The Holidays are a stressful time of year. Family visits, gift buying, traveling, traffic, unpredictable weather… All while still trying to keep up a normal schedule. It always seems to creep up on us every year too. Once Thanksgiving arrives I barely have time to enjoy the celebration before I’m in the throws of preparing for the winter holidays! Still, it is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends and remembering those important in our lives.
I was lucky this year to have my father and aunt come visit from Indiana for Thanksgiving. My father is a huge fan of smoked salmon and lox and I knew this delectable fish would be a must-have with cheese for snacks and with eggs for breakfast. However, instead of spending a fortune on a large smoked salmon, I thought I would make my own cured salmon instead.
I couldn’t have been more please. It was a hit and was very little effort for the result. The orange zest added a mild, soft, almost sweet citrus flavor to the salmon rather than the tartness lemon might have provided. The recipe is simple and it takes very little prep time. Bonus: it costs about 1/3 of what you pay for lox in the store and you get to add your own touch to it!
The key to the curing is the sugar and salt. You can use either or both. I used a mixture of the two so as not to be too sweet or too salty. Other than that, you can let your imagination go wild with the add-ins. I also made some using lemon zest and a few drops of liquid smoke which gave an earthy wood-smoke aroma. Try using your own combination of herbs and spices and let me know how it turns out!
- 1 salmon filet, skin-on, approximately 16 ounces (preferably Wild Atlantic)
- ½ cup raw turbinado sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon smoked salt
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Zest of 1 orange
Cut the salmon filet into two same-size pieces and place, skin side down on a large piece of plastic wrap. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Spread the entire mixture evenly over the two salmon pieces, making sure to cover all flesh surfaces. Place one filet on top of the other, matching the flesh sides together, Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Place the salmon on a raised surface inside of a medium bowl (a smaller upside down bowl works well. Weigh the salmon down with a heavy plate. Wrap the entire package in plastic wrap (to keep everything in your fridge from tasting like fish!) Refrigerate for 2 days.
Remove the salmon from the fridge. Unwrap, rinse the filets and pat dry. Thinly slice the salmon at an angle. Serve immediately with cheese, red onion, capers and toast points. Store any leftovers in a resealable plastic bag. Consume within 1 week.
Servings: 8 Serving Size: 2 ounces
Calories: 110 Fat: 6g Sat. Fat: 1g Carbs: 2g
Sodium: 824mg Fiber: 0g Sugar: .7g Protein: 11g