, for example a chopping board and for example a milk carton on top if. Turn the package after one day.
After 2 days of curing, take out the filets and brush off excess salt, dill, orange peels and peppers. Cut sideways thin slices and serve just as is or for example on a Finnish traditional Saaristolaislimppu from Backers bakery. Garnish with dill and pink peppercorn. ENJOY!
If you're unable to get your hands on a bottle of aquavit, you're allowed to prepare the recipe without it. It'll be quite alright regardless.