Gravlax is so succulent and wonderful that even squeamish folks who wouldn’t eat sashimi love it. I personally enjoy the fatty fish from Norwegian farms. It melts in your mouth.
A Norwegian native friend, Anne, showed me how to prepare it as it’s done at home. Of course there was no recipe ( written that is ). Homemade is usually a little more rustic than restaurant prepared so experiment all you like with different flavors. I’ve even added a drop of fresh lime. Be bold but don’t drown the fish !!
Start with two filettes of the freshest salmon you can, sashimi grade if available. This is of course the key ! You will also need salt, sugar, and a few stalks fresh dill. ( dried will be *ok* but fresh dill is the best )
Take equal amounts of salt and sugar, rub in a thin layer on each cut side of the fish, next, layer as much chopped dill as you can get on top of one piece.
Place the fillettes, rubbed sides together, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in a container with raised sides, it should be flat also. Refrigerate for at least one day. Pour off the liquid if you like.
Slice thinly, serve on thin rye bread with honey mustard. If there is any left, refrigerate. Will keep for a few days at least.
Aquavit is a fine accompaniment !
The first thing we need to do is to prepare a batch of Charmoula to be used a marinade and garnish. Get some fresh, white fleshed fish. A fish that is too oily will taste a little too strong for this meal
- firm-fleshed white fish steaks such as halibut (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut about 1 1/4-inches thick
- tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- medium-size boiling potatoes (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced 1/ 8 -inch thick
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- cup tomato purée (preferably fresh)
- tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
- tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Prepare the charmoula. Coat the fish steaks with half of the charmoula and marinate 2 hours in a ceramic or glass.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a tagine, Dutch oven, earthenware casserole, or enameled cast-iron casserole and arrange the potatoes on the bottom. Lightly salt and pepper the potatoes. Place the fish steaks on top of the potatoes. Cover the fish with the green peppers and then the tomato slices, arranging everything very neatly and decoratively. Lightly salt and pepper again. Spoon half of the remaining charmoula over the tomato slices. Pour the tomato purée over and sprinkle with the coriander, parsley, and more salt and pepper. Spoon the remaining charmoula over everything.
3. Bake the tagine, covered, until the potatoes are tender and the fish cooked, about 1 hour. Do not check until at least 40 minutes have passed. Serve.