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Sometimes It's Not What You Expected...It's Better
by Baby Huey
The most fun part of cooking for me is experimentation. Not like that "I was drunk with my best friend in college and we experimented" experimentation. Not that I ever did that. At all. Dammit, I've said too much.
This week's recipe was part of an experiment that didn't meet my expectations, but I'll be damned if it isn't delicious and easy to make. So easy, in fact, that I'm going to stop talking and just share the recipe. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Salmon Prosciutto (seriously!)
2 1 lb salmon fillets with the skin, approximately the same shape
Take a piece of saran wrap about 10 inches long and put it on the counter. Mix a quarter cup of the salt and a quarter cup of the sugar together. Take half of that and put it on the saran wrap, roughly in the shape of the salmon fillet. Add a couple of sprigs of dill and place one of the fillets skin-side down. Mix the rest of the sugar and salt, the lemon zest, and gin, and mix till it's the consistency of wet cement. Add half of that on top of the salmon fillet. Add a few more sprigs of dill. On the flesh side of the other fillet, add the rest of the wet salt and sugar mixture. Put that on top of the first fillet, flesh side down, so you've basically made a salmon sandwich. Add a couple more sprigs of dill and the rest of the dry salt and sugar mixture on top. Wrap up the whole thing in like 4 layers of saran wrap. Put it in a deep baking dish on a cooling rack (or anything, basically, that will keep the fish off the bottom. You could also put it in a cooler of ice and then change the ice two or 3 times a day). Put a cookie sheet or large skillet on top of the salmon, and put at least 5 or 6 lbs of weight on top of that -- you need to compress the salmon for the cure to take. Put that in the fridge for about 3 days.
After 3 days, unwrap the fish and rinse it off. It's going to look like a slab of fish jerky, and the 2 lbs of fish you put in there will probably weigh about 12 oz. This fish is safe to eat right now, and there are many service options. To treat it like prosciutto, slice it as thin as you possibly can (at an angle) and put it on a bagel with cream cheese. Or, you can try the following simple pasta recipe:
Cured salmon pasta
1 lb linguini
Cook the linguini till about 1 minute before al dente, about 7 minutes
Put the salmon in the stock and let it rehydrate for about 20 minutes. In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and capers and saute for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the salmon and the wine, and cook down till there's about a half cup of liquid left. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice and zest and combine. Add the last 2 tbsp of butter and the linguine. Toss to combine and serve with fresh parsley and parmesean cheese.
Metal this week is something a little different for me -- one of the first bands I listened to when I started getting into the underground metal scene.
Recommended: "I Wish I Had an Angel", "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Deep Silent Complete", "Nemo", "Wishmaster", "High Hopes" (The Pink Floyd cover)