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Gravlax

I've served this many times at parties. It is vital that the fish be very fresh, as it has to sit in the fridge for 2-3 days to cure. Farm raised salmon is OK for this, but wild salmon is preferred. The salt and sugar draw moisture out of the fish over time and the dill and pepper impart wonderful flavor. This is a Scandinavian delicacy.

About 4 lbs fresh wild Salmon filets (2 matching pieces with skin on)
1/2 cup coarse sea salt (not rock salt)
1/3 cup freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup sugar

3-4 tablespoons dried dill
Fresh dill for garnish

I purchase the salmon to fit a shallow rectangular glass casserole (or I cut off the small end of the filets if they are too big to fit). The idea is to have 2 identical pieces which are of as even thickness as possible.

Place one filet, skin side down in the casserole and sprinkle half of the dill on the salmon. Then sprinkle the other mixed dry ingredients on the salmon, spreading it as evenly as possible across the surface of the salmon.

Then sprinkle the rest of the dried dill on the flesh side of the remaining filet and place it on the first filet, You want the skin to be up on this one. (The 2 filets are "face to face") Use your hands to press the fallout back into place and rub some across the skin also.

Put plastic wrap across the top of the casserole and put a very heavy weight on top. I use another glass casserole dish that is the same shape as the one with the salmon in it with a cast iron weight on top of that. (I've used bricks and canned food.)

Place in refrigerator for at least 48 hours, another day is good also assuming the fish is very fresh and the fridge is very cold.

Rotate (flip over) the salmon every 12 hours, pouring off the juices that accumulate.

Just before serving, scrape away the salt mixture, slice thin, against the grain, avoiding the skin, and serve on a large platter garnished with fresh dill.

Serve with small cocktail pumpernickle and rye bread and hot sweet mustard. I also provide plain cream cheese dip.

This serves about 30 people as an appetizer. They keep coming back.

-Kate